Happy Labor Day Weekend friends! Nothing screams Labor Day weekend like hanging out with your BBQ and these cupcakes OR relaxing while treating yourself with these cupcakes.
I really like chocolate. I also really like chocolate and peanut butter together. There’s no better combo in my mind than the pure decadence of chocolate and peanut butter in sweet dessert heaven. Yeah. If you don’t like peanut butter, feel free to use another type of nut butter…almond makes for a very decadent frosting. If you’re allergic to peanuts and tree nuts, feel free to use Sunbutter (which weirdly I LOVE more than peanut butter and have stocked in my house).
Here’s the process in photos. I sadly got carried away and missed a few photos. Don’t hate me!
For the cupcakes:
Mix all the wet ingredients in a stand mixer or with a hand mixer. Mix all of the dry ingredients in a separate bowl and toss into the wet mixture. Mix it until there are no lumps.
I like to use a 1/4 cup sized cookie scoop to scoop out the batter and put it into the cupcake papers. I use a cupcake pan lined with cupcake papers.
For the frosting:
Whip just the fats in a stand mixer or in a bowl with a hand mixer. I like to whip them until they are one uniform off white color. Then add the vanilla and whip until incorporated.
Next, add the peanut butter and whip until incorporated.
Then you should add one cup of powdered sugar at a time with a teaspoon or so of the soy milk (basically break up the 2 tbsp of milk for three rounds of sugar). So add one cup of sugar, a little milk and whip until mixed. Then so on.
Then you have frosting! You want it to be smooth and spreadable or be able to come out of a frosting bag but still hold it’s shape. If it feels a little stiff add a little more milk until you reach the desired texture.
Now decorate your cupcakes! I like to mix a tiny bit of canola oil with some peanut butter to get it the consistency for a nice drizzle for over the cupcake. You can melt chocolate and pour over or drizzle ganache, or just top it with some chocolate chips.
- 1 ½ cup flour
- ½ cup + 1/8 c cocoa powder
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ¾ tsp baking soda
- pinch sea salt (about 1/4 tsp)
- 1 ¾ soy milk
- 1 tbsp vinegar
- 1 ½ c sugar
- 1/3 c canola oil
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 cup organic shortening
- 1/2 cup earth balance or other vegan butter
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 3 cups organic powdered sugar
- 1/8-1/4 cup natural peanut butter
- GF cake: use 1 1/4c +1/8c white rice flour, 1/8 c tapioca starch, 1/2 tsp xanthan gum, and about 2 cups of milk to sub for flours and milk amounts.
- For the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix the wet ingredients in a stand mixer. Combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl then add to the wet ingredients and mix until smooth. Take a standard 12 cupcake tin and line with cupcake papers. Use a 1/4 cup cookie scoop (fill it scant, so not quite full) to scoop out the batter and fill each cupcake paper. You should get about 16 cupcakes. Bake for 15 minutes, then turn (bring the back to the front of the oven) and bake for 15 minutes or until a knife test comes out clean.
- For the frosting: whip just the two fats until they are a uniform white color and very fluffy (takes about a minute). Then add the vanilla and whip until incorporated. Next, add the peanut butter and again, whip until incorporated. Then, add one cup of powdered sugar at a time with enough soy milk to get it moving. Whip until sugar is incorporated, repeat for the remaining two cups of sugar. You may need to add a little more milk at the end to reach your desired texture/softness. You want it to be soft enough to spread but still thick enough to hold shape.
- Once the cupcakes are cool, frost away!
- See the gf flour/milk ratios above at the bottom of the ingredients.
- Add the milk slowly into the frosting at the end so it doesn't become too thin. If this happens, add a little more powdered sugar.
This brownie is probably my favorite dessert. It took about 13 different recipe formulations to get the one that was fudgy enough to meet my deep brownie desires. I really like fudgy brownies and I do not think a cakey brownie is a brownie at all. There, I said it. I came out as a brownie snob. It’s the only kind of snob to be honestly. I like what I like, what can I say?
Back to the brownie…..it’s fudgy and sweet but not teeth shattering. It tastes amazing warmed up with some coconut ice cream on top, it’s yummy chopped up on top of banana ice cream (see my recipe here), and it’s just great to eat by itself.
A couple of notes…this recipe is a fickle beast sometimes. The chocolate MUST be melted just enough to make the batter just so, if it’s not melted enough the batter is super thick and may bake out fine BUT if the chocolate is starting to clump up and is becoming overmelted, you might have a problem. Also, make sure the yogurt is watered down a little bit to get the right consistency for the batter. And the most important note…make sure you use an actual liquid measuring cup for the oil. Trust me it’s a little different. I’ve had to teach several people over the years at the bakery this recipe and I had someone whose brownies just weren’t coming out the same. Finally after watching them do it a couple of times, I realized they were using a little dry measuring cup to measure out the oil. I had them use the liquid one afterwards and the brownies came out perfectly. It really matters!
Here’s the procedure with pictures!
Mix the wet ingredients in a stand mixer or with a hand mixer.
Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl and stir to mix well.
Melt the chocolate in a stainless steel pot over low heat. Stir with a heat resistant spatula. It should feel like stirring soft pudding when it is melted enough. *Be sure that everything is dry because one little speck of water will make the chocolate seize up and you won’t be able to melt it.
Add the melted chocolate to the wet ingredients immediately. Do not pass go, do not collect $200, do not dance, do it fast! As soon as it starts cooling, it will thicken. This is the touchy stage!
Then add the dry to the wet ingredients immediately and mix very well. Scoop it out with a rubberish spatula. Sometimes there might be more liquid at the bottom of the bowl so just spread that out evenly with the batter. Swoosh the top of the batter in the pan like you’re a fairy granting a wish, back and forth across until it’s an even height.
Bake them, let them cool, and enjoy.
The recipe is below. Make these and be excited about chocolate fudgy heaven.
Be excellent to each other and to yourself. XOXO
- 2 cups or organic sugar (evaporated cane juice)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup canola oil
- 6 tbsp organic applesauce
- 1/2 cup plain coconut yogurt, make sure to add a little bit of water to make it so it runs off the spoon easily (use a dry 1/2c and fill it a little over 3/4 of the way and thin it out with water to fill)
- 1 1/2 cups flour (GF version: 1 1/4 c white rice flour, 1/4 c tapioca starch, 1/2 tsp xanthan gum)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 c dutch processed cocoa powder
- 2 pinches of sea salt (about 1/2 tsp)
- 1 3/4 cups chocolate chips (wait to do this until the wet is together and the dry is mixed in its bowl so you watch it)
- Mix wet ingredients (minus the melted chocolate) in a stand mixer or in a bowl with a hand mixer. Next, combine the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Melt the chocolate on low in a small stainless steel pot, stirring with a rubber spatula. Once the chocolate is the texture of really soft pudding, all uniform in texture and very easy to stir, IMMEDIATELY add it to the wet ingredients and mix well but quickly. Then add the dry ingredients and mix well but quickly. Next use the rubber spatula to push the batter into a greased 9 x 13 inch rectangular pan. If there is some extra wet batter towards the bottom of the bowl just be sure to spread it around well with the thick batter to avoid weird baked spots. Spread the batter out by moving from left to right in a fun swoosh motion. Bake at 350 degrees for 34 minutes. Let cool in fridge thoroughly before cutting. EAT!
- *be sure to use a liquid measuring cup for the oil!
These are probably my second favorite baked good. My first favorite are brownies. Now I know what you’re thinking….”your first recipe isn’t your favorite?”. Yes, but these are really freakin delicious so just go with me. They are gooey, caramel-ish and chewy bars flecked with chocolate. Eat them still warm or warm them up and top em off with some coconut cookie dough ice cream for a real decadent as fuck treat. Bring these to a BBQ to impress your friends and feel like a total bomb ass vegan. Now go make them and remember….be excellent to each other and to yourself. XOXO
- 10 Tbsp vegan margarine ( I use Earth Balance), melted
- 6 Tbsp plain yogurt ( I use So Delicious coconut) add a small amount of water to thin it out, must be slightly runny
- 1 cup organic sucanat
- 2/3 c organic evaporated cane juice (sugar)
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 2 flax eggs (2 tsp seeds ground with 6 Tbsp water)
- 4 Tbsp extra water
- 2 cups flour
- 2 pinches sea salt (about 1/4-1/2 tsp)
- 2 cups vegan chocolate chips
- ***for GLUTEN FREE blondies use 1 3/4c white rice flour, 1/4c tapioca starch, 1/2tsp xanthan gum for the dry mix and add 3-4 more Tbsp water to the wet. You want the batter to be a little runnier than the wheaty version.
- Cream the wet ingredients( sugars, melted margarine, yogurt, vanilla and flax eggs) in a standing mixer, or use a hand mixer and large mixing bowl, until it just barely looks dark like caramel.
- Combine all the dry ingredients (flours, chocolate chips, salt) in a large mixing bowl. (GF dry mix would be rice flour, tapioca starch, xanthan gum, salt, and chocolate chips)
- Add the dry mixture to the wet one and mix until well combined.
- Oil a 9X13 inch baking pan with baking spray or coconut oil (whatever oil you desire) and pour batter into pan.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 26-30 minutes. Test with a fork or knife, if caramel batter comes out and it still seems goopy, bake for 5 more minutes.
- Let cool for 15-30 minutes before cutting.