Tag Archives: vegan chocolate cupcakes

Almond Joy Cupcakes with Malibu Rum Buttercream Frosting

3 Apr

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Easter candy comes in all shapes, sizes and flavors, and everyone has his or her own favorite. I’m a huge Peeps fan myself, especially after they’re nice and stale. But the flavors I most associate with Easter are chocolate and coconut; chocolate bunnies (gotta eat the ears first) and chicks and eggs…coconut cake and cream eggs and macaroons. In fact, Easter seems to be the unofficial start of coconut season. Let’s face it, it’s not long after the last jelly bean is gone that we’re whipping up that first piña colada of the summer.

Chocolate and coconut are a classic combination, immortalized forever in the PeterPaul Mounds and Almond Joy candy bars. Although I’ve outgrown most popular candy bars as too sweet, I still love these two. Always chock full of scrumptious moist coconut and covered with just the right amount of milk or dark chocolate, one with the crunchy almonds, the other without, they never fail to satisfy the sweet tooth.

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I’ve been pondering for a while now how to transfer this yummy candy combo into a cupcake. Pinterest has a ton of Almond Joy cupcakes, but none that are b.u.i. worthy. So I simply deconstructed the candy bar and created my own cupcake interpretation of the Almond Joy: a rich amaretto chocolate cupcake topped with a coconut rum buttercream, garnished with toasted almonds and coconut. The result is simply amazing. Why not whip up a batch this Easter? They’ll be gone faster than you can say Easter Bunny.

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CHOCOLATE AMARETTO CUPCAKES

Makes one dozen cupcakes

1 cup almond milk

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

3/4 cup sugar

1/3 cup canola oil

1 1/2 teaspoons amaretto

1 cup flour

1/3 cup cocoa powder

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake tin with paper liners.

In large mixing bowl, whisk together almond milk and vinegar and set aside to curdle.

In a separate bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

Add the sugar, oil and Amaretto to the almond milk mixture and beat until foamy.

Add the dry ingredients in 2 batches and beat until no,large lumps remain.

Fill cupcake tins about 3/4 full. Bake 18 – 20 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.

MALIBU RUM BUTTERCREAM FROSTING

This frosting has a secret ingredient – marshmallow Fluff! – that makes it just a tad more like the candy bars.

1 cup butter, at room temperature

1 cup marshmallow Fluff

3 cups powdered sugar

2 tablespoons Malibu coconut rum

pinch salt

1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

1/4 cup sliced almonds

Cream together butter and Fluff until light and creamy. Add in powdered sugar, rum and salt and mix at low speed until combined, and then at high speed until light and fluffy.

Meanwhile, heat almonds and coconut in a small, non-stick frying pan over medium low heat until just lightly toasted. Remove from heat and combine together in a small bowl.

Frost cupcakes as desired, dipping the tops into the coconut almond mixture to garnish.

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Enjoy!

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Chocolate Neapolitan Cupcakes with Chambord Raspberry Buttercream

9 Feb

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St. Valentine’s Day is soon upon us and I can’t believe it’s mid-February already. Super Bowl Sunday has come and gone and Tom Brady still reigns supreme – sorry, Peyton, it’s all in the bling of the rings.

Usually February drags on and on for me….Patriots football is over and Red Sox baseball hasn’t started yet. Sure, there’s the Bruins (No. 1!) and the Celtics (not so much this year), but it’s not quite the same. February is usually spent counting the days ’til pitchers and catchers, then spring training and then jut a few more weeks until Opening Day!!!

This year, we have the Winter Olympics, which helps. And the Westminster dog show, which I always watch, but don’t know why. Without a doubt, it’s always some little micro ball of fur that wins the cup. And every year, my German Shepherd and I just look at each other and shrug, never understanding what the judges see in those little things.

But I do enjoy the Olympics, watching the athletes from all over the world giving it their all and putting out some pretty spectacular performances. And I always get sucked into the back stories and the come-from-behind athlete who wins the gold, despite all odds. It’s kind of corny, but it does inspire.

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It’s this same international competition that was the inspiration for my Valentine’s Day cupcakes this year. Both Paris and Rome are thought to be the most romantic cities on earth.  Why not include some of that “romance” in a cupcake? How about a little French Chambord and Italian Amaretto sharing the love in rich chocolate cupcake, looking oh so chic in a tres Neapolitan design.

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The recipe looks long, but it really isn’t very difficult at all, and everything comes together nicely in the end. After all, baking for that someone special, especially on Valentine’s Day, is always a labor of love. And these cupcakes are so worth it…how do you say, ooh-la-la!!!

Chocolate Amaretto Cupcakes

This cupcake recipe is actually vegan, but don’t let that deter you. These turn out perfectly every time, and they’re not too sweet, a perfect base for the rich filling and frostings.

Makes 12 cupcakes

1 cup almond milk

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

3/4 cup sugar

1/3 cup canola oil

1 1/2 teaspoons amaretto

1 cup flour

1/3 cup cocoa powder

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake tin with paper liners.

In a large bowl, whisk together almond milk and vinegar. Set aside to curdle.

In a separate bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

Add sugar, oil, and amaretto to almond milk mixture and beat until foamy.

Add flour mixture to wet ingredients in 2 batches and beat until no large lumps remain.

Fill cupcake tins 3/4 full. Bake 18-20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Cool in pan for 5 minutes, then remove cupcakes and cool completely before filling and frosting.

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Chambord Raspberry Buttercream Frosting

1/2 cup butter, room temperature

4 cups confectioners sugar

pinch of salt

2 tablespoons Chambord

1-2 tablespoons milk

In bowl of stand mixer, beat butter until soft. Add half of the powdered sugar and mix at low speed until combined. Add remaining sugar, salt, and Chambord. Mix until combined, then beat at high speed 5 – 6 minutes, adding enough milk until desired consistency is reached.  Set aside 1/3 cup of frosting in a small bowl and immediately fill pastry bag with the remaining frosting. Set aside.

Chambord Filling

1/4 cup raspberry preserves

2 teaspoons Chambord

1/3 cup Chambord frosting

In a small bowl, stir together all ingredients until combined. Set aside.

Amaretto Buttercream Frosting

1/2 cup butter, room temperature

4 cups confectioners sugar

2 tablespoons Amaretto

1-2 tablespoons milk

pinch of salt

In bowl of stand mixer, beat butter until soft. Add half of the powdered sugar and mix at low speed until combined. Add remaining sugar, salt, and Amaretto. Mix until combined, then beat at high speed 5 – 6 minutes, adding enough milk until desired consistency is reached.  Fill pastry bag with the remaining.

While the frosting is beating, use a small melon-baller to scoop out center of each cupcake. Fill each hole with about 1 teaspoon of the filling.

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Using the Amaretto frosting, pipe a circle of frosting on the outside edge of each cupcake. Fill in, using the Chambord frosting. Sprinkle with chocolate jimmies.

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Enjoy!

CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES WITH GRAND MARNIER FROSTING

12 Dec

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When I was a little girl, a very practical Santa visited our house every Dec. 24th. (Anyone who has read my Bananas Foster Cupcakes post will not be surprised by this.) Each Christmas morning, we’d rush into the living room, pull down our stockings and dump out the contents to see what wonderments Santa left. Without fail, there’d be the new Christmas toothbrush and toothpaste, the new Christmas comb and brush, and maybe some new Christmas underpants. If we were really good that year, there might even be a coloring book and box of nice, new, sharp Crayola crayons. But no matter what, without fail, Santa always left a nice big orange in the toe of the stocking.

As I grew older and Santa got to know me better, the toiletries and coloring books were replaced by lovely little sparkling items that could easily be slipped over a wrist, onto a finger or around the neck.  And he still left an orange in the toe of the stocking – but now the orange was a decadent treat made of rich dark chocolate infused with orange essence, wrapped in bright orange foil. One rap on the table and the ball broke into perfectly formed little chocolate orange segments – delicious!

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And so the whole chocolate and orange combination is now something I’ve come to associate with the holidays. I’ve put together a yummy little cupcake using my favorite chocolate cupcake recipe (which just happens to be a vegan recipe – but don’t let that throw you, this is one awesome, moist  chocolate cupcake), topped with some Grand Marnier-infused buttercream frosting. It’s a perfect holiday cupcake to take to a family gathering or holiday dessert swap…….just be sure to save one for Santa!

Chocolate Cupcakes (Vegan)

Adapted from recipe found on Chow.com. Makes approx 12 cupcakes

1 cup soy (or almond) milk

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

3/4 sugar

1/3 cup canola oil

1 1/2 teaspoons Grand Marnier

1 cup flour

1/3 cup cocoa powder

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

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Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line muffin tins with cupcake liners.

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Whisk together soy milk and vinegar in a large bowl. Set aside for a few minutes to curdle.

Add sugar, oil, Grand Marnier to the soy milk mixture and beat until foamy.

In a separate bowl, sift together the dry ingredients.

Add in two batches to the wet ingredients and beat until no large lumps remain.

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Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full. Bake 18 – 20 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Transfer to cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.

Grand Marnier Buttercream Frosting

1/2 cup butter, softened

2 – 2 1/2 cups of confectioners sugar

pinch of salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 tablespoons Grand Marnier

freshly grated orange peel

Cream butter.  Add confectioners sugar, salt, vanilla and Grand Marnier. Blend in slowly at first, then beat, adding more sugar or Grand Marnier until desired consistency and flavor is reached.

Frost cooled cupcakes. Sprinkle with grated orange peel.

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