Vegan Oreo Cupcakes

I checked this awesome little cookbook out from the library about a week ago…

and this past weekend I made the “cookies ‘n cream” variation of both the classic chocolate cupcake and the fluffy vegan buttercream frosting.  I’ve tried to make vegan buttercream before and it just came out runny and thin.  This frosting is thick and fluffy, allowing you to pile it up high.

These cupcakes were AH-MAzing!   I think they were probably the best cupcakes I’ve ever had and my friend Jeanna, who doesn’t like cake, had three!  So there’s your proof people.  Go make these cupcakes NOW!  They’re healthy because they’re vegan! ::wink::

Fluffy Vegan Buttercream Frosting
(makes 4 cups)

1/2 cup nonhydrogenated shortening (Earth Balance brand)
1/2 cup nonhydrogenated margarine (Earth Balance brand)
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted if clumpy
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup plain soy milk or soy creamer (I used almond milk)

Beat the margarine and shortening together until combined and fluffy (They need to be somewhat at room temp for this to work – DON’T use a microwave to do this.  If you want to speed up the process, slice the margarine and shortening into tablespoon-sized pieces and let them sit in a bowl on top of the oven while it pre-heats for the cupcakes.)

Add the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, and beat for about 3 minutes until combined.  Then add the milk and vanilla and beat for 5 minutes until fluffy.  To make the cookies ‘n cream version, stir 1/2 cup very finely chopped (we’re talking crumbs) Oreos into the frosting.  Wait until your cupcakes are completely cool before frosting them.

I used a pastry bag just like those legit people on Cupcake Wars!

Basic Chocolate Cupcake
(makes 1 dozen)

1 cup soy milk
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract, chocolate extract, or more vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder, Dutch-processed or regular
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350°F and line a muffin pan with paper liners.

Whisk together the soy milk and vinegar in a large bowl, and set aside for a few minutes to curdle. Add the sugar, oil, and extracts to the soy milk mixture and beat with an electric mixer until foamy. In a separate bowl, sift together the dry ingredients. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, half at a time, using with an electric mixer to work out the large lumps (a few small ones are okay).  For the cookies ‘n cream variation, add 1 cup coarsely chopped Oreos to the batter.

Fill the cupcake liners 3/4 full with batter and bake 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely before frosting.

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