I haven’t really gotten on board with the cupcake trend that’s been happening these last couple years. I know they’re cute and handheld and all, but so what? I personally prefer a regular cake. I like being able to customize serving size, and visually I just find them more majestic and appealing. That said, a cake is a cake, big or small, so I knew Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World was worth buying. I plan to make the recipes in a variety of forms—sheet cake, layer cake, bundt cake, and yes, the ever-popular cupcake. For this first foray, I stayed true to the book, cake-shape-wise. I did make a few ingredient alterations, though. I replaced some oil with applesauce and some all-purpose flour with whole wheat pastry. I also decreased the amounts of cinnamon and chocolate chips—I wanted the pumpkin flavor to really shine through, and it certainly did.
For the cupcakes:
1 cup canned pumpkin
2T canola oil
2 heaping T unsweetened applesauce
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup soymilk
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
For the glaze:
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
2T Earth Balance, melted
1/2 tsp vanilla
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin tin or a 24-cup mini muffin tin with paper liners and mist lightly with cooking spray. In a medium bowl, combine the pumpkin, oil, applesauce, sugar, soymilk, and vanilla.
Sift in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
Gently mix together with a whisk, fork, or spatula. Once combined, fold in the chocolate chips.
Fill muffin cups 2/3 full.
Bake for 22-24 minutes for regular cupcakes, or 16-18 minutes for minis. When done, let sit in the pan for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Meanwhile, make the glaze. In a small bowl, combine the powdered sugar and cinnamon. Add the margarine, soymilk, and vanilla…
…and whisk until smooth. Add more powdered sugar, a spoonful at a time, if it looks too thin. Keep at room temperature until ready to use.
Let me take a moment to show off my new toy: Dessert Decorator Pro! It’s actually totally unnecessary for these cupcakes, since the topping is a glaze and not an icing per se, but I had to break it out anyway. I’ll be getting a great deal of use out of it in the coming weeks and months.
Once the cupcakes have cooled completely, use a spoon, ziploc bag with the corner snipped, pastry bag, or fancy frosting piper like mine to drizzle on the glaze. Check ’em out—adorable and impressive!
These cupcakes bode very well for the remainder of the book. I’ll admit I was slightly wary of the chocolate-pumpkin combo, which is not my favorite, but it really works here. They’re moist, tender, sweet, dense, and pumpkiny, with just the right amount of chocolate and spice inside and creamy-gooey glaze on top. I chose this recipe because I had all the ingredients already in my pantry, so there’s a good chance you do too! By the way, fair warning—prepare yourself for many more cakes and cupcakes on this blog in the weeks to come.
Yield: 12 regular or 24 mini cupcakes. Per cupcake (regular): 210 calories, 6.8g fat (.5g sat), 37g carbs, 1.8g fiber, 2.4g protein.
Per cupcake (mini): 105 calories, 3.4g fat (trace sat), 18.5g carbs, .9g fiber, 1.2g protein.