Wow it’s been a long time since I updated the ‘ole blog. In this time I have managed to complete my nursing degree and become a fully qualified Registered Nurse! So as you can probably gather this takes a bit of energy and time, hence no time to blog. Anyway!
A lovely workmate of mine recently had a birthday, so what better excuse to bake something!! As she is vegan, it inspired me to step out of my usual ingredient list, which was both interesting and exciting. It’s also good to know that since these cupcakes are vegan, this too means they are dairy free, perfect for friends who are lactose-intolerant! 🙂
I don’t live a vegan lifestyle, but is is comforting to know that these are cruelty free. And I am pleasantly surprised that a tofu product could be paired with the words sweets, cupcake, and Oreo! (did you know Oreos are vegan?!) I was very wary of tofu, a bit unsure about it…. but it all worked out okay! Better than okay even!!
My dad (who is definately not very open to vegan food- think 3 meat and veg!!) and brother (who is fussy as anything) thought these were (quote dad) ‘pretty good’, so that is saying something!! To the fussiest of eater, they wouldn’t even know these were vegan/dairy free!
I usually adapt recipes quite a bit to make them my own version, but I was keeping in mind that if i wanted a vegan dessert to work out for me (something of which i was hesitant about) I had to stay a little more true to the tried and tested recipes online.
Credit to the amazing food blog Averie Cooks for the recipe ‘Chocolate Cupcakes with Cookies and Cream Frosting’
*note: I did adapt ever so slightly using elements of the same frosting recipe with another, and normal vinegar in place of apple cider vinegar!
Here they are, chocolately, vanilla tinged, deliciousness.
Cookies and Cream Chocolate Cupcakes (Vegan/Dairy free)
(Adapted from the recipe ‘Chocolate Cupcakes with Cookies and Cream Frosting‘ by Averie Cooks and Tofutti frosting recipe found here (sans peppermint!)
2 cups dairy free milk (I used unsweetened almond milk, for a non-vegan take you can use a dairy milk)
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 1/2 cups caster sugar
2/3 cup canola or vegetable oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups plain flour
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
1/2 teaspoon saltVANILLA ‘FROSTING’ 1 tub of imitation cream cheese (I used Tofutti plain flavoured) 250g (one stick) of vegetable shortening (I used Copha) 4 cups of icing sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 180C, and line two regular muffin trays with muffin cases.
In a medium sized bowl, add the milk and vinegar, stir, and set aside for about 5 minutes to curdle.
In another bowl, place the sugar, oil and vanilla, and whisk until combined (will look grainy but that’s okay!). Add the curdled milk to the this mixture and whisk until combined.
In a third bowl, add the flour, cocoa, bi-carb soda and salt, and combine.
Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. Do not over-mix, stirring just until all large lumps have disappeared. (May appear slightly lumpy still, but again this is okay!).
Pour batter into prepared muffin case to about 3/4-full.
Bake for about 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with small amounts of cake crumb, and spring back to the touch. Turn out cupcakes onto a wire baking rack, leave to cool.
This makes ALOT of frosting. Enough for probably 2 batches I find. However any leftovers (if not eaten by the spoonful) can keep in the fridge in an airtight container for many weeks.
Add vanilla, ‘cream cheese’ and shortening to a large bowl and beat using hand-held beaters or standing mixer with a whisk attachment. Beat until combined. This will look separated/not combining and very worrying (from experience!!) but slowly add the icing sugar until combined and it will begin to resemble frosting. I promise! Beat on low speed until mixed through, then on high for about 5 minutes. Add more icing sugar if slightly soft (it should be quite fluffy though, this is what we want!).
You can buy cake ‘corers’ to create holes in the cupcakes for filling, but I used an apple corer as a make shift alternative for this effect, with success! It’s nice too as it is only a small hole, allowing for a good cupcake:frosting filling ratio.
So, ‘core’ the cupcakes (eat the ‘holes’- yum!), then pipe frosting into the cupcake (using a piping bag, or if like me, a ‘zip lock’ plastic sandwich bag with the corner cut off-haha), then pipe some more icing on top.
Cut oreos into halves and place decoratively on top. And Voila! Yummy vegan friendly, dairy free friendly cupcakes!