- Tereza Novakova
Decadent Chocolate Cupcakes
Cupcakes have always been a desert to let the imagination flow for me. With the ingredients, with the colors, with the decorations... and it's a cute little nice thing that you can give to people around you. I used to bake them for my team back in times when I was still using animal products, I would leave them on people's desks just to make their day. Since going vegan, cupcakes were the ones on top of my list to veganize and I decided to take it easy and go first for these beautiful, decadent and rich in flavor chocolate cupcakes.
When I got a bit more into baking, Cupcake Jemma was my muse. I would watch all her recipes and there was one in particular that I really loved. I decided to take it and make a little vegan twist on it. Not that much changed in the recipe, to be quite honest - I adjusted the measurements, replaced eggs and dairy, but the idea remained the same.
Buttercream, on the other hand, seemed to be a bigger challenge for me. I never quite liked the "traditional buttercream" so I would use a much lighter mascarpone version. Both versions, however, were now out of question for me, of course. To my surprise, I noticed that Jemma has a vegan recipe on her channel too. Yes, I shamelessly stole it.
Now, as it comes to the buttercream, I have to say that I will still be searching for a better option. It keeps the shape pretty nice, it's not too sweet but bit more sensitive taste buds will sense that the shortening leaves a funny aftertaste - a bit like if you put a tiny bit of a lip balm in there. I have done my research and also asked other vegans. So far, I haven't come across a better recipe (when I do, you will be the first to know, promise!) BUT (!) I have been told that if you work the buttercream twice in your robot (putting it in the fridge in the meantime), the extra work will help with the funny taste.
Let me know if you have your own tips and tricks and don't hesitate to share this recipe with your friends!
You will need:
360 g plain flour
360 g caster sugar
60g cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup cold coffee
3/4 cup plant-based yoghurt (I used coconut yoghurt)
1/4 cup plant-based milk (I went for soy milk)
225ml vegetable oil
Egg substitute replacing 3 eggs
165g vegan spread/marge
165g vegetable shortening (room temp)
660g icing sugar sifted
1/2 tps vanilla
3-4 tbsp vegan milk alternative
170g dark choc, melted and cooled
Vegetable shortening can easily be found in any market. I got mine at Bulk Barn. It is for sure that shortening isn't the healthies thing to bake with but hopefully you don't eat cupcakes every day, right? :)
Preheat your oven to 320F.
Mix all your wet ingredients (including the pre-prepped egg substitute). Sift your dry ingredients together in a separate bowl. Incorporate your dry ingredients into your wet ingredients. I have let my Kitchen aid do the job for around 5 minutes. Beware, the coffee and cocoa smell will be irresistible!
Pour the mix into the prepared cupcake parchment paper cups in your baking tray, fill them to around three quarters. Put the tray in the over and bake for 25 mins. Let your cupcakes cool before decorating them with vegan buttercream.
For the buttercream, beat your margarine and shortening for about 7 minutes, incorporate in the sifted icing sugar in 2-3 goes. Once all in, let your robot run for another 2-3 mins. Add vanilla extract and vegan milk, let run for one more minute. Finally, add the cooled down melted chocolate and mix it all well. Your buttercream is ready for the piping, let your imagination and creativity go loose while decorating!