Make these simple vegan chocolate cupcakes ONCE and they will become your go-to recipe! Intensely rich, moist and decadent topped with whisked vegan chocolate ganache frosting.Note: For best results you need to use the solid cream from a can of full fat coconut milk in your frosting. If you have time store the can overnight in the fridge or for 30 minutes in the freezer so that the cream separates from the liquid.
400g| 14oz can full-fat coconut milk (use the solid coconut cream discarding liquid) or 200g | 7oz coconut cream
60ml| 1/4 cup WARM non dairy milk(optional - use if ganache has set solid)
Make the cupcakes
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Line a muffin tin with 12 cupcake cases or use 6 larger (muffin) cases.
Add the non dairy milk, oil, apple cider vinegar and vanilla paste (or extract) in a large bowl. Use a balloon whisk to combine.
Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder and baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt over the bowl.
Use the balloon whisk to combine until you have a glossy batter and no dry pockets remain. Make sure you scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl as you mix.
Divide the batter among the cases, filling 2/3 of the way.
Bake until well risen - around 16 minutes for small cupcakes or 25 minutes for large ones. A skewer inserted in the centre should come out clean and the cupcakes should feel firm and springy. Cool before frosting.
Open the coconut tin and scoop out the solid coconut cream discarding most of the liquid.
Pour the full-fat coconut cream into a saucepan and heat until small bubbles appear around the edge of the pan. Do not boil! Pour the hot coconut milk over chopped non dairy chocolate and leave to stand for 3-4 minutes.
Use a balloon whisk to gently stir the chocolate and coconut milk, starting from the centre of the bowl and slowly increasing the movement outwards.
Stir in the non-dairy spread and agave syrup if using until combined. Leave the ganache to cool before whipping. If you are in a hurry you can put in the fridge (see tip below).
You will now need to whisk the ganache – if it has set and hardened in the fridge then break it up with a fork. Add a little warm non-dairy milk and start beating using a hand mixer on low speed. Increase the speed, adding more milk if needed, until the frosting is fluffy and holds peaks.
Frosting your cupcakes
Transfer the frosting to a piping bag fitted with a large star tip. Pipe the frosting over the cupcakes in a circular motion. You can use a small amount in a single layer or double up for a big chocolate hit - as I have done in the photos.
Now you can add any decorations – sprinkles, chocolate shavings, fresh berries or even some chocolate sauce! Serve at room temperature.
You can use your favourite non-dairy milk in this recipe. I prefer to use hazelnut or almond.
Make sure your baking soda (bicarbonate of soda) and baking powder are not past their best-by date, especially if you don't bake often.
I usually use vegetable oil in this recipe. Melted coconut oil can also be used.
Use natural cocoa powder, not processed or Dutch cocoa powder. Processed or Dutched cocoa powder is not acidic – you NEED the acid in the cocoa powder to help in the rising of the cupcakes.
The cupcakes can be prepared a day or two in advance and kept covered at room temperature. I usually put them in a cake or cupcake carrier box.
Replace the plain flour with a good gluten-free flour mix to make these cupcakes gluten free. They are naturally egg and dairy free, nut free if you use oat or soy milk.
Stick with full-fat coconut cream (canned coconut milk) - do not substitute with light - else the ganache will be too liquid. You need to scoop out the solid coconut to use in the ganache discarding most of the liquid. The easiest way to do this is to store the can upside down in the fridge or freezer so that the cream separates from the liquid.
To create chocolate curls and shavings, use a potato peeler on a bar of non dairy chocolate.