Chocolate Vegan Cupcakes

Appreciate what you got, before it's gone. Mother's day was this past weekend and though it's a Hallmark holiday- it's important to acknowledge your roots and pay respect where it's due.

Know your roots. But don't be rooted in them. You are your own person.

My mother plays a key role in this never-ending development. Obrigada por todo minha mãe. Te amo muito.

To celebrate, the brother and I made brunch at her house. I didn't make anything new- poached eggs (which apparently she doesn't like), drunken french toast, salad, and mimosas. Joey made some yummy home fries and adorable mini flans.

For dessert... Chocolate Vegan Cupcakes with Buttercream frosting. This was my first step into the land of VEGAN- zero animal products. I learned two things from this experience:
  1. Vegan cupcakes are DELICIOUS
  2. Just because it's Vegan... doesn't mean it's any healthier
These cupcakes are rich and delicious. The chocolate is bold and dark! It's kind of like Black Bottom cupcakes. When they come out of the oven, they're a lil crispy on top. Don't worry- that will calm down once they've cooled. This cupcake has a slight crumble but that certainly doesn't mean it's dry! This cake is soft and delectable. LOVES!

To add dimension, sprinkle in some semi-sweet chocolate chips and dried tart cherries. Tart cherries and dark chocolate are made for one another! Don't go crazy though on the cherries- just a few make a statement! Their flavor is vibrant.

Also... when making a Vegan cupcake... splurge on the cocoa powder. If you have the means, get something a little better than the generic brand. The cocoa really stands out in this recipe.

Love goes out to a girlfriend of mine. Her mother passed from cancer the day before Mother's day. I never met the woman, but from what I have experienced of her daughter, she must have been a pistol. My heart goes out to her and the family. Keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

Chocolate Vegan Cupcakes
adapted from allrecipes.com

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup turminado sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
1/2 cup coffee
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
some bittersweet chocolate chips (optional)
chopped dried tart cherries (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line 12 cupcake tins.

Sift together the flour, sugars, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Add the oil, coffee, coconut milk, vanilla, vinegar and water. Add optional chips and cherries. Mix together until smooth.

Pour into lined pans and bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 10-15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Butter Cream Frosting
by I am Baker

1/2 cup vegetable shortening
2 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
dash of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 fluid ounces heavy cream (or 1 fluid ounce regular milk if you're in a pinch)-- Go Vegan and use Soy Milk!

In a large bowl, cream shortening with mixer until fluffy. Add confectioners sugar until well blended. If the frosting gets to thick at any time you can add some heavy cream/milk.

Add salt, vanilla, and heavy cream and blend until combined, then blend on high until frosting is light and fluffy.