Monday, January 17, 2011

Cupcake Love: Vegan Banana Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting, and Chocolate Drizzle

Cupcake Love: Vegan Banana Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting, and Chocolate Drizzle

     Sometimes... I go all out. Birthdays of those close to me happen to be some of those times. This weekend was my besties birthday, so I wanted to do something really special for her. She is very fond of these late night concoctions we like to call "Chocolate, Peanut Butter, Banana Surprises". Just grab a mug, throw in some banana, a few chocolate chips, and a spoonful of peanut butter, mash it all up, there's your late night dessert snack. It's pretty damn delicious, and when manifested into cupcake form.... wow. 
     These were a huge hit with everyone who tried them, so if you're looking for a cupcake that will wow a crowd, look no further. Needless to say the birthday girl loved them, and that's really all I wanted. Cupcake love success! 

Vegan Banana Cupcakes
 Makes 12 cupcakes
1/2 Cup very ripe banana, mashed well
1 1/4 Cups all-purpose flour
1/4 Teaspoon baking soda
1 Teaspoon baking powder
1/2 Teaspoon baking powder
1/2 Teaspoon salt
3/4 Cup granulated sugar
1/3 Cup canola oil
2/3 Cup rice milk
1 1/2 Teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 Teaspoon almond extract
1/4 Cup dark chocolate chunks

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin pan with paper liners.

Blend the bananas to get rid of any remaining lumps. It should be smooth

Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and sugar in a large bowl and mix. In a separate,
smaller bowl, whisk together the oil, rice milk, vanilla, almond extract, and mashed banana. Create a well in the dry ingredients and fold in wet ingredients, mixing to just combine- don't over-mix (small lumps are OK).

Fill liners two-thirds full. Top the batter of each cupcake with 1 teaspoon chocolate chunks. With a small knife stir the chocolate into the cupcake. Bake for 20-22 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the cupcake comes out clean. Cool completely on wire rack before frosting.

Peanut Buttercream
* This is a recipe for ONE batch. I doubled this recipe in order to also fill the cupcakes with frosting. Filling them is completely optional.

1/4 Cup Earth Balance margarine, softened
2 Tablespoons shortening (I used Earth Balance brand)
1/3 Cup creamy peanut butter
1 Tablespoon molasses
1 1/2 Teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 Cups confectioners sugar
1-2 Tablespoons soy milk creamer

With an electric handheld mixer, cream together margarine and shortening at medium speed until smooth. Add peanut butter, molasses, and vanilla, and beat until very smooth 2-3 minutes. Beat in sugar; mixture will be very stiff. Dribble in soy milk creamer a little at a time, beating continuously until frosting is pale tan and very fluffy.
Adjust the thickness of the frosting by adding soy milk creamer, or more confectioners sugar in small increments if necessary.

Chocolate Drizzle

3 Tablespoons soy creamer
1/3 Cup semisweet chocolate chips

     Heat soy creamer in a small saucepan over medium heat until just about to simmer. Remove from heat; add chocolate chips and stir until chocolate is completely melted and creamer is incorporated. Set aside and allow to cool 10 minutes. Pour mixture into the corner of a plastic bag, cut a small amount off the corner of the bag. Drizzle chocolate over cooled frosted cupcakes. Drizzle will set when cooled.

To Assemble Cupcakes:

Once cupcakes have completely cooled, poke your index finger into the middle of each cupcake, and move your finger around to create some space for plenty of Peanut Butter Frosting to be piped in.

Fill a pastry bag with a large star tip (or a Ziploc bag with the corner cut) with Peanut Butter Frosting. Fill each cupcake with frosting , trying to get as much filing as possible into the cupcakes.

With the same pastry bag top each cupcake with frosting. Refrigerate while making the Chocolate Drizzle.

Once cupcakes have been chilled, top cupcakes with Chocolate Drizzle.

To make extra pretty, cut miniature Reese's Peanut Cups in half and top each cupcake with one half.

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