For the Chocolate Cupcakes:
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 cup unsweetened plant-based milk
- 1/2 cup neutral oil (e.g. avocado, canola, etc)
- 2 tbsp white or apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup hot coffee
For the Fluffy Chocolate Ganache Buttercream:
- 200 ml coconut cream*
- 200 g good quality vegan chocolate chips, or chopped chocolate (1 1/2 cups)
- 1/2 cup vegan butter** (baking sticks, not tub style), room temperature
- 11/2–2 cups confectioner’s sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- chocolate shavings, for garnish
For the Cupcakes:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Line a 12-cup and 6-cup muffin tins with paper liners.
- In a large bowl, sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt and baking soda together, whisking to blend.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the plant-based milk, coffee, oil, vinegar and vanilla extract. Add this to the flour mixture and whisk just until combined. Do not overmix.
- Fill the paper liners about 2/3 full with the cupcake batter.
- Bake for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean or with a few cooked crumbs.
- Cool the bases in the tray for 5-10 minutes and then transfer each cupcake to a cooling rack. Let cupcakes cool completely before frosting.
For the Whipped Chocolate Ganache Buttercream:
- Heat the coconut cream in a small saucepan until steaming but not boiling.
- Stir in the chocolate, and whisk until melted and the ganache is smooth and shiny.
- Set aside until it comes to room temperature, about an hour.
- In a large bowl with beaters, or in the bowl of a stand mixer with a balloon whisk attachment, beat the vegan butter. Scrape down the sides occasionally.
- Add in the chocolate ganache and beat for 3-4 minutes.
- Stop the mixer and add 1.5 cups of the confectioner’s sugar, beating for 2-5 minutes, until light and fluffy. Taste and check consistency, adding more confectioner’s sugar if a sweeter and stiffer frosting is desired. Beat for 2-3 minutes after each addition.
- Frost cooled cupcake bases, and garnish with chocolate shavings if desired. Serve immediately. (If your home is hot, keep leftovers refrigerated. Remove from refrigerator to sit at room temperature 10-15 minutes before serving so frosting can soften.)
*If you can’t find cans of coconut cream, you can use cans of coconut milk and simply remove the cream, saving the coconut water for another use. The easiest way to do this is to refrigerate the can for a day, then carefully scoop out the cream. Be sure to check the label—we don’t want any gums or emulsifiers in there which keeps the fat and water together. The ingredient list should be simple: coconut cream, or coconut cream and water.
**Use vegan butter sticks which contain less water than tub-style vegan butters. The frosting can be made with shortening (which is more heat stable) if desired, or even half shortening and half vegan butter sticks, if you’re trying to create a frosting that will hold up in the heat a little better.
Find more of Bronwyn’s recipes on Crumbs & Caramel.