I’m not going to lie, that it feels a little silly to be posting about cupcakes and frosting in lieu of this year’s election. Today I’m sharing my post in order to #bakeamericacakeagain along with Sarah Kieffer from The Vanilla Bean Blog. Head on over to order her cookbook that comes out this week!
What I will say, is that this year – your vote is more important than ever. So if you’re reading this post and it is still November 8th, 2016 and you HAVEN’T voted yet, then you should slam your laptop shut and head over to your voting location ASAP and VOTE.
If you’d like to bury yourself in a bowl of butter cream frosting because you can’t believe that we actually got to this point in terms of presidential candidates, then you’re in luck! These cupcakes are super simple and they pair well with any frosting. PLUS – if you have any leftover caramel from last week’s post, then you can also make this frosting. BAM. If you stress ate it all because you can’t believe that we actually got to this point in terms of presidential candidates (see above), I totally understand. You could easily omit the caramel and leave out a little bit of powdered sugar for a simple vanilla buttercream.
I made these cupcakes for my friend’s birthday this past weekend because I love any excuse to test out weird things in the kitchen. Luckily, I have an awesome friend that humors me when I show up with cupcakes that have “magical bean juice” in them.
That’s right folks, we’re talking about aquafaba.
The magical bean brine that you get from your can of chickpeas that normally goes down the drain without a care in the world. Well hold on to that brine the next time you open up some great northern beans for your veggie chili because IT’S AMAZING.
I will admit I was skeptical at first. My apple cider vinegar was working just fine for me before all this mumbo jumbo about macaroons that weren’t made with egg whites and beautiful vegan meringues. Needless to say, #aquafaba is trending and there is good reason for it.
As I’ve mentioned before, I do eat eggs. So you can imagine that when people ask me why I made something with an egg substitute if I eat eggs, there’s a few “ermms” and “ummms” in my explanation. The best answer I can give you is that while I love eggs, I like to find ways to cook without them if I don’t think the finished product sacrifices on flavor or texture compared to the real thing. For the most part it doesn’t, and there are tons of alternatives out there for egg substitutes. Also – those local farm eggs that I like to eat to try and be more sustainable are expensive and don’t belong in a cake. But in all seriousness, #teamcake.
coconut sugar cupcakes with caramel buttercream frosting
Author: Dana Zychowski
Active Time: Total Time:
1 hour 2 hours
Servings: 13-15 cupcakes
Recipe Type: Dessert, Cake
For the cupcakes:
- 1 cup non dairy milk
- 1 2/3 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup vegan butter
- 4 TBSP aquafaba*
- 1 TBSP vanilla extract
- 1 cup organic coconut sugar
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
For the frosting:
- 1/4 cup vegan butter
- 1/4 cup vegan shortening
- 1/3 cup caramel sauce
- 3 cups organic powdered sugar
- 1 TBSP vanilla extract
For the cupcakes:
- Preheat oven to 350 deg F. Line muffin tin with cupcake liners and set aside. You will need about 13-15 liners depending on how good you are at scooping batter (kidding). Mix flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder in a medium sized bowl and set aside.
- Cream vegan butter using a hand or stand mixer in a large bowl on high for 2-3 minutes until it starts to fluff. Next, add coconut sugar and mix on high for another 3-5 minutes until butter and sugar are creamed. Scrape the bowl down and mix again for a few seconds to ensure butter and sugar are combined. Add aquafaba, vanilla extract, and milk. Mix on medium speed until thoroughly combined. It will be a little “sloshy” inside the bowl so don’t be alarmed.
- With the mixer on low, slowly add the flour mixture to the liquid in 1/4-1/3 cup increments, scraping the sides of the bowl down as necessary. Be careful not to over mix.
- Scoop batter into prepared cupcake liners until the liner is about 2/3-3/4 of the way full. This will ensure your muffin tops won’t rise to high over the sides of the liner and they will be easier to frost. You should end up with about 13-15 cupcakes.
- Bake at 350 deg F for 20-22 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow cupcakes to cool completely before frosting. Store in an airtight container for up to one week.
For the frosting:
- Whip butter and sugar together on high using a stand mixer or hand held mixture for 4-5 minutes until it starts to fluff. Add caramel sauce and mix for another 2-3 minutes.
- Add vanilla extract and powdered sugar. Mix slowly at first to incorporate the sugar. Once the sugar is incorporate, increase speed to high and mix for 7-10 minutes until desired consistency is achieved.
- Decorate cupcakes however you like. You can use a knife to spread a layer of buttercream over the top or pipe it onto the top of the cupcakes. I use a quart sized ziploc bag by filling the bag full and cutting one of the corners off. This allows me to decorate cupcakes for really cheap and without investing in actual cake decorating supplies. Frosting can be stored covered in the fridge for up to three days before frosting or in a plastic bag in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw frosting before decorating either by leaving at room temp or by running under tap water until it’s ready to use.
*I used aquafaba from a can of chickpeas but you could also use the brine from a can of great northern beans. I have not experimented with aquafaba from black beans or kidney beans. You can also make aquafaba by boiling dried beans and reserving the liquid, but I do not have a method for that.