Mels goes vegan baker! Thanks to Sadie for her comment, flavor inspiration, and push into baking, vegan style :) These cupcakes were really fun to make, and I especially enjoyed the frosting/caramel combo with the sea salt! Have fun with these and try out different decorating techniques.
Vegan Chocolate Cupcake:
1/2 c. margarine
3/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. soy yogurt
1/2 c. soy milk
1/3 c. powdered sugar
1 1/4 c. flour
1/2 c. cocoa powder
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line or grease your cupcake tin!
In a large bowl, combine the margarine and sugar until creamy. Mix in the soy yogurt, soy milk, and powdered sugar until combine. Slowly sift in the remaining ingredients (flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt) until all dry ingredients are integrated.
Fill cupcake tins until about 2/3 full.
Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Set aside to cool on a wire rack.
1/2 c. shortening
1/2 c. margarine
2-4 c. powdered sugar
2 tbsp. soy milk
1 tsp. vanilla
Standard frosting procedure: combine shortening and margarine until smooth and creamy. Add powdered sugar slowly until a fluffy consistency and agreeable taste is reached. Add the soy milk and vanilla, beating in with the mixture. Correct the taste and texture accordingly with more powdered sugar, if needed.
I was EXTREMELY happy with the buttercream frosting. It was light, fluffy, and not too sugary. I give the credit to the shortening. Me thinks shortening will make an appearance in my frostings more often now…
Vegan Salted Caramel
2/3 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. soymilk
1/4 c. margarine
1 1/2 tsp. cornstarch
1 tbsp. water
1 tsp vanilla
sea salt (I used pink Himalayan)
In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the brown sugar and soy milk, stirring constantly until the sugar dissolves and the mixture begins to thicken. It took me about 10 minutes
In a separate bowl, mix together the cornstarch and water. Add dissolved cornstarch to the sugar mixture. Stir continuously until the caramel begins to thicken and bubble. Cook for 2 more minutes.
Remove from heat and add the margarine and vanilla, stirring until completely melted and incorporated. Stir in a small pinch of sea alt. Set caramel sauce aside to cool.
Now is where you can have fun. The simple way to decorate these cupcakes would be to pipe on the butter cream and drizzle the caramel on top. I chose to do my best with layering the buttercream and caramel into one piping bag so that I could pipe them out together. My results were not THAT pretty.
No matter how you decorate, be sure to top off your frosting and caramel with a sprinkling of sea salt! And enjoy your baking :)