|Don't mind my sub-par decorations, these cupcakes taste fab!|
I'm not a natural cook like Brad. I like to bake though, as long as it's nothing too crazy. Cupcakes seem like a good option most of the time. I have the very awesome Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World and have loved every recipe I've tried. But there is a new contender for awesome vegan cupcake recipes, and her name is Chloe Coscarelli. Chloe won the Food Network's Cupcake Wars, competing against non-vegan chefs. The recipe she won with, Ginger Nutmeg Spice Cupcakes, is featured in her new cookbook, Chloe's Kitchen, but I chose her Chlostess Creme-Filled Cupcakes as my first recipe to try. I'm so glad I did! Although I didn't get near enough filling into each cupcake (my first try), and my curly-cues are a little wonky, they taste amazing! Let's be honest,... sometimes you can tell a cupcake is vegan. You cannot tell with these cupcakes. They're just plain good.
Here is the recipe as detailed in Chloe's Kitchen:
1-1/2 Cup all-purpose flour
1 Cup sugar
1/3 Cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Cup cold coffee or water
1/2 Cup canola oil
2 Tablespoons white or apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 Cup nonhydrogenated vegetable shortening
3 Cups powered sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 to 5 Tablespoons soy, almond or rice milk
1 Cup semisweet chocolate chips (dairy-free)
1/4 Cup canned coconut milk, mixed well before measuring
2 Tablespoons canola oil
To Make the Chocolate Cupcakes:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two 12-cup cupcake pans with 14 cupcake liners.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together coffee, oil, vinegar, and vanilla. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and whisk until just combined. Do not overmix.
Fill the cupcake liners about 2/3rds full with batter. Bake for 16 to 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean with a few crumbs clinging to it. Cool the cupcakes completely before frosting.
To Make the Creme Frosting:
Using a handheld or stand mixer, beat the shortening until smooth. With the mixer running on low, add powdered sugar, vanilla, and 1 tablespoon nondairy milk at a time, as needed, until frosting reaches a spreadable consistency. You may not need to use all of the nondairy milk. Beat on high for 2 more minutes until light and fluffy.
To Make the Chocolate Ganache:
Melt chocolate chips and coconut milk in a double boiler or microwave. Whisk in oil until smooth.
To Assemble Cupcakes:
Fit a piping bag with a small round or Bismarck tip and fill with the Creme Frosting. Insert the tip into the center of the top of each cupcake and squeeze the bag to fill the cupcake with about 2 to 3 teaspoons frosting. There is no need to scoop out of any of the cake. Spread the top of each cupcake with a thin layer of Chocolate Ganache and pipe a 4-loop design with the Creme Frosting.
Everyone in the family loved these cupcakes, so I declare them a success! We can't wait to try the other recipes in Chloe's book. I highly recommend picking it up.