How many times have we all heard the dreaded comment: “Pretty good for a vegan dessert….”
No, stop right there. Not today.
As my Valentine’s gift to all of you out in blog land, I present with a fluttering heart, my perfect chocolate cupcakes. I know, every recipe out there claims to be the “ultimate” or “best ever,” but stick with me here, try these little cakes and you will never go back to that hodge-podge little brownie you usually end up with when omitting animal products.
Right from the start, you have to know that this batch will be different. After all, just look at those tops – they rise in the oven, such a novel concept! A firm, almost chewy exterior protects a soft, moist cake for the body. Oh, the flavor? A chocolate to suit any tastes – not too overpowering or sweet for the mature palate, but sure to be an instant with kids, no alterations necessary.
I made a double batch of these and gave them out to some test subjects friends yesterday, all of them omnivores… and not one of them had any idea. After everyone was so stuffed that they couldn’t eat other bite, kids we walking out the door with two or three in their hands to horde for later! Needless to say, I returned home with only an empty tray, bearing only the odd fallen sprinkle or two.
1 1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour
1/3 Cup Dutch-Processed Cocoa Powder
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1 Cup Granulated Sugar
1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil
1 Cup Vanilla Soymilk
2 Teaspoons Apple Cider Vinegar
Preheat oven to 375 degrees, and line medium cupcake tins with papers. The papers do tend to adhere themselves a bit to the cake, so you could sprinkle the papers with just a little bit of flour or cocoa powder… but you really don’t have to. They’ll still come out just fine.
Mix all of the dry ingredients a medium size bowl – no electric mixer required. Combine all the wet ingredients in separate bowl – *EXCEPT VINEGAR.* Add your wet ingredients to the bowl of dry ingredients and stir until everything is mixed in, but don’t go crazy trying to beat out every single little lump. Now, add the vinegar quickly and stir in – pour batter into the pans and immediately put them in the oven. Bake for approximately 14 to 18 minutes. Allow them to cool in the pan for just a little bit, and then I placed mine on newspaper as a make-shift cooling rake until I was ready to frost them.
Makes one dozen lovely little snacks.
For the holiday, the obvious choice for this batch was to go the pink route, so I opted for a sugary sweet strawberry frosting, topped off with adorable little pink and white heart sprinkles. I admit, I was in a bit of a time crunch, so I cheated a little and used a store bought vanilla frosting as a base. For those of you planning on recreating these masterpieces at home, be sure to check labels carefully – Not all brands are vegan! For the proper flavoring, I added in about 1/3 cup of pureed frozen strawberries, along with a little less than a teaspoon of strawberry flavoring for an extra kick. No artificial coloring required, this is exactly what I ended up with.
…Now, who says vegan baked goods can’t compare?