These vegan chocolate and raspberry cupcakes pretty much became the bane of my life a few weeks ago, as it took me SO long to perfect the recipe. Which though frustrating at the time, does make me happier to share the final product considering its been tested so many times.
So, why vegan?
A couple of years back I wasn’t excited by the vegan baking world and definitely lived under the assumption that vegan baking wasn’t as good as ‘the real thing’. But I’m happy to say that I was wrong. Vegan baking can be amazing and in some cases better than regular dairy baked goods. Nowadays I just think of vegan baking as a different form rather than the poor cousin.
If you’re not convinced, I really recommend giving Crosstown Doughnuts vegan range a try because they’re super innovative with their flavours and you honestly wouldn’t know the difference. I personally recommend the maple bacon 😉
The veganisation of chocolate & raspberry cupcakes: (Is veganisation a word? Or have I just invented something? Either way, this is how I turned my cupcakes vegan)
Firstly I spent a lot of time playing around with vegan butter and aquafaba (chickpea brine that can be used as an egg replacement – its great for meringue!) but eventually I settled on sunflower oil as the butter replacement. And bicarbonate of soda combined with vinegar for the egg. The reaction of bicarb and vinegar gives you the rise you need for light fluffy vegan cupcakes.
Then the buttercream. You’d think this would be simple right? Just use vegan butter? Wellll, I originally was trying to create a vegan swiss meringue buttercream. That failed on me so bad that I decided to bank that and try again another time.
So I have ended up with a classic buttercream – vegan butter and icing sugar but with one fancier addition. Fresh raspberries! Now…I have learnt the hard way that classic buttercream isn’t stable enough to hold a straight raspberry puree. Instead you need to reduce it first and remove all the excess water. (FYI swiss meringue buttercream IS stable enough to hold the puree!)
All in all, the recipe for these vegan cupcakes is pretty simple and bar the cooking/reducing of the raspberry puree its actually pretty speedy too! The recipe only makes 6 cupcakes as they’re best served same day; so save the recipe for a day when you’ve got some friends round!
On with the recipe!
Vegan Chocolate and Raspberry Cupcakes
- 190 g plain flour
- 50 g cocoa powder
- 200 g golden caster sugar
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp white wine vinegar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 70 ml sunflower oil
- 240 ml brewed coffee lukewarm (2tsp ground coffee)
- 140 g raspberries
- 165 g vegan butter room temperature
- 335 g icing sugar
- For the sponge: Firstly preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas Mark 4, and line a muffin tin with 6 large cupcake cases.
- Whisk all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Then add all the wet ingredients and whisk together until a smooth batter forms. Divide evenly between the cupcake cases and bake for 24 minutes. Leave in the muffin tin to cool for at least 30 minutes to cool, as they will be extremely soft. Then remove from the tin and place on a cooling rack, to cool completely.
- For the buttercream: Whilst the cupcakes are cooling, place the raspberries into a food processor and blitz to a puree. Then strain through a sieve, and discard the seeds.
- Place the remaining raspberry juice into a small pan and place over a medium heat. Cook stirring constantly until the raspberry juice has thickened to a pure consistency and has reduced considerably. Then set aside to cool completely.
- Place the vegan butter in a large bowl and using an electric handwhisk, whisk until creamy. Then add the icing sugar and whisk on a low speed until combined, then increase to a high speed and whisk for 2-3 minutes. Finally add the cooled raspberry puree and fold to combine. Place the buttercream into a piping bag fitted with a star tip. Pipe swirls onto the cooled cupcakes and top with a raspberry.