vegan chocolate cupcakes

I know I teased you guys last week with my pictures of delicious cupcakes and ice cream, so I figured I wouldn’t let you wait too much longer.

I have been wanting to make cupcakes for a few weeks, but I really won’t eat them at home and don’t have my teacher friends at school right now to pawn them off on.  When it was decided I would be making dessert for our little family get together last week, I figured cupcakes were the best way to go.

I really wanted to make vegan chocolate cupcakes since I have had success with them before but didn’t want to take the extra effort to go by Earth Balance.  As much as I love the vegan “buttery spread”, it is really expensive to use so quickly in baked goods.  So, I decided to experiment a little bit and test out using coconut oil after seeing one of my favorite bloggers test it out in some of her baked goods.

I promise, you cannot taste the coconut in these (believe me, my mom hates coconut and she didn’t say a word about it).  And I know, coconut oil is considered to be a “bad for you” fat.  But really, 3 tablespoons in 12 cupcakes really isn’t all that much.  The little added saturated fat isn’t going to kill you – trust me on this.  Plus, they leave the cupcakes deliciously moist and extra rich.

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VEGAN CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES
Adapted from this recipe.  Makes about 12 cupcakes.

2 tablespoons ground flaxseed + 4 tablespoons water
2/3 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 cups cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons solid coconut oil (you do not want this to be in liquid form)
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup canned coconut milk (or any other non-dairy milk)

Preheat over to 350 degrees.  Line muffin tin with paper or foil liners and set aside.  Mix the flaxseed and water together and set aside.

Combine both flours, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa powder, and salt into a bowl.  Feel free to sift this if you wish – I just always mix it with a fork to get the clumps out.

In a stand mixer (or with a handheld electric mixer), cream together coconut oil and sugar until light and fluffy.  (This looked completely different than when I cream butter + sugar for cookies.  Mine was not creamy at all, but more of a granulated look.  It still worked, just wanted to give you a heads up.)

Stir in the vanilla.  Add the flour in 3 batches, mixing well between each batch and alternating with the coconut milk.  It should look like cake batter when it is complete, duh!

Bake for 15 to 17 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a large cupcake comes out clean.  It took me about 20 minutes until they were totally baked, just FYI.  Let cool in pan.

Of course, I couldn’t just stop there and leave these beautiful cupcakes undressed.  It is the perfect time for strawberries and chocolate covered strawberries are one of my favorite indulgences in life.  I really intended to use the strawberry frosting as a filling AND a frosting, but after reading several people’s unsuccessful attempts at stiff strawberry frosting, I figured I would just use it as a filling and top them with something even richer – white chocolate buttercream frosting.

As much as I would have loved to make vegan buttercream frosting, I decided to just use up the cream cheese and butter I had on hand instead of splurging for the vegan varieties.  However, if you want to make them vegan, just substitute Tofutti Better than Cream Cheese and Earth Balance for the cream cheese and butter, respectively.  It will still turn out rich + delicious!

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STRAWBERRY BUTTERCREAM FILLING
From Melissa at Piece of Cupcake Life.

4 ounces cream cheese, soft
1/4 cup butter, soft + chopped into 1 inch pieces
3/4 cups pureed strawberries
1/4 teaspoons vanilla
3-4 cups powdered sugar

In a stand mixer, beat together cream cheese and butter until mixed thoroughly.  Add in strawberries and vanilla and combine.  Add in 1 cup of powdered sugar at a time, incorporating fully between each batch until you reach your desired consistency.

**Note:  Less is more with the strawberries.  If you want to use this as a frosting, the strawberries will make it very liquid-y.

WHITE CHOCOLATE FROSTING
From Melissa at Piece of Cupcake Life.

4 ounces cream cheese, soft
1/4 cup butter, soft + chopped into 1 inch pieces
1 ounce white chocolate, melted + cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons milk
3-4 cups powdered sugar

In a stand mixer, beat together cream cheese and butter until mixed thoroughly.  Add in white chocolate, milk and vanilla and combine.  Add in 1 cup of powdered sugar at a time, incorporating fully between each batch until you reach your desired consistency.

These got rave reviews from my family.  I thought they were delicious as well, just a little to rich for my ultra-sensitive pregnancy palate (seriously, I used to not have the “rich taste bud”, but now any type of icing/frosting must be followed up by something salty).  One cupcake definitely satisfies your sweet tooth craving, but I promise, you will be going back for another one in a few hours!

  • I’m so glad to know that the strawberry icing worked as a filling and am glad the white chocolate buttercream turned out too! I feel special that you used my recipe! :)

  • I’ll vouch for the cupcakes! They were yummers! Thanks!

  • Mary Kratochvil

    Loved the cupcakes and the ice cream, but I loved even more spending time with all of you.