For my son’s birthday I searched for an awesome chocolate cake/cupcake recipe. The search was a long and hard. I finally found a recipe called The BEST chocolate cake ever…that happens to be VEGAN and decided I would try it. I think these are the best vegan cupcakes I have ever had!
I was a bit nervous before making them because I was having about 15 family members over. All 15 are NOT vegan and are leery of any vegan food. 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 messed 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 usually make these oil free for our family but for people who are already leery of vegan food I needed to stick with what they are used to.
I made some cashew cream and pushed it down a hole I made in the middle of each with a chop stick. I topped each cupcake with an 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, for oil free use all 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.
2-4 Tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (can omit if you don’t have it)
1 pint fresh raspberries, washed
Prepare the cupcakes:
Preheat the oven to 350 degree F. In a large bowl mix together the flour, sugar, coco, baking soda and salt. Add the water, vanilla, vinegar and oil/applesauce blend and mix until it is very creamy without any lumps. Line the cupcake pan with paper liners and fill each one to 1/4 inch below the top.
Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely on a cooling rack for 1-2 hours.
Prepare the cashew cream:
While the cupcakes are cooling prepare the cashew cream so it can chill. Drain and rinse the cashews very well. Pour cashews into to the blender along with the lowest amount of water, desired amount of sweetener, and vanilla extract. Blend on high until smooth and creamy adjusting the sweetener and water as you go to desired taste and thickness. It will thicken a little as it chills.
This may make a little more than you need but you can save it for something like this, or this. Put half of the cashew cream into a piping bag with the narrow round tip. You can also use zip-lock baggie with a small hole that you cut at the time of use. Refrigerate the bag while waiting for the cupcakes to cool off.
Prepare the chocolate glaze:
Once the cupcakes are completely cooled off and the cashew cream is cold you need to make the glaze. In a small sauce pan bring the sugar, Earth Balance, milk and coco powder to a boil, stirring often. Once boiling reduce the heat to summer for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and continue stirring for another 5 minutes. Add the vanilla and stir well.
Putting it all together:
Using the thick side of chop stick, push it 3/4 of the way down the middle of each cupcake. Swirl the chop stick around a bit to really open it up. Remove the chilled cashew cream from the fridge. ,If using a zip-lock filled bag, cut the tiniest hole in the corner of the bag. Fill each cupcake with the cashew cream just to the top.
Spread a little bit of the chocolate glaze on 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!