On a wild hare a few weeks back, I entered a baking contest over at Earth Balance (via their Made Just Right site) – something I have heretofore never done. Since I only had a short time to come up with an original recipe, I decided to go with something familiar – something I knew tasted good. So once again I returned to the mocha spice cake recipe I created for the Virtual Vegan Potluck. I thought a creamy, melty maple-flavored ganache would be the perfect topping. It tasted great, but clearly I need to work on my decorating skills!
I didn’t take home the prize for best cupcake; nor did I win the grand prize (a trip to Las Vegas), but it was fun participating – and I did end up getting a very unexpected prize for best photo. Thank you, Earth Balance! (Visit the original recipe at Made Just Right here. And check out the delicious winning recipes while you’re there.)
Mocha Spice Cupcakes w/ Maple Crème Ganache
- Yield: 12 1x
My not-quite-award-winning recipe for decadent cupcakes with major mocha and maple flavor.
- 2 cups strong, freshly-brewed coffee
- 2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ cup maple sugar
- ½ cup vegan butter or coconut oil (or a blend)
- 2 Tbsp. flaxseed meal
- ½ tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 tsp. powdered stevia
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- ½ tsp. allspice
- 1/8 tsp. cloves
- 1/3 cup sweetened cacao nibs
- ¾ cup vegan butter, softened
- ¼ cup coconut oil, softened
- 6 Tbsp. non-dairy milk
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. maple extract
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup (more or less, depending on taste)
- Preheat oven to 350-degrees F. Line 12 muffin tins w/ paper muffin cups or spray lightly with oil.
- Make the ganache first as it needs a couple of hours to chill.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the coconut spread, coconut oil, nut milk, vanilla & maple extracts and maple syrup. Place in the refrigerator to firm and chill.
- In a large bowl, combine the flours, stevia, baking powder, baking soda and spices.
- In another bowl, whisk together the hot coffee w/ the cocoa powder, maple sugar, EB Coconut Spread, flaxseed meal and vanilla extract. Whisk to thoroughly combine and then pour into the dry mixture. Stir well, pressing out any lumps. Stir in the cacao nibs.
- Divide the batter among the muffin cups and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the cupcakes are firm and springy on top.
- Allow to cool completely.
- To finish the ganache, pour the mixture into a blender – it should be firming up, but not completely solid – and process until very smooth and creamy. Either pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes or simply spread over the tops.
- Keep cupcakes in the refrigerator as the ganache will soften at room temperature.
That is a very fine looking cupcake! I’m really pleased that you won the photo prize because your pics are of a consistently high quality and always show your creations off wonderfully well.
It was a huge surprise – and gave me a bit more confidence on the photo front!
Congrats my friend 😀
And I reckon these cupcakes definitely should have won for taste!
Thank you, CCU!!
Congrats on winning the best photo: yeah to you & these tasty looking creations!
I love that topped maple cream ganache a lot!
How great! Congratulations! 🙂
🙂 Thank you!
Delicious! Congrats on the best photo, a picture says a 1,000 words, and yours says “YUM!”
You know your photographs 🙂 – thanks, Rachel!
Annie, that icing is calling to me – it looks incredible! This looks like a winner in every sense..love it!
It was pretty cool reading my name as a winner 🙂 – but I had some very stiff and delicious competition! I must have bookmarked tens of recipes for later baking…
The photos have a really nice snap of color 🙂 Awesome you won!
Thank you, Sarah!
Oh my goodness. I’m familiar with your VVP recipe, but that ganache looks downright sinful! Of course you won the best photo prize! The only thing that surprises me is that you didn’t take home the full monte! xx
There were some amazing recipes submitted, girl. I need to step up my game ;-)!
It’s so pretty I’d feel bad for 1/2 of a second breaking it open!
Awesome Annie! Definitely going to make these!
You certainly win in MY books Annie! Cheers for the linky and cheers for the photographic kudos :).
I agree with narf77–you’re always a winner with me for your awesome recipes! And your decorating is just lovely. 🙂
You should’ve seen the “practice” cupcakes. Oy. Tasted just as good, though ;-).
They always do, and the real fans don’t care what they look like! 😉
Beautiful! You should just call it “The Winning Recipe”!
I think your decorating skills are fantastic! These sound delicious… I’m going to have to add them to the to-bake list! : )
I bet those cupcakes were awesomely delicious! Congrats on the photo win, you definitely deserve it, your photos are amazing.
Congratulations! that pictures speaks the deliciousness.. the ganache looks so pretty on the cupcakes. i want to reach out and take a huge bite out of it!
These cupcakes are simply beautiful!
Best photo award well deserved!
Coming from you that is high praise!
Hell yes you got best photo, that is a gorgeous cupcake!! Right down to the detailed frosting drops!! YUM!
Hehe, thanks, girl!
I have to tell you. I LOVE this photo! It’s way too cute and the colors are amazing. I keep scrolling down in my reader just so I can look at it again. 🙂
Congrats! It is a stunning photo 🙂
Ooh those look great! I love anything maple. That photo is gorgeous – it’s no surprise you won a prize for it!
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