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.)
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.