Our friend Noah accidentally put his hand through a glass door a few days ago. It was even more awful than it sounds. Like, there were ambulances and emergency surgeries involved. And do you know what his doctor recommended for his recovery? Vegan cupcakes.
OK, his doctor didn’t really recommend that at all. But Jason decided that that’s what he needed. So we made him some Chocolate Mint Cupcakes and some Chocolate Cupcakes with Orange Buttercream. And while I have no evidence that the cupcakes have actually helped his recovery, we’re pretty sure they boosted his morale.
So I thought we should post the recipe for the Chocolate Orange cupcakes here. If you are interested in the Chocolate Mint cupcake recipe, we posted it a few weeks ago, that time with White Chocolate Nautical Shapes on top. That recipe can be found here.
So for the Chocolate Cupcakes with Orange Buttercream, you’re gonna need:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup Dutch process cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup almond milk
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1/3 cup canola oil
3/4 cup white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
So then, you:
1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line your muffin tin with liners that seem to say “get well soon,” or whatever.
2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Sift in the cocoa. Seriously, you guys, sift it. I wouldn’t say that if it wasn’t important. Now whisk this mixture together for about thirty seconds, to make sure it’s evenly mixed.
3. Pour the almond milk into a glass measuring cup and add the vinegar to it. Let this mixture sit a few minutes, until the almond milk looks slightly curdled.
4. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the oil and sugar until very well combined. Add the extracts. Now beat in the curdled almond milk.
5. Slowly pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and beat with a whisk until the batter looks very smooth. Don’t worry about over-mixing; it’s better to beat it until there are no lumps left.
6. Fill your baking cups two-thirds of the way full with batter (usually about a scant quarter cup of batter per cupcake).
7. Bake at 350ºF for twenty minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the biggest cupcake comes out mostly clean. A few moist crumbs on the toothpick are absolutely fine.
For the Orange Buttercream Frosting, you need:
1/4 cup vegan margarine
1/4 cup non-hydrogenated shortening
2 cups vegan powdered sugar
3 tablespoons almond milk
1 teaspoon pure orange extract
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Small drop of orange gel food coloring (optional)
So you’re going to:
1. With a stand mixer or hand mixer, beat the margarine and shortening until thoroughly combined and fluffy.
2. Sift in 1/3 of the total powdered sugar. Add 1/2 tablespoon of milk, and beat until thoroughly combined, scraping down the sides as needed.
3. Repeat this process twice more, until all of the sugar and milk are combined.
4. Add the extracts, and beat for 2-3 minutes until thoroughly combined and fluffy. The longer you beat the frosting at this point, the softer it will become. So, if you really like fluffy frosting, you can beat it for up to six minutes. If you want it to be more structural and able to hold its shape, stop after two minutes.
5. Add a very small amount of orange gel food coloring, and beat just until thoroughly combined. This stuff is potent, so start with too little and allow your frosting to get darker incrementally until the desired color is reached.
6. Add the finished frosting to a piping bag fitted with a jumbo round pastry tip. Hold the tip about 1/4 inch from the surface of the cake, and squeeze. When the icing is covering the cake, release pressure on the bag, then pull up about a quarter inch, and squeeze again. When your icing looks about half as big as the first dollop, release pressure on the bag and then pull up to create a small peak. Let the frosting set for at least ten minutes in the refrigerator before serving, so that it’ll hold its shape.
Do you know someone who’s sick? I mean, come on, it’s March. Of course you know someone who’s sick. So go make them some Chocolate Cupcakes with Orange Buttercream, and watch them get better before your eyes. Or at least watch them be all grateful, which is pretty rewarding, too!
Oh yeah, P.S. It’s totally St. Patrick’s Day. So, um, happy St. Patrick’s Day. We’re honestly not really big on this particular holiday, so we didn’t make anything special for it. I know you were hoping for Vegan Corned Beef and Cabbage Cupcakes. Sorry. Maybe next year!