This is a guest post by Cheryl from The Stylist Quo.
“Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes with Swirled Peppermint Frosting”
These vegan chocolate cupcakes with swirled peppermint frosting are pure Christmas in a paper liner, the total essence of festivity. They start with the most perfect, moist, and rich chocolate cupcake you’ve ever had – vegan or otherwise – and finish with a creamy frosting, fortified with a hint of tanginess from some Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese which marries oh-so-beautifully with an elegant coolness from the peppermint. The Tofutti cream cheese really provides a creaminess that vegan cupcakes are usually missing, without tasting too much like cream cheese frosting. As a bonus, it keeps the frosting a pure white, which works beautifully with a peppermint theme. Sure, vegan chocolate cupcakes with peppermint frosting are delicious. But, vegan chocolate cupcakes with swirled peppermint frosting are delicious and quite possibly the cutest things ever!
Inspired by traditional candy canes, this frosting is quite easy and requires no extra fancy-schmancy equipment. To swirl the frosting, tint about 1/4 of the batch of frosting a deep red, using vegan food coloring. Then, spoon about 3 parts white frosting into a gallon resealable bag, focusing on filling one corner, or a plastic pastry bag. Do the same with about 1 part red frosting. Don’t overfill, or you’ll have a mess on your hands! Cut off the corners of the plastic bags, keeping the white frosting “tip” about 1/2″ wide, whereas the red frosting “tip” should be about half of that. Ultimately, there’s no real science here, just go with what feels and looks right! Once your plastic bags are filled and the ends have been cut, place both frosting bags inside another plastic gallon bag or piping bag. They should be positioned exactly next to one another, or you’ll have blotchy all-white or all-red frosting. Once the plastic bags are in position, cut off the tip of the outside bag, about 1/2″ to 3/4″, or however thick you’d like your swirl to be! I used plastic bags so I could see the placement of the bags and keep an eye on them throughout the process. Pipe a couple strips on wax paper to test before going all out on your cupcakes. You can also totally skip this swirling part, and the cupcakes will still be insanely delicious, I promise.
(Cupcake recipe adapted from “Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World”.)
1 cup soy milk
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract, chocolate extract, or more vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder, Dutch-processed or regular
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Tofutti Peppermint Frosting:
8 oz. Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese, room temperature
8 oz. vegetable shortening, room temperature
4-5 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
non-dairy milk, if needed, to thin
vegan red food coloring
1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line a muffin pan with paper or foil liners.
2. Whisk together the soy milk and vinegar in a large bowl, and set aside for a few minutes to curdle. Add the sugar, oil, vanilla extract, and other extract, if using, to the soy milk mixture and beat until foamy. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add in two batches to wet ingredients and beat until no large lumps remain (a few tiny lumps are OK).
3. Pour into liners, filling 3/4 of the way. Bake 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely.
4. For frosting: beat together cream cheese and shortening using the whisk attachment of a stand-mixer or handheld electric mixer. Add in powdered sugar, one cup at a time, until desired consistency. The frosting should be fairly thick but not stiff. Add in peppermint extract and beat to combine. If not swirling, skip to step 7.
5. To create swirled look: Set aside 3/4 of the frosting. Add in red food coloring, drop by drop, and beat to combine, until frosting is a bright, vibrant red. Chill both frostings, if necessary, for a better piping consistency.
6. Spoon 3 parts white frosting into a plastic gallon Ziploc bag or piping bag; spoon 1 part red frosting into a plastic gallon Ziploc bag or piping bag. Cut off the tip of the white bag to be about 1/2″ wide; cut off the tip of the red bag to be about 1/4″ wide. Place both bags next to one another in another plastic bag and cut off the tip of this bag to be about 1/2″ wide, or slightly wider, depending on how thick you would like your swirl. Pipe a test strip on waxed paper to ensure correct placement of bags.
7. Pipe a swirl on the top of the cooled cupcake, starting with the outer edge. Will keep in the fridge up to a week.
For more photos and behind-the-scenes style and process shots, visit Cheryl at www.thestylistquo.com
*Note: This is NOT an official recipe from Tofutti Brands, Inc.