First of all, some news. As you may have noticed, I have not been posting nearly as often this year. At first, this was due to first trimester pregnancy food aversions and fatigue and later on, I had pregnancy complications that kept me on rest in and out of the hospital. A couple weeks ago, Rob and I welcomed our baby boy into the world. He is a small fighter and will be in the hospital for a while, but we are thrilled he is doing so well for now. Between the NICU visits and exclusively pumping for him, life has been filled with fatigue and we know it will only get worse. Please forgive me for my patchy posting schedule.
Because I was in the hospital, my baby shower was cancelled with 2 days notice. My mom, of course, was already ready to party and had these delicious cupcakes prepared for dessert. While I was sad to miss my own baby shower, it meant Rob and I (with some help from my parents and brother) basically ate all the cupcakes. They actually didn’t last that long in our house.
Life has to be pretty good when it is raining delicious vegan cupcakes. To be honest, I could not tell if these were better or worse than my previous “Best Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes“. Since my mom made them, they definitely tasted great. (Does anyone else find food made by others to taste better??). But the icing, the vegan chocolate buttercream frosting was EXCELLENT. One of the best icings I have tasted and definitely the best one to come out of my family’s kitchen.
Just looking at the photos, you will likely figure out:
a. I did not ice the cupcakes. I am just not that artistic. (Thanks Mom!)
b. It even looks as creamy, smooth, and fluffy as it tastes.
c. What you wouldn’t know: these were popped out of the freezer. This icing freezes spectacularly.
My mom used a favourite non-vegan icing recipe as a starting point for this recipe. The custard powder is vegan which made this a lot easier than one might think. I haven’t had much luck with vegan icing being photogenic (maple buttercream icing, mango buttercream frosting, chocolate tofu icing, chocolate avocado frosting) but this was definitely in a league of its own – taste and looks.
Mom’s Best Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
2 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
6 tbsp cocoa powder (sifted)
2 eggs equivalent of vegan egg replacer (Ener-G egg replacer)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp white vinegar
2 cups cold strong coffee (or water)
1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, sifted cocoa powder and the equivalent of 2 vegan eggs replacer. Stir until evenly mixed.
3. In a smaller bowl, combine the oil, vanilla, vinegar and coffee/water. Stir until well mixed.
4. Pour wet ingredients into dry and mix well, but don’t over mix.
5. Pour into muffin tin lined with paper or silicone wrappers. Bake at 350F for approximately 18 mins or until a toothpick tester comes out clean.
Makes about 2 dozen cupcakes.
Fluffy Vegan Buttercream Frosting
For the icing base:
1/2 lb. vegan margarine (used Earth Balance)
1/2 lb. vegetable shortening
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla
approx 1/4 cup sifted cocoa powder
1. Begin by making the vegan custard. Follow the directions on the Bird’s can on how to cook. This can be made on the stove top or in the microwave and it will make a really stiff custard. Cover with cling film and refrigerate until completely cold (at least 2 hours).
2. In a stand mixer, beat the margarine and shortening with the sugar and the vanilla until light and creamy and there are no sugar granules present in the icing. This will require about 5 to 10 minutes of mixing at medium to medium-high speed and scraping of the bowl every couple of minutes. It should be extremely light and fluffy already. Then add the cold custard and beat until well blended. Lastly add the sifted cocoa powder a tablespoon at a time until you get the desired delicate colour and flavour.
3. This icing can be piped immediately or if you find it is a bit too soft, it can be chilled about 15 mins and then piped. This icing freezes well.
This recipe will make a generous amount (enough to generously ice 24 cupcakes or to ice a 10″ 4 layer cake.