Delicious moist vegan chocolate cupcakes with a vegan chocolate frosting that is actually good for you (aka healthy).
Since starting on this dessert blogging journey I have learnt a lot about dietary restrictions that I had no clue excited before. Sure, I knew that a vegan diet/lifestyle means avoiding all animal-related products. Consequently I thought most desserts must be taboo altogether.
Because how on earth could you bake without butter, eggs and milk?
Turns out, you can! And it does not have to taste like cardboard. Claire Gosse wrote a dessert cookbook full of tasty treats that are all vegan. While recipe testing and having others (non-vegans as well) taste test the result she often was told “Are you sure that’s vegan?” (In the end this is what she ended up naming her cookbook )
The same holds true for these amazing chocolate cupcakes from Claire’s cookbook. Although I knew I hadn’t put any animal-product into the batter, I couldn’t tell that they tasted any different. They were deliciously moist, while being fluffy and super chocolate-y!
But I didn’t want to rely on only my own opinion and also had my husband and family try these vegan chocolate cupcakes. Only…I didn’t tell them they were vegan – and sure enough, without knowing, none of them noticed any difference. They were inhaled just like any regular chocolate cake.
Now you might wonder, why would I make vegan cupcakes when no one in my family is vegan?
I don’t know about you but I love to make desserts for other people. And every once in a while I know there will be people with certain dietary restrictions at a gathering. I just love to be able to bring something that they can enjoy as well.
For example, a few years back my little sister had asked me for cupcakes to bring to school for her classmates. She knew that a couple of her classmates were lactose-intolerant. Having tried-and-tested vegan recipes on hand was perfect for this occasion.
“Are You Sure That’s Vegan?” features 55 vegan clones of everyone’s favorite desserts. There are recipes for classic layer cakes, delectable cookies, pies, fudge and even cheesecake!
Instead of a buttercream I chose a healthy frosting from Texanerin to pair these chocolate cupcakes with. The frosting consists of the flesh of 1 avocado, maple syrup, cocoa and espresso powder. That’s it! So simple yet so delicious and even healthy. I assure you, it does not taste like avocado at all.
Another great frosting option would be this easy delicious 2-ingredient chocolate mousse.
Recently, I figured out that many of my cake sinking issues are related to the high altitude we live at now. A few changes like reducing sugar and leavening, increasing liquid and temperature make regular recipes work for high-altitude. I included the alterations I made in brackets () in the recipe below.
Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes with healthy Chocolate Espresso Frosting
For the vegan cupcakes:
- 2 cups all purpose ﬂour
- 1 1/2 cups white sugar (1 1/3 c)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda (1/2 tsp)
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce (heaping 1/2 c)
- 1 cup soy milk or almond milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder
For the healthy frosting:
- 1 avocado
- 6 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons espresso powder
() denote adjustments for high-altitude baking
- Preheat oven to 350 F (370 F for high-altitude baking).
- In a large bowl combine all ingredients. Stir or whisk until there are no more lumps.
- Line a cupcake pan with paper liners and fill each 2/3 full with batter. Bake for 20-25 mins. (17-20 at 370 F) until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
- Let cupcakes cool in pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack until fully cooled.
Healthy Chocolate Espresso Frosting:
Combine all frosting ingredients in a food processor until completely smooth. It might take a while to get all avocado chunks out.
- You can add more maple syrup or espresso powder to adjust sweetness and coffee flavor to taste.
Spread frosting on cooled cupcakes and decorated with sprinkles (optional). I used these edible glitter heart sprinkles.
Note: Do your research on your grocery store brand sugar! I know that the sugar refineries in my area use bone-char (charcoal from animal bones) in the refining process. If I want to make truly vegan desserts I use this organic sugar from Wholesome Sweeteners which is also certified vegan.
Looking for more vegan treats?
My Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp is vegan and uses healthy coconut oil:
Another awesome vegan snack are these Chocolate Dipped Peanut Butter Banana Bites:
If you are into cake decorating this vegan fondant recipe is a great alternative to gelatin fondant:
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