Friday, March 11, 2011

Cupcakes (slightly healthy?)

This year I have found I enjoyed cooking, but I've always enjoyed baking. I'm always looking for ways to make yummy desserts for my friends on restricted diets. Cakeballs have been successful, and for two separate occasions over the last two weeks I made chocolate cupcakes that were vegan AND very tasty if I can say so myself.

I got the recipe from Food Network; these won a Cupcake Wars show. The recipe comes from Chef Chloe. I made a few adjustments based on some of my preferences and what I could actually find at the store. I also only made half the recipe, this made 8 regular size cupcakes or 24 mini cupcakes. Half the recipe of icing was enough for both batches.

Chocolate Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup coconut milk (I used almond milk because I didn't want any coconut flavor in them.)
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder (left this out because I couldn't find it)
  • Frosting, recipe below
  • 1 ½ cups hulled and sliced fresh strawberries
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a 12-cup cupcake pan with paper liners.
Sift or whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt into a bowl. In a separate bowl, mix the coconut milk, oil, vinegar, vanilla, and espresso powder until smooth.
Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and mix with a fork or small whisk.
Divide the batter evenly among the prepared cupcake liners until each cup is 2/3 full. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
Once the cupcakes are completely cooled, slice off the top 1/3 of each cupcake and slather with frosting and sliced strawberries. Place the top of the cupcake back on top and add an additional bit of frosting and sliced strawberries. Dust with confectioners’ sugar.
  • 4 cups confectioners' sugar, preferably organic
  • 1/2 cup non-hydrogenated shortening (refined coconut oil at room temperature OR vegan margarine will also work)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup water
Combine the confectioners' sugar, coconut oil, and vanilla extract in the bowl of a stand mixer.
Beat on medium-high speed until combined. With the mixer running, add 1 tablespoon of water at a time, until the desired buttercream consistency. NOTE: You probably will not use all the water. Simply add as needed while beating.

Obviously this recipe could be turned into a non-vegan version by using actual milk and real butter in the icing. But doesn't it sound healthier to say it is vegan?

I will also say I've been eating some homemade granola with the almond milk, and I am actually a fan.


  1. Granola with soy or almond milk (vanilla-flavored especially) is my absolute favorite food!