For my son’s birthday I was on the search for anawesome chocolate cake/cupcake recipe and had done a long and hard search. I finally found a recipe on a website called Instructables called The BEST chocolate cake ever…that happens to be VEGAN and decided I would try it. What hooked me was the woman who wrote it talked about never being much of a cake person and I am not either. I figured I would give it a try and hope for the best since I was having about 15 family members come over, all of whom are NOT vegan and are leery of it. I bought a bunch of different yummy vegan ice creams and figured if things went South with the cake we at least had those.
Well, I have to say this cake was pretty darn tasty, that coming from a person who does not care much for cake. As usual I did mess with the recipe a little trying to make it healthier so I halved the oil and subbed in applesauce for that amount but otherwise pretty much left it alone and it was great! I did make some cashew cream and pushed down a hole in the middle of each with a chop stick and filled that hole with the cashew cream and then topped each one with a organic raspberry. YUMMMMMM.
Best Vegan Cupcakes!
1 1/4 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened coco powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup warm water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup oil (I put half oil and half applesauce)
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons Earth Balance
2 Tablespoons milk (I used unsweetened Almond)
2 Tablespoons coco powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup raw cashews (If you do not have a Vita-Mix soak the cashews for at least an hour or better yet overnight then rinse well before blending.)
Water-start with water half way up the nuts, not covering them (amount depends on the thickness you desire-adjust as you go)
2-4 Tablespoons maple syrup (adjust amount to sweetness taste–can use a handful of dates, agave nectar or even sugar if you would rather)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (can omit if you don’t have it)
PREPARE THE CAKE:
Preheat the oven to 350 degree F. In a large bowl mix together the flour, sugar, coco, baking soda and salt well. Add the water, vanilla, vinegar and oil/applesauce blend and mix until it is very creamy without any lumps. Line the cupcake pan with liners and fill each one to 1/4 inch below the top. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean and cool on a cooling rack for 1-2 hours until completely cool to the touch. If filling with the cashew cream push a chop stick about 3/4 the way down the cupcake in the middle, using the thick side and swirling it around a bit to really open it up.
PREPARE THE CASHEW CREAM:
While the cupcakes are cooling make the cashew cream so you can chill it while they cool and it won’t melt inside the cupcake. If you soaked your cashews, drain and rinse very well. Add them to your blender along with the lowest amount of water, desired amount of sweetener, and vanilla extract. Blend on high until smooth and creamy adjusting sweetener to taste and water as you go to desired taste and thickness, should be pretty thick but will thicken a little as it chills.
This may make a little more than you need but you can save it for something else and it freezes well too. Put half of the amount into a piping bag with the narrow round tip or a zip-lock and refrigerate this while waiting for the cupcakes to cool off.
PREPARE THE CHOCOLATE GLAZE:
Once the cupcakes are completely cooled off and the cashew cream is now cold you can make the glaze as the final step. In a small pan bring the sugar, Earth Balance, milk and coco to a boil stirring often. Once boiling reduce the heat to summer for 2 minutes stirring the whole time. Remove from the heat and continue stirring for another 5 minutes then add the vanilla and stir well.
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER:
Pull the chilled cashew cream from the fridge, if in a zip-lock cut the tiniest hole in the bag to use to fill the cup cakes otherwise fill each cupcake with the cashew cream just to the top. Spread a little bit of the chocolate glaze on the top of the entire cupcake. Put a dollop of cashew cream on top of the chocolate glaze and top with a raspberry. (my cashew cream was a little thinner than I would like so it ran down the sides but looks pretty). ENJOY!