Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes – Reed Family Linen

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Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes

The one thing that didn’t change was my love of good chocolate, oh the lure of the ancient cocoa bean.

I found so many aspects of my life changed for the better when my vegan journey began, it was coupled with an awakening and deeper connection to myself and my body. The one thing that didn’t change was my love of good chocolate, oh the lure of the ancient cocoa bean. Worshipped by some tribes, if you are an addict, you know that it’s transcendent qualities beckon every now and then and nothing else will do.

One of my first missions post adopting veganism as a way of life was finding and perfecting the perfect chocolate cupcake recipe. It needed that dark hit of cocoa I was after, married with a moist sponge and decadent fudge like icing.

I have loved tea parties since I was a little girl and I didn’t want to stop hosting them, I wanted to entice my friends as I had always done. There is something about setting a table with beautiful linens and fresh flowers and serving precious friends something home baked. Our Anthurium hemstitch linen design is the perfect blend of heritage and casual elegance for a winter afternoon tea. Reed oversized napkins bring luxury to the party and our natural union linen pairs beautifully with meadow flowers and a richly laid table.

My adaptation from a more advanced vegan cook than myself is below and I love serving these with an array of toppings, tapping into the nostalgia of childhood sundae bars, there is something about having options that adds to the allure.

 

Our Anthurium hemstitch linen design is the perfect blend of heritage and casual elegance for a winter afternoon tea.

Ingredients |

  • 1 cup of Medjool dates (about 12 pitted),
  • 1 cup of tepid water,
  • 1/3 cup of good quality cocoa powder,
  • 1 tbsp of baking powder,
  • 1 tsp of white or cider vinegar,
  • 1/4 cup of organic coconut oil (melted)
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract,
  • Pinch of Himalayan salt,
  • 1 cup of organic oat flour,
  • 1/2 cup of good quality dark mini chocolate chips (optional)
  • 1/4 cup of non-dairy milk.

Chocolate Icing |

  • 1 cup Medjool dates (about 12 pitted),
  • 1/2–2/3 cup of non-dairy milk,
  • 1/2 cup of nut butter (I love a good organic peanut butter),
  • 1/4 cup of cocoa powder,
  • Pinch of Himalayan salt.

Steps |

  • Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  • Combine the dates and water in a blender. Blend on low until smooth.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients. Blend on low speed briefly until just combined. DO NOT over blend.
  • Divide the batter between a paper lined 6 cupcake trays, which has been lightly coated with oil. Fill each so it is level with the top of the pan.
  • Smooth the tops with the back of a spoon.
  • Bake for approximately 25 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius.
  • Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pan. Cool completely or ideally overnight before icing.
  • For the icing, combine all the ingredients in your blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Start with 1/2 cup of milk and add more as necessary to get it to a smooth and thick consistency. If it is too runny, add more nut butter. Transfer to a piping bag and chill for at least one hour.
  • Pipe icing onto cooled cupcakes or spread with a knife. Store your cupcakes un-iced, and ice right before serving, for sumptuous soft cupcakes.

I have loved tea parties since I was a little girl and I didn’t want to stop hosting them, I wanted to entice my friends as I had always done.

Over mixing makes oat flour based baked goods heavy and gummy, so lightly blend on low speed and for just long enough to combine all the ingredients. Rather stir through any lingering lumps by hand.

For a grain-free option, which I often make for my daughter, you can replace the oat flour with almond flour, but you will need a quarter of a cup more almond flour than the recipe calls for and two tablespoons of corn starch.

The nut butter means the icing thickens nicely and sets as it chills, if your icing seems too soft to pipe right after blending, leave it in the fridge for an extra half an hour.

I have found that if I am serving these cupcakes on a hot day, adding 2 tablespoons of coconut oil to the icing, as well as chilling the cupcakes for an extra half an hour beforehand, helps them to not to melt on guests’ plates.

It’s worthwhile researching good vegan chocolate, organic fair-trade cocoa powder and cocoa nibs and having them stashed in your fridge for when you want to bake on a whim.

For dinner parties I like to use our hemstitch linen in classic white, with small vases holding a single flower down the center of my table. I add a hint of smoked chili flakes to my cupcake batter and then adorn them with dried chilies.

Happy hosting, 

Karen Reed

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