Yes They’re Vegan: Best Ever Chocolate Cupcakes With Fudge Frosting

These are only a slightly altered version of my Very Vanilla Cupcakes, but they are so yummy I really thought they deserved their own post. I’ve mentioned my daughter’s love of chocolate many times before – these cupcakes are almost always the first thing she suggests baking on a rainy day! Like most vegan bakes, this is a really easy wet-to-dry mix that requires no special equipment, although to be fair a mixer does make a better job of whipping up a super-light buttercream frosting than the average wooden spoon (and certainly better than an eight-year-old who doesn’t like getting her hands messy but is fairly nonchalant about sticking her head in a bowl of chocolate buttercream!).

These cupcakes are fluffy, light and moist – ie proper cupcakes – and the slick of creamy, fudgy chocolate frosting is the stuff of dreams, although you could make a vanilla one instead if you prefer a bit of contrast. The quantity below makes enough frosting to offer relatively modest coverage as shown in the main pic above; if you’re planning to pipe big swirls, you’ll need to double up at least. Giant swirls of buttercream lost their appeal for me a few years ago, but I still can’t seem to part with my drawer full of Wilton’s finest mega nozzles. Just in case.

If I had to choose a recipe that Honey would literally fall over herself to make, it would be a tie between these and my chocolate chip cookies. What can I say, she loves chocolate – just like her Mama!

Makes 10-12, depending on cupcake case size. Chocolate cupcakes rise massively; bear this in mind when you’re spooning the batter into the cases – half full is plenty.

You’ll need a large cupcake/muffin tin and paper cases, plus a small palette knife for neat icing.

Wet Mix:

150ml non-dairy milk
2 tsp lemon juice (from a squeezy bottle is fine)
2 tsp natural vanilla extract or paste
60g vegan butter, melted and cooled or 50g oil (sunflower or rapeseed)

Dry Mix:

125g plain flour
25g cocoa powder
150g caster sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda

For the chocolate buttercream frosting:

225g icing sugar, sifted if you can stand it
45ml non-dairy milk
45g vegan butter (foil-wrapped Stork is great)
100g dark chocolate, melted and cooled for a few minutes (I stockpile Lidl’s dark chocolate, 39p for 100g)

Sprinkles: Optional! Check ingredients.

Method:

Step-by-step pics are here in my Very Vanilla Cupcakes post, if you need them!

  • Preheat the oven fully to 180c/350f/gas mark 4 before you start, and line a cupcake tin with cases.
  • Lightly whisk the wet ingredients and dry ingredients in separate jugs or bowls. I use a great little hand-held mini-whisk for almost everything! Pour the wet mix on to the dry and whisk until thoroughly combined. Don’t worry if it’s not completely smooth, just keep going until there aren’t any visible dry bits.
  • Pour the chocolatey batter carefully (or use a teaspoon to measure) into the cupcake cases. Remember half full is plenty – they rise a lot.
  • Bake in the middle of the oven for 23-24 minutes – if they’re done they should spring back when lightly pressed. Don’t be tempted to remove from the oven to soon – damp cupcakes always result in peeling-wrapper syndrome! Equally, don’t over-bake – they’ll dry out very quickly.
  • Transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack as soon as you’re able to handle them and allow to cool completely before icing them.

 

To make the buttercream:
  • Beat together the icing sugar, milk and butter until smooth and creamy, starting on a low speed to (sort of) avoid a poof of sugar dust. Then, increase the speed to high for a good few minutes until you have a smooth and creamy paste.
  • Switch the motor off and pour in the melted chocolate in one go, then very slowly beat again until combined. Increase the speed to high again for a final few minutes and then it’s done. Get icing and try not to eat it all straight from the bowl!

You can keep it in the fridge for days on end, but you want to use it at room temperature, otherwise the chocolate firms up too much and makes it very hard to spread/pipe.

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