Vegan Champagne Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting

I love to bake. But since baked goods tend to get stale in my household (generally nobody eats them after the initial thrill of the first serving), I tend to only indulge my habit when I have a good reason to share the goods, like a birthday celebration, party, or potluck. So recently when my my neighbors babysat my bunny, I had a good excuse to make a batch of homemade cupcakes as a thank you gift.

The cake portion of this recipe is adapted from a recipe I found in the Washington Post by the owner of Sticky Fingers vegan bakery in DC, but the chocolate frosting portion of the recipe is my invention.

Cake Ingredients:

  • 2-3/4 cups white whole wheat flour (I use King Arthurs; you can also use unbleached white for a lighter cake)
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1-3/4 cups vegan sugar (I use Wholesome Sweeteners Fair Trade Organic)
  • 1/2 cup vegan margarine (I use Earth Balance)
  • 2 teaspoons vegan egg replacer (I use Enger-G)
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 3/4 cup champagne, sparkling wine or cava (you can check Barnivore for a listing of vegan varieties)

Frosting Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup vegan margarine (I use Earth Balance)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cups vegan confectioners’ sugar (I use Wholesome Sweeteners Fair Trade Organic)
  • ¼ cup almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat your oven to 350°F.

Blend the flour, baking powder and salt together in a medium bowl and set aside.

Using a hand mixer, combine the sugar, margarine and almond extract in a large bowl and beat at medium-high speed for about 5 minutes, until softened and well blended.

In another small bowl, combine the egg replacer, vanilla and almond milk, and stir until the egg replacer has dissolved. Add the champagne and mix until combined.

With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients and almond milk mixture, alternating between the two, to the sugar mixture, making sure to thoroughly integrate the ingredients at each stage.

Place cupcake liners in a cupcake pan, and fill each cup to about three-quarters full with the batter. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the temperament of your oven. Your cupcakes are done when a toothpick poked into the center of your middle row of cupcakes comes out clean. Remove the cupcakes from oven and allow them to cool completely. In the meantime, you can make your frosting.

Place the margarine in a clean medium-sized and beat on medium-high speed for about 2 minutes, until fluffy. Gradually add the cocoa powder and confectioners sugar, alternating with the almond milk and vanilla extract, stopping occasionally to scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl. Continue blending until the frosting is uniform and fluffy.

Fill a pastry tube or piping bag with your frosting (I used a star-tip to give the frosting some interest, but you can use a wide plain one as well). If you don’t have a pastry tube or piping bag, you can also just fill a  plastic bag half-way, fold over the open end, and cut off one corner to push the frosting through. Pipe a layer of frosting onto each cooled cupcake, adding more frosting to your tube/bag as needed.

This recipe makes about 18 delicious regular-sized, or 40 mini cupcakes.

[tweetmeme source=”herbanlifestyle” service=””]


Meatless Monday: Vegan Mushroom Stroganoff

I adapted this recipe from a dish I had at Luna 61, a wonderful vegetarian restaurant in Tivoli, NY. It is a stroganoff that uses mushrooms instead of meat. I took it to the next level by making it vegan and gluten free, while maintaining the awesome taste. The sherry and nutmeg are two key ingredients that give this dish its signature flavor.

  • 2 tablespoons organic olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped organic shallots
  • 4 cups of coursely chopped mushrooms (I used Trumpet and Crimini)
  • 1/4 cup of organic olive oil or Earth Balance
  • 1/4 cup of organic flour (you can also use wheat or rice)
  • 2 cups of almond milk (you can also use oat,
  • 1/4 cup of sherry, madeira or marsala wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground organic nutmeg
  • sea salt, to taste
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 pound of organic pasta, cooked (I used rice pasta for a gluten-free dish)
Saute the shallots in the olive oil over medium heat until the become translucent. Add the mushrooms, and saute until they begin to shrink and darken in color. Set them aside.
In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil or melt the Earth Balance over medium heat, then add the flour, whisking it to blend thoroughly. Cook for a minute or two to cook off the raw flour taste. Add the milk a bit at a time, continuing to whisk as you do this, so as to avoid lumps. Your goal is to create a thick white sauce. Once all of the milk has been integrated, cook and whisk for another minute, then whisk in the sherry. Whisk for another couple of minutes, then remove the sauce from the heat.
Season your sauce with the nutmeg, salt and pepper. Then toss in the mushrooms and stir with spoon until they are well-integrated. Serve warm over pasta, with a side salad. Enjoy!

[tweetmeme source=”herbanlifestyle” service=””]