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.

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Eventful Bacon

It’s been a heck of a hiatus, and my kitchen is still recovering. Of course, that doesn’t stop me from making the mess bigger!

After an absolutely dreadful cold that sapped me of any will to do anything (including eat! yikes!), I’m finally almost back to 100% and ready to go again. It’s been an interesting coupla weeks, lemme tell ya.

My mom flew in in the midst of everything to celebrate the Little Dude’s third birthday (three? already??), and I baked him up a little cake from a Duncan Hines mix (that right there should tell you all you need to know about how I was feeling!). Some of these flavors fall in to that “accidentally vegan” category, so I went with the Dark Chocolate Fudge mix. Normally, the box wants 3 eggs, 1 C water, and 1/3 C oil added. That wasn’t going to cut it for the VV household, obvs. I sifted in 1 1/2 tsp of baking soda with the dry mix and used 1 C soy milk with 1 tsp apple cider vinegar in place of water. I found a 3.2 oz Buddy Fruit (apple + banana) in the pantry that I mixed into the batter as well. It worked for the 4″ round cake and several cupcakes.

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I’m not calling that an official recipe — just letting you all know that it can be done!

I was inspired by Phoney Baloney to mimic their coconut bacon after I found a tub of coconut chips at my favorite Asian market. I dragged my mom along to it and she seemed a little overwhelmed. She survived though, enough to help me demolish some of this crispy tastiness. So, here’s the scoop — in a really flexible format. Ha.

Special Sauce

I have no exact formula for this. Bear with me. I love Sriracha you guys. Like. Really love it. And I can’t bear to toss out that tiny little bit that’s impossible to get out of the bottle. It makes me sadface really badly. So, I turn it into my special bacon sawce.

  • sriracha dregs, in bottle
  • 1/4 C Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (coconut aminos, shoyu, soy sauce, etc.)
  • 1/4 tsp liquid smoke
  • optional: 1 tsp vegan Worcestershire or maple syrup

Add all to bottle and shake.

Coconut Facon

  • two or three handfuls coconut chips
  • 2-3 tsp “special sauce”

Preheat oven to 325F. If you have a convection oven, preheat it to 300F. In a small bowl, combine chips and sauce and stir to coat. Spread chips in a single layer on a parchment-lined rimless cookie cheet. Bake 20-30 minutes, until crispy. If using a convection oven, the time will be shorter and you’ll only need to “stir” the chips once, about halfway through. A conventional oven will require some babysitting. You’ll need to flip the chips about ever 5 minutes or so to keep them from burning. Store in an airtight container or bag in the fridge for about a week. To crisp up the chips, bake at 250F for a few minutes, or dry-fry on the stovetop.

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