Thursday, September 5, 2013

Homemade Vegan Hostess Cupcakes


Homemade Vegan Hostess Cupcakes

Growing up we all have had those favorites in our lunch that made the day a little more enjoyable to look forward to or the end of our meal extra special. Whether it was cookies, cupcakes, etc. we love to indulge from time to time. But what if we can feel better about even those treats we indulge in? I know, impossible right...No, its never going to be calorie free, but I at least think we can feel better about it. Chemicals and processed foods really are what worry me with kids, they are mystery ingredients that scare me. We don't know what they are or what they are there for. So why would we eat them? Yeah I know, I don't know either.

Homemade scratch recipes change that image of our dessert a bit, it may be a treat but its natural and that makes it comforting. We won't ever cut out all or guilty pleasures but we can make sure that those recipes are the best they can be for our family and friends.

Hostess cupcakes are a traditional dessert that most of us recognize from our childhood. With its Curly-Q pattern on top and its rich and decadent chocolate layers, it makes you want an ice cold vegan milk before you can even put it to your lips. With back to school, we are going to want to treat our kiddos with a little extra love on those special days. Homemade cupcakes can do the trick for either after school snacks or lunch period breaks.

This recipe shows you how to take that traditional store bought cupcakes we all recognize and turn it into a comforting homemade treat. With its Curly-Q's and chocolate layers, you can realize that even being vegan can mean getting your cake and eating it too. You won't be disappointed about any lost treats here, you just have to make sure you share them from time to time with your love ones, they may want one too. Store the cupcakes in the refrigerator until ready to eat. Serve them with a big glass of vegan milk and a smile. Great for school lunches, after school snacks, parties, BBQ's, or even a special dinner with friends and family. Enjoy!
Gone Vegan!
Homemade Vegan Hostess Cupcakes
Yields: 20 to 22 Cupcakes

Ingredients

Cake
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for coating the pans
1 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
2 cups plain vegan milk
2 teaspoons vinegar
1 cup shortening (your favorite) or vegan butter, at room temperature
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
3 "eggs", I used The Vegg (1 tsp & 1/4 water)

Optional
-3 Tablespoons prepared coffee, brings out the flavor in the chocolate 

Creme Filling
1/4 cup vegan butter or shortening, at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups Vegan Marshmallow Creme (Recipe Link)

Chocolate Ganache Frosting
1 cups vegan chocolate or chocolate chips
2 Tablespoon vegan butter
1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract


White Icing
1 cup Confectioner’s Sugar
1 teaspoon vegan syrup (brown rice, agave, maple, etc.)
1 teaspoon (at a time) Water, until you get the consistency that works 

Directions

Cake

Heat Oven to 350 Degrees

LIBERALLY grease top cupcake pans (just top not in the cups) and place wrappers inside, set aside to use later.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.


In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the shortening and sugars on high speed until light, approximately 3 to 5 minutes. Add vanilla and mix well. Combine the vegan milk, vinegar, and coffee (if desired).


On low speed, add the flour mixture and the vegan milk mixture alternately one at a time, beginning with the vegan milk mixture and ending with the flour mixture. Mix the batter only until blended. Scrap sides as needed through the process.



Using a large ice cream scoop, scoop 1/3 to 1/2 cup of the batter into the prepared cupcake baking pans.


Bake in the center of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean and cakes springs back. Cool to room temperature before frosting.



Filling

Using a mixer, the butter until light and fluffy. Beat in confectioners’ sugar and beat until smooth. Once combined, beat in the vegan marshmallow creme until its all mixed together and smooth. 


Chocolate Frosting

Place the vegan chocolate and butter in a stainless medium stainless steal pot over medium-high heat.


While the ingredients are melting, whisk or stir constantly until smooth. Add vanilla in during this process. Once smooth and glossy, remove from the heat and let stand until cool but still liquid. You can also use this right away when ready. 


White Icing

Combine ingredients and warm to approximately 105 degrees. Adjust the consistency with water. It should flow freely from the pastry bag or squeeze bottle. 


You don't want it to be too running or too thick like a paste. I test as I go and if you don't get it there add more water or powdered sugar as needed to reach the desired consistency.




Assembly

Spoon the filling into a pastry bag with a medium star tip. Insert the tip into the center of each cupcake top, fill until the cupcake is heavier and they plump up (do not overfill). 


*It's OK if some of the filling overflows out a bit, it will be covered by the chocolate frosting in the end.

Once the filling has been done you are ready to cover with chocolate. Beginning by getting everything you need set up and ready to go.


When your ready, spoon or dip cupcakes in a little ganache on each cupcake and lightly spread with an offset spatula or a knife. When each cupcake has been covered, chill for at least 15 minutes in the fridge until chocolate solidifies.



Lastly, when the chocolate tops have solidifies you are ready to top with icing. Take your now prepared icing and spoon it into a pastry bag with a small tip or a confectioner squeeze bottle (I used a a bottle). On each cupcake, pipe onto the cupcakes to decorate in the traditional Curly-Q swirl pattern. If you feel uncomfortable at first, practice on a plate until ready to decorate. This doesn't have to be perfect, it will all taste the same in the end. 


Store the cupcakes in the refrigerator until ready to eat and place back while not eating them. Serve them with a big glass of vegan milk and enjoy as needed. Great for parties, BBQ's, or a special dinner with friends and family. Enjoy!

Ready to Serve Cupcakes


-Amy