I know cupcakes are a bit passé, but I don’t much care. These cupcakes had to happen. And they need to happen over and over. And now they need to happen in your kitchen. And then in your mouth.
I’m going to get straight to the point today. I can’t even handle how good these cupcakes are. R described them as possibly the best thing I have ever made (although didn’t he say that about the jalapeno beer corn bread? Maybe he is just easy to please… or wants to keep me happy so I keep baking…) and N suggested that they might be the best cupcake he has ever had. I tend to agree with both of them. I don’t have much nutritional insight to offer here… since, well… these are cupcakes. They are obviously vegan, and I used olive oil and applesauce in them… and that is about as nutritionally sound as they get. Except that the salted caramel frosting is actually made with anything but. The salted caramel sauce in it used the date caramel you saw in my baked oatmeal. I. Can’t. Get. Enough. I don’t even like frosting (I almost always wipe it off of my cupcakes), and I found myself dipping into the bowl with a spoon. It’s that good.
Here’s the skinny/fat/whatever: high quality chocolate riding the silky olive oil express straight to your mouth. You can’t necessarily taste the olive oil, but I know its in there, and it makes me happy. They are super chocolaty and every bit as light. For something as decedent as these, you almost feel lighter after eating them. I bestowed a batch on my roommates this weekend, I bestowed another batch on my lab this morning, and another batch will be presented at book club tonight (for those of you that read this before book club tonight, get pumped). Now it’s your turn to spread the love!
Double Chocolate Olive Oil Cupcakes w/ Salted Caramel Frosting
Inspired by In Jennie’s Kitchen
- 3 oz Bittersweet Chocolate, roughly chopped (I used Scharffen Berger 62% cacao semisweet)
- 2 tablespoons Dutch-processed cocoa
- 3/4 cup Hot coffee
- 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon All Purpose Flour
- 2/3 cup Sugar
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
- 6 tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1/2 cup Applesauce
- 2 teaspoons Cider Vinegar
- 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- One batch of salted caramel frosting (see below)
- Preheat oven to 350F and line cupcake tin with 12 paper liners.
- In a large bowl, pour the hot coffee over the chocolate and cocoa powder and mix until melted and smooth (if all of the chocolate doesn’t melt, pop it in the microwave for about 30 seconds).
- In another bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda and whisk to combine.
- In a third bowl, combine the olive oil, apple sauce, cider vinegar, and vanilla and whisk to combine.
- Add half of the flour mixture and half of the liquids to the chocolate and mix for about 1 minute (the color should lighten slightly as the vinegar reacts with the baking soda).
- Add the remaining flour and liquids and mix for an additional 2 minutes.
- Fill prepared cupcake liners 3/4 full and bake for 18-20 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean, remove from oven. Leave in the pan to cool for 5 minutes before turning out to cool completely on a wire rack.
- One the cupcakes have completely cooled, swirl the salted caramel frosting (I used a wilton 35 closed star tip) on as you see fit.
- It is also acceptable to pipe frosting directly into mouth here.
- Optional: drizzle on some melted chocolate and sprinkle on some flakey sea salt.
Salted Caramel Frosting
For the Caramel Sauce
- 10 medjool dates, pitted
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon salt
For the Frosting
- 1/4 cup nonhydrogenated vegan margarine
- 1/4 cup nonhydrogenated vegan shortening
- 1-2 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4-1/2 cup salted caramel sauce
To Make the Caramel Sauce
- Place pitted dates in food processor and blend until they form a big ball.
- Add the milk, vanilla, and salt and process until smooth and creamy.
To Make the Frosting
- Bring the margarine and shortening to room temperature.
- Beat the margarine and shortening together in a stand up or hand mixer on high until light and fluffy, about 1-2 minutes.
- Reduce speed to low and slowly start adding in the sugar until desired consistency is reached (another 2 minutes).
- It may take on the look of coarse sand when you first add the sugar, but keep beating and it will turn into fluffy frosting.
- Add the caramel sauce, more or less depending on more caramely you want it, and beat for an additional 2 minutes.