Cookies and Cream Chocolate Cupcakes (Vegan/Dairy free)

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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!)

CUPCAKES

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 salt

 
VANILLA  ‘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

Cupcakes

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.

Frosting

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!

Eat, share and enjoy,
Kirra xo

Banana Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Lemon Icing

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I decided I would make a cake today. I came home from a lovely time away for the night with friends and I was in a good mood. Some of our bananas were brown and ripe, perfect for banana cake, and we also had leftover cream cheese that needed using, so voila! lemon icing it was! Haven’t done cream cheese icing for so long, so it was a nice change from the usual chocolate (which is also delicious!). Plus I had new muffin cases I had in the pantry, waiting to be used (yay!!)  🙂

Here’s how to make them…

BANANA CAKE MIX (a homemade recipe)

2 cups self-raising flour
3/4 cup butter
3/4 dark brown sugar
3 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla (I used paste, mmmm)
2 large bananas (or 3 small)
1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
Preheat oven to 180C (not on fan bake if you can, they may rise lop-sided)
Cream the butter and sugar in a mixer on high speed until pale. Mash bananas in a small bowl, then add to butter mixture, along with eggs, beat until a combined (may look separated this is okay!)
Sift flour and baking soda together and add to the batter mixture, mixing with beaters until well combined and a smooth batter forms.
Fill cupcake cases approx. two-thirds full with batter, and bake for about 20-25 mins or until golden and springy to the touch.
Allow to cool and ice with chocolate or cream cheese icing.
Makes approx 20 cupcakes.

CREAM CHEESE ICING (adapted from Curtis Stone’s carrot cake with cream cheese frosting)

1 pkt cream cheese, slightly soft
50g butter, slightly soft
1 1/2 cups icing sugar
Lemon juice and zest, to taste (only need 1 lemon really for this, just for flavour)
In an electric mixer, beat butter and cream cheese until well combined. Add in lemon juice and icing sugar, grate the lemon zest using a plane or fine grate on your cheese grater.
Beat again until nice and thick and easy to spread.
You may want/need to add extra icing sugar/lemon to get it to your liking, but pretty simple really.
I used a piping bag to pipe my icing on, or you could easily spread it on with a knife. Extra zest on top would also look pretty.. I forgot haha, 🙂
Eat, share and enjoy,
Kirra xo