MAKE IT CUTE
Homemade creme-filled cupcakes go vegan
1 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1⁄3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1 cup cold coffee or water
1⁄2 cup canola oil
2 tablespoons white or apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup nonhydrogenated vegetable shortening
3 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 to 5 tablespoons soy, almond or rice milk
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (dairy- free)
1⁄4 cup canned coconut milk, mixed well before measuring
2 tablespoons canola oil
To make the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two 12-cup cupcake pan with 14 cupcake liners.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together coffee, oil, vinegar, and vanilla. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and whisk until just combined. Do not overmix.
Fill the cupcake liners about two-thirds full with batter. Bake for 16 to 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean with a few crumbs clinging to it. Cool the cupcakes completely before frosting.
To make the frosting: Using a handheld or stand mixer, beat the shortening until smooth. With the mixer running on low, add powdered sugar, vanilla, and 1 tablespoon nondairy milk at a time, as needed, until frosting reaches a spreadable consistency. You may not need to use all of the nondairy milk. Beat on high for 2 more minutes until light and fluffy.
To make the ganache: Melt chocolate chips and coconut milk in a double boiler or microwave. Whisk in oil until smooth.
To assemble the cupcakes: Fit a piping bag with a small round or Bismarck tip and fill with the frosting. Insert the tip into the center of the top of each cupcake and squeeze the bag to fill the cupcake with about 2 to 3 teaspoons frosting. There is no need to scoop out any of the cake. Spread the top of each cupcake with a thin layer of ganache and pipe a 4-loop design with the frosting.
The cupcakes can be filled with frosting and frozen for up to 1 month. Thaw cupcakes and apply ganache topping and swirl design before serving. Any leftover frosting can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
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