janet @ the taste space

NEWS + Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes with the Best Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

In Desserts, Favourites on June 26, 2016 at 8:42 PM

 Best Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

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.

 Best Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

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.

Best Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting


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 custard:
2 cups non-dairy milk (used unsweetened cashew milk)
1/3 cup bird’s custard powderbird’s custard powder

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.

  1. Congrat! What wonderful news. You deserve lots of cupcakes! Best wishes to you and Rob and baby boy.

  2. Hope your little guy gets home soon. I can only imagine how excited you are to have him home 🙂 Congratulations!!

  3. I’m so glad he’s doing better!!! Hope he can home home soon. These cupcakes would certainly make me feel better… how sweet is your mom?!

  4. Congratulations to you and your family!!!

  5. Congratulations on the arrival of your little boy and best wishes to the three of you in what sounds like challenging times – glad to hear he is doing well, you must be exhausted by the emotional roller coaster and hospital visits. Sounds like you needed cupcakes and how lovely that your mum could share them with you.

  6. Congratulations, and may the cupcakes keep flowing!

  7. Congratulations on the birth of your son, Janet! Sending lots of love and health to your family ❤

  8. Congratulations on your new family member! I hope he can join you at home very soon.

  9. Congratulations on your baby boy!!!! I am so sorry to hear about the complications for you and him but I know he will absolutely bring you infinitely more joy! I have a 5 month old girl and it really truly does just keep getting better and better and better every day!

  10. Congratulations! I think those cupcakes were a wonderful compensation for missing your own baby shower, especially with that beautiful icing. (I know anything made by my Mom just automatically tastes better.) Hope you’re all home together soon.

  11. Congratulations on your new family member!… That frosting looks fantastic! It’s never occurred to me to use Bird’s Custard Powder in frosting (even though I’ve got a can of it in my pantry), something I’ll definitely be giving a try.

  12. Congratulations! The cupcakes look divine and the texture of the vegan icing is really spectacular. Best of luck with the wee one!

  13. Gosh I would love one of these right now. Congratulations! My son’s were both in NICU when born and the staff were outstanding. Now they are both 6 feet tall and eat me out of house and home. Best of luck to you all on your journey!

  14. Best wishes to you all! More cupcakes all round, I would say! I hope your little one is home soon!

  15. Congratulations! So happy for you and Rob and your new, little family =)
    So exciting! I’m sorry it was a little scary, but it sounds like it worked out ok fortunately. Hoping you and baby are safe.
    “Does anyone else find food made by others to taste better??” Uh, yea! I LOVE it when other people make me food. It’s like a super special treat!
    That was so nice of your mom to make them… it’s a bummer you missed your baby shower though. I suppose the upside is getting extra cupcakes haha ;p

  16. You had me at vegan…and chocolate..and cupcakes! Amazing! The cream looks like it piped really well and held. Nice work!

  17. What a wonderful momma! I’m a firm believer in the fact that a well-timed cupcake can make all the difference. Saying a prayer for your little boy and that he’ll be strong enough to be home with you.

  18. Congratulations in turn Janet!! It’s a whole new world, isn’t it? I hope you’re all doing well now. These look like good nursing fuel 😉

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