Oh hai! Vegan Chocolate Cupakes with Vegan Peanut Buttercream

EDIT: Apparently this is my 100th post on WordPress!! I will have to have a celebratory post in the near future!!!

I cannot believe this is the first time I’ve posted in almost a year! I haven’t even posted once since I moved to Boston (which I’m in love with by the way). I’ve been French-teaching and French-learning my little heart out and have found another passion in the world. *passion overload* At the moment I’m between semesters, looking for a part time job, prepping some operatic scenes for the New England Conservatory Opera Summer Program, and feeling pretty directionless. It’s not that I haven’t been cooking or baking – I have! In fact I may do some retro-posts of things I made this year that I fell in love with. Recently, with my directionless, open time, I’ve been watching a ton of Sweet Genius and Cupcake Wars. Because my budget’s tight and I’m still working on losing weight, I decided I would make my own cupcakes to save money and make them vegan to save myself. These turned out DELICIOUS!! They’re air light and the buttercream is airy but packs a peanut butter-y punch. The recipe is based on the amazing Isa Chandra and Terry Hope’s recipes in Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World.

Also, I’m very sad to report that my beautiful digitial SLR died recently after I flipped my kayak and realized the camera had been in the bottom. It was miraculously saved from the bottom of the lake the next day by a local scuba diver but did not survive…luckily the photos on the memory card did, but I won’t have great photos for a while. Sorry!

Read on for the recipe…

The Cupcake (makes 12 – I cut it down to 6 and gave some away to my friend who was stressed out and moving away)

1 cup almond milk (or soy milk)

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup canola oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp almond extract or more vanilla extract  *Note: Since I used almond milk I wish I had used vanilla extract. The almond extract makes the chocolate cake taste a little too marzipan-y for me – I know my friend Leighdles would have loved it!)

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/3 cup cocoa powder

3/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350F and line muffin pan with foils or papers.
  • Whisk together the almond milk and vinegar in a large bowl and set aside to curdle.
  • Add sugar, oil, and extract(s) to the milk mixture and whisk until foamy.
  • In a separate bowl, sift together dry ingredients (flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.)
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet in two batches and whisk until no lumps remain. Make sure you get lots of air in there!
  • Fill your liners 2/3 – 3/4 of the way (I use a 1/4 cup measure and it’s usually the perfect amount). These don’t rise too much so you won’t get a puffy muffin top (which could be a good or bad thing depending on your style. I’m thinking of Jenna Maroney’s “Muffin Top” – gotta love 30 Rock  references!)
  • Bake 18 – 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Transfer immediately to a cooling rack and let cool completely before frosting.

Peanut (Butter) Buttercream (frosts 12)

1/4 cup margarine, softened

3 tbsp shortening

1/3 cup creamy peanut butter (NEW OBSESSION: Smucker’s Natural Creamy Peanut Butter with Honey – I eat it on everything and this was PERFECT for this recipe. IF you do not have this peanut butter, you will need to add 1 tbsp honey, molasses, or barley malt syrup to the batter)

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted

1 to 2 tbsp almond milk (or soy or rice…)

Directions

  • Cream together margarine and shortening with a mixer until smooth.
  • Add peanut butter (and other sweetener if necessary) and vanilla and beat until very smooth (2 – 3 minutes). It will get very light and fluffy.
  • Beat in the sugar (slowly now, it’s confectioners’ sugar and it will poof). The icing will be pretty stiff – not to worry!
  • Add almond milk a teaspoon or so at a time, beating until light and fluffy. I literally only needed 2 tsps for the batch of 6 to make it the right piping consistency.
  • Frost and enjoy!

 

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