Friday, February 18, 2011

The Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes (Dairy-free)

For Valentine's Day this year, I made these cupcakes. Moist chocolate cake topped with chocolate fudge icing. I'm pretty sure they're the best cupcakes I've ever had. The cake is moist and has a delicate texture. The icing is rich but with a hint of tang from the vinegar that gives it that perfect balance. I'm very sad that there's only one cupcake left and it's Jon's. Jon won't be home for hours and hours though.....hmm....

This cake/frosting recipe can also be baked as a sheet cake. I thought cupcakes would be a nice change of pace.
I adapted the original recipe (found here at King Arthur) to be dairy-free and I added an ingredient or two to add more flavor. If you are able to enjoy dairy, feel free to use the original recipe or use butter and milk in place of the Earth Balance and coconut milk. I can't promise the same result but it would probably work just fine.

Dairy-Free Chocolate Cake

1/2 cup Earth Balance (or other non-dairy butter substitute)
1/2 cup oil (I use extra-light olive oil)
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 cup coconut milk (heated in the microwave until hot to the touch)
1 tsp. white vinegar
1 tsp. instant coffee granules
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/4 cups whole grain spelt flour (or use 2 cups of all purpose or whole wheat pastry flour)
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350*. Grease and flour a 9x13 cake pan or line 24 muffin cups with cupcake liners.

Melt the butter substitute in a medium or large microwaveable bowl. Stir in oil, cocoa, hot coconut milk, vinegar, and instant coffee powder. Using a whisk, mix in eggs, vanilla, and sugar until very well combined.

In a separate bowl, stir together flour, salt, and baking soda until well combined.

Stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients until well combined. Pour into 9x13 pan or divide evenly between 24 muffin cups (filled about 3/4th of the way full).

Bake cupcakes for 20 minutes or 9x13 pan for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Let 9x13 cake cool in the pan. Cupcakes can cool in their liners on a cooling rack.

Dairy-Free Fudge Frosting

1/2 cup Earth Balance (non-dairy butter substitute)
1/4 cup cocoa powder
6 Tbsp. coconut milk
1 tsp. vinegar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/8 tsp. salt
4 cups (1 lb.) confectioner's sugar

In a medium sauce pan, melt the Earth balance. Stir in cocoa powder, coconut milk, vinegar, vanilla, and salt until smooth. Bring mixture to the boil, then remove from the heat and mix in the confectioner's sugar, beating until smooth. Pour over cake while the frosting is still warm or frost cupcakes while frosting is still warm.
Yield: enough for one 9x13 cake or 24 cupcakes.

*The frosting will firm up pretty quickly as it cools though it never gets hard.
*If you frost cupcakes, you might notice the frosting starting to firm up in the pan. If you put the pan over a slightly warm burner for just a second and stir, the frosting will loosen up enough for you to continue frosting cupcakes.
*If you add sprinkles to your cupcakes, add them IMMEDIATELY after frosting each cupcake since the top layer of frosting cools quickly and prevents sprinkles from sticking.

This cupcake got dunked in the pink sugar sprinkles.

I topped them a few different ways. I found I preferred the plain ones since the sprinkles were too crunchy.

Evan didn't care how his cupcake was decorated. He ate the frosting first.
I've linked this post up with Simple Lives Thursday.


Deb said...

I can give a testimonial that they were GREAT! Love you, Momma

Run Lori Run said...

I've always wanted to try vegan frosting like this but I don't like coconut. Do you taste the coconut milk?

Becky said...

Thanks, Mom :)

Lori, you won't taste coconut at all in either the frosting or the cake. In a vanilla frosting you might taste it but the chocolate is strong enough to cover any coconut flavor. :)

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