After posting this tasty little picture on my Facebook Page, (yes, Mel’s Healthy Kitchen does have a Facebook page. If you haven’t “liked” it yet, what are you waiting for?!) I got so many requests to post the recipe, that I decided to do it right away.
This recipe is adapted from one found in a great vegan cookbook by Jennifer McCann called The Vegan Lunch Box. It has given me tons of inspiration in my own dishes too.
Here’s a handy tip I got from a friend who also happens to be another vegan mom:
TIP: When you make your cupcakes, freeze some (unfrosted) to keep on hand for those last-minute times when you want a healthier alternative for your child when treats are being offered either at school or a party. Just pull them out of the freezer, frost with icing, and they will be thawed by the time they eat them. Thanks, Leilani! 🙂
Chocolate Birthday Cupcakes (adapted from The Vegan Lunch Box)
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 cups water
1 cup sweetener (i.e.: coconut sugar, date sugar, evaporated cane juice)
1 cup sucanat or light brown sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup canola oil (can substitute some or all of the oil with substitutes like applesauce or flaxseed meal. For more info, check out the following blog post on oil substitutes: https://melshealthykitchen.com/2010/08/16/other-low-calorie-baking-substitutes-besides-applesauce/
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 24 muffin cups with cupcake liners. You may wish to give them a quick spritz of cooking spray, if you’re concerned about them sticking to the paper.
- Using a wire whisk, sift the dry ingredients (flours, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt) in a large bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and mix either with a stand mixer or hand-held mixer until batter is smooth (no lumps).
- Pour about 1/4 cup of batter into each liner. There should be just enough batter for 24 cupcakes.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes. Be sure to check them after about 15 minutes and rotate the pans for even baking.
- When a toothpick can be inserted into the middle of a cupcake and comes out clean, they are done. Remove from oven and cool in the pan for 10 minutes.
- Transfer cupcakes to a wire rack to finish cooling
- Resist the temptation to frost the cupcakes before they are COMPLETELY COOL. Otherwise your frosting may slide and get melty. Yuck!
Chocolate Buttercream Frosting (adapted from The Vegan Lunch Box)
This recipe yields enough frosting for 12 cupcakes, since I usually try to freeze the other 12. If you are planning to decorate all 24 at once, then just double the recipe.
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
3 Tablespoons non-hydrogenated margarine (like Earth Balance), cut into small chunks.
2 Tablespoons rice milk (soy or almond milk would also work)
3/4 teaspoon vanilla
Combine all ingredients in a small or medium-size bowl and mix well either with a hand-held mixer or a wire whisk and a strong arm, and beat until the frosting is smooth. If it is a little too thick, then just add a touch more rice milk.
TIP: If you want to avoid the mess of frosting with a knife, try this little trick that I used. It avoids a lot of mess and makes your cupcakes look more professional:
Use a rubber spatula to transfer the frosting into a pastry bag or gallon-size plastic bag. If using a plastic bag, snip off one of the bottom corners so that you are left with and opening that is about 1/2 inch wide. Squeezing from the top, push the frosting through the opening, and make a spiral motion working from the outer edge, toward the center of the cupcake. Top with your favorite sprinkles!