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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Vegan Chocolate Avocado Cupcakes with Not-So Vegan Chocolate Buttercream

Wow, Long title hey?

I have a serious love for cupcakes.  Last year I went on a huge baking spree and made/consumed more cupcakes than I care to admit.  I haven’t made any this year, so I thought I would ease myself into it.  I recently bought Joy the Baker’s cookbook, and I LOVE it.  I’ve read it over and over, even slept with it after a nightshift (yes, I’m not ashamed to admit that I did) and as a result, I’ve had a hard time choosing what I should make first.  Everything looks so good, but this recipe really caught my eye. I went and read it over numerous times-I was intrigued.  I’ve never used avocado in baking before, much less to use it as a butter substitute.  I was nervous to try it out, but Joy knows her stuff, so I put all my faith in her.

I stayed close to the recipe, with the exception of not using vegan butter sticks (I could not find any!).  Thus, the frosting is not vegan.  Which is okay with me, I’m not vegan.  I used unsalted butter instead, with extremely satisfying results.  I gave these cupcakes to some friends, who were surprised that it had avocado in it.  The cupcakes were moist; they had little specs of green and soo delicious. Gavin wants me to make them again, and soon.  I’m definitely going to try more recipes from Joy-she’s an amazing baker and a huge inspiration for me.  d                       d                                                                                                                                    

                                                                     Vegan Chocolate Avocado Cupcake with Not-So Vegan Chocolate Buttercream
(Makes 12-14 cupcakes)

 1½ cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
¼ cup mashed ripe avocado (approximately 1 medium avocado)
1 cup water
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the Not-So Vegan Chocolate Buttercream
¾ cup (1 ½ stick) butter (if you want vegan use same amount at room temperature)
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2-2½ cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 or 2 tablespoons soy milk (I used 2%)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, placing the rack on the upper third of the oven. Line a cupcake pan with liners.

In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, and baking soda until well combined. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the sugar, oil, avocado, water, vinegar and vanilla. Whisk well. Using a spatula, add the flour mixture and fold until well incorporated.

Spoon into cupcake liners until two-thirds full. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cupcake comes out clean. Cool for about 10-15 minutes, then transfer to a wire wrack. Cool completely.

For the Not-So Vegan Chocolate Buttercream
Place the butter in a large bowl, and beat until soft and pliable (alternatively, you may use your stand mixture with a paddle attachment on medium speed-I prefer to use elbow grease!). Add in the cocoa powder, sugar, vanilla and milk, and mix until the frosting is soft and fluffy (mixer instructions: add cocoa powder and sugar, mix on low speed, then add the vanilla and milk, then increase speed to medium to medium-high)

Decorate by spooning the frosting on top and spreading carefully with a butter knife.  Cupcakes can be refrigerated for up to 4 days in an air-tight container.

Source: Joy the Baker

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