Samoa Cupcakes

I told you before about the whole cupcake-lady-at-church-thing. When the annual Chili Cook-off & Homebrew Competition rolled around, of course I volunteered to bring in some vegan cupcakes for the cupcake bar. I mean — pssssssh. Duh.

A friend shared this recipe for Samoa cupcakes with me. He begged me to make them for him. I should point out that he lives in St. Louis. That’s a bit of a trek from the East coast. In lieu of cupcake delivery, I promised him some Facebook foodp*rn.

Rather than shelling out $$ to buy some vegan caramels, I made my own for the topping. Caramels + shipping >> cost of making my own. By a factor of 5+. Do the math. I’m cheap.

Anywho, these cupcakes are just a simple chocolate batter with a delicious top.

Chocolate Cupcake Batter

  • 1 C full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4C sugar
  • 1/3C canola oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract (or coconut extract, if you wanna get fancy!)
  • 1C AP flour
  • 1/3C extra-dark cocoa
  • 1 tsp instant espresso powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 350F and line a 12-ct cupcake tin. Whisk together milk and vinegar and set aside. In a large bowl, beat sugar, oil, and vanilla until combined. Add the milk mixture and beat until foamy.

Sift together flour, cocoa, espresso powder, baking powder and soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet in two batches, beating so no large lumps remain. Fill liners 2/3 full. Bake 18-22 minutes.

Samoa Topping

  • 1/2 recipe coco-caramels (8-10 oz)
  • 3 C shredded coconut (I used sweetened, but use unsweetened if you prefer), toasted
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 2-3 T coconut milk

Break up the caramel and place in a large microwave-safe bowl with coconut milk and salt. Cook on high for 3-4 minutes, stopping to stir every minute or so to help the caramel melt. When smooth, fold in toasted coconut with a spatula. Allow to cool slightly before spreading on cupcakes. If the mixture begins to firm up too much, microwave it for about 30 seconds to soften it enough for spreading. I used about 2T topping per cupcake, spreading it on with a small spreader.

Chocolate Drizzle

Place the chips in a piping bag or Ziploc bag. If in a piping bag, stand it up in a large microwave-safe drinking glass. If a Ziploc, make sure it’s sealed. Microwave on medium power for 30 seconds at a time, squeezing the chocolate between each zap. Once melted, snip the end of the pastry bag or the corner of the Ziploc and drizzle over your cupcakes.

Voila! Beautiful, delicious perfection.

samoaCupcakes

 

Troublemakers…

Carol is causing trouble again over at Coffee, Clutter and Chaos, making my sweet treats healthier (and not quite vegan — but I’ll let it slide).  She converted my Chocolate Death Puddingcake into a diabetic and Weight-Watcher friendly recipe. Use coconut oil or vegan margarine such as Earth Balance (did you know they have a soy-free option??) in place of butter and rice milk instead of 1% cow’s milk, and the points and conversions should be similar.

I’m sorry I have nothing new to give you guys this week, since our household has been suffering from some sort of Yuck. I hope to be back in the kitchen cooking up evil by early next week at the latest! Thanks for being patient.

If you have any recipe requests… types of food you like, maybe for some more sweets or savories, leave it in the comments below. I’m always up for a challenge!

V.V.

Chocolate Death Puddingcake

This is going to be short because, honestly, I need to get back to eating this thing.

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Despite the five-star reviews promising an easy recipe for a chocolate explosion and orgasmic bliss (okay, I might be exaggerating a little, but they should have warned me), this recipe bit my Skeptical Node and wouldn’t let go. I had to try it.

From the super-thick batter to the dirt storm it gets topped with, I was shaking my head. Then, with the addition of hot water forming a giant $***-puddle on top, I started muttering under my breath to all the baking gods. I wanted chocolate. What can I say? I got it. Probably more chocolate than my body has room for.

Preheat oven to 350F.

  • 3/4 C sugar
  • 1 C AP flour
  • 3 T cocoa
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 C coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 C soy milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • Mix sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Add oil, milk, and vanilla, and stir until combined. Spread batter evenly in the bottom of an 8×8 pan.

    In a small bowl, combine:

  • 1/2 C sugar
  • 1/2 C packed light brown sugar
  • 4 T cocoa
  • Sprinkle evenly over top of batter. Don’t stir.

  • 1 1/4 C hot weak coffee (or water)
  • Pour over batter and sugar mixture. Don’t stir. Bake 40 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit 10 minutes, until center is set.

    NOTE: This cake doesn’t rise, but it does bubble. Make sure you bake it in a dish with at least a 2-inch depth.

    Cut a piece of the cake, and place upside-down on your plate or in a bowl, and spoon some sauce from the bottom of the pan over it.

    Try not to eat this all at once, eh? It makes a great “emergency” Valentine’s dessert 😉

    Peanut Butter Belly-Bombs

    I have a little bit of a reputation in our church as The Cupcake Lady. At least, it often seems that way to me. I get inquiries about “Those cupcakes you were going to bring to {event} that ending up getting canceled due to {weather event}?” Yeah. Not kidding.

    There are a few big events of the “church year”, the first of which is “Homecoming”. It essentially coincides with the beginning of the region’s school year, so our various and sundry members are usually back from their summer travels and ready to catch up with everyone else. The kids go and bomb each other with water balloons outside while the adults sit through service, and then everyone eats and plays games. This year, those games included a cupcake walk. And these peanut-butter cupcakes were gone lickity-split.

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    Have you ever seen an un-photogenic cupcake? Me neither. And when you walk in with a tray of these babies, you’ll be hailed as the Cupcake God and all shall bow down and worship you.

    Okay, maybe not quite that drastic. But you’ll get some gushing compliments and maybe some fangirl squeals. It’s funny to watch faces if they don’t realize there’s a giant cookie hiding in waiting, ready to explode in their mouths.

    In all seriousness, though:

    These require a little assembly, but they’re WORTH IT. I usually measure out the dry ingredients (flour, cocoa, baking soda and powder, salt, and espresso powder) for the cupcakes in a quart-sized jar for easy sifting. And that way, I have sort of an “instant” cupcake mix.

    You’ll have a little leftover batter and leftover cookie dough. I usually just press some cookie dough into the bottom of a 4″ springform and let it bake for 10 minutes, then add the leftover cupcake batter to the top and bake until that is set. You can frost it with any leftover icing for an inside-out Reese’s cup!

    When I say “beat” in this recipe. I really mean “whisk vigorously by hand”. I never use electric beaters when working with flour for a product that should be tender and fluffy. Maybe it’s just my electric beaters that are super-juiced, but even beating something at the lowest setting with them will make the finished product really gross. I have yet to experiment with the hand-cranked “egg”-beaters, but that might be a viable option.

    The peanut butter frosting has a great depth of flavor to it, thanks to the blackstrap molasses. You can use regular molasses, but I feel that it’s not as yummy as the blackstrap! Really go for some good peanut butter. If you have access to a high-speed blender, make your own. Whole Foods and Fresh Market have nut-butter grinders in their stores as well, so that would be a great indulgence.

    I wish I could claim total credit for the insanity, but the cupcake batter and frosting recipes are adapted from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World.

    PB Cookie Center

    • 1C peanut butter
    • 1C firmly packed brown sugar
    • 1 flaxseed egg (1T ground flax + 3T warm water)

    Mix “egg” and set aside. Mix together the peanut butter and sugar, then stir in the “egg”. Cover and refrigerate.

    Chocolate Cupcake Batter

    • 1 C full-fat coconut milk
    • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
    • 3/4C sugar
    • 1/3C canola oil
    • 2 tsp vanilla
    • 1C AP flour
    • 1/3C extra-dark cocoa
    • 2 tsp instant espresso powder
    • 3/4 tsp baking soda
    • 1/2 tsp baking powder
    • 1/4 tsp salt

    Preheat the oven to 350F and line a 12-ct cupcake tin. Whisk together milk and vinegar and set aside. In a large bowl, beat sugar, oil, and vanilla until combined. Add the milk mixture and beat until foamy.

    Sift together flour, cocoa, espresso powder, baking powder and soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet in two batches, beating so no large lumps remain.

    Fill liners 2/3 full (I use a 3T scoop). Drop a small (1T) ball of cookie dough in the center of each cup. Bake 18-22 minutes. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

    PB Frosting

  • 1/4 C margarine, softened
  • 2 T shortening
  • 1/3 C creamy natural peanut butter
  • 1 T blackstrap molasses
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/4 – 2 C powdered sugar
  • 1-2 T coconut milk
  • Cream together margarine, shortening, and vanilla until fluffy. Add PB and molasses and beat until very smooth. Beat in sugar 1/2 C at a time. The mixture will be quite stiff, so thin it with coconut milk to reach the desired consistency.

    For frosting these, you can simply slather your sugary goodness on top. If you’re a little more motivated, mound on the frosting by piping it on in a swirl. My favorite tips for these are the Wilton 1M, 2D, or Ateco 805. I then usually dust them with a little cocoa powder and top with a vegan chip.

    If you’re feeling super fancy and motivated, make peanut butter “blossoms”. I piped these on with an Ateco 127.

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    There are some great tutorials on YouTube about how to use decorating tips or even a Ziploc bag to pipe frosting.

    Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to wear either serious-pants OR fancy-pants to make and decorate these. I did it all in pajama-pants. Because that’s how I roll.