Vegan cupcakes as pretty as this chocolate banana variety should be enough to entice even the most true blue meat eaters to try them. They’re moist and delicious, with a creamy chocolate frosting that will put a smile onto your face.
Even for the carnivores in the bunch, vegan cooking and baking has taken on a stronger presence in the food blogging community recently. I suspect it’s because the FDA has been doing a less than stellar job of keeping foods safe for human consumption. They don’t seem to give a hoot about the excessive hormones being pumped into Tom the turkey or Christa the chicken, nor do they have concerns about the “pink slime” burgers moving their way onto store shelves and into fast food restaurants, and they definitely don’t give a care as to the fact that some of the larger food manufacturing companies out there who continue to include GMO’s (Genetically Modified Organisms) into so-called healthy foods.
Truth be told, if it weren’t for my ever-present adoration with bacon and eggs, I might seriously consider jumping onto the vegan train for the long haul. There are some incredibly healthy protein options available for vegans, and it seems that every day, another vegan option appears onto store shelves. I never imagined that I would enjoy making and eating vegan dishes like quinoa chickpea patties, but I really do!
OK, so back to this vegan cupcakes recipe. It’s adapted from one that I found in Joy the Baker’s cookbook. The recipe actually calls for the use of avocados, but since I just baked with those last week, when I made Joy’s avocado fries recipe, I thought I would substitute the avocado for an equally awesome fruit that pairs well with chocolate and can be used as a fat replacement. Enter bananas!
I’m not too experienced baking vegan treats, but Joy did a great job in her book of explaining what to expect in the way of texture, taste, and overall appearance. That really helped after I mixed up the batter and saw how loose it was.
Turns out, the lack of eggs and real butter in the recipe prevents the batter from getting exceptionally thick and/or fluffy. Let me tell you, the batter might be thin and lifeless, but the vegan cupcakes were definitely fluffy and fabulous! The end result was a moist cupcake with a consistency very similar to sponge cake. Lots of chocolate flavor with just a slight hint of banana. The vegan buttercream frosting fluffed up nicely too, lending itself to perfect piping consistency.
Have you ever seen such pretty cupcakes? Admittedly, I have, but I’m awfully proud of these vegan cupcakes, and I think you’ll love the recipe, so let’s carry on, shall we?
For decorating, I placed the frosting into a pastry bag that I fitted with a large coupler and a Wilton 1M pastry tip.
To make the rose effect with the frosting, I started in the middle of the cupcake and piped my way around and out to the edge of the cupcake. For a better visual on the procedure, check out this great how-to video that Amanda made. It really helped see just how easy the technique is!
Now that I know how to make them, this is your advance warning that you’re going to see a LOT of roses on my future projects. I can hardly wait to experiment with different colors and create myself a world full of buttercream roses!
As always, if you make these vegan cupcakes, or any of my other recipes for that matter, please leave me a comment to let me know what you think of them.
- 6.5 ounces (1.5 cups) all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup mashed ripe bananas (1 large banana)
- 8 ounces water
- 1 Tablespoon white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
FOR THE FROSTING
- 6 ounces Earth Balance butter (or any vegan butter in sticks), at room temperature
- 2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 to 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 to 2 Tablespoons almond or soy milk
- Place rack in the upper third of the oven, and preheat oven to 350 F. Line 12 cupcake wells with foil or paper liners.
- In a medium bowl, whisk flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside. In a large bowl, whisk sugar, oil, banana, water, vinegar, and vanilla. Add the flour mixture to the avocado mixture and fold with a spatula until well combined. The batter will be so loose that you can pour it into a measuring cup to dispense into the cupcake molds. Fill each cupcake liner until it’s about two-thirds full. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean. Let cakes cool for 10 minutes before moving to a cooling rack.
FOR THE FROSTING
- Place butter in the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat the butter on medium speed until soft and pliable. Stop the mixer, scrape the sides of the bowl, and add the cocoa and sugar. Turn mixer on low to slowly incorporate. Add the vanilla and almond milk. Increase the mixer speed to medium or medium high and beat until frosting is light and fluffy.
Looking for more vegan cupcakes to bake?
Check out my Vegan chocolate raspberry cakes! I made them into miniature cakes, but the recipe works perfectly for making cupcakes, too.