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Vegan Mocha Cupcakes

April 24, 2011

This weekend was the birthday weekend of two of my best girlfriends, Beth and Ji. Their birthdays are only a day apart, so I thought I’d kill two birds with one stone and prepare a delicious birthday treat they would both enjoy: vegan mocha cupcakes.

I’m so blessed to have such a large group of girlfriends and appreciate each and every one of them, but these two definitely hold a special place in my heart. I met Beth in 8th grade and we lost touch here and there throughout the years, but randomly ran into each other on the bus two years ago, and have since reconnected. I met Ji through a mutual friend, who, ironically, is no longer a friend to either of us. I do have her to thank for the introduction to Ji, though, and for that I am so grateful.

Beth, me, and Ji on my 25th birthday

We are like the Three Musketeers, and I see them at least twice a week. We go out together, climb together, and yes, drink coffee together.

Both of these women are spectacular friends, and huge coffee drinkers. That’s why I made these vegan mocha cupcakes, the recipe borrowed from bakeanddestroy.

These vegan mocha cupcakes are so rich, so dense, you don’t even miss the butter or eggs you’re not using. If you’re a coffee (or mocha) lover, you MUST make these. Vegan or not, you will appreciate these cupcakes.



-1 cup soy (or coconut) milk

-1 tsp vinegar (red wine or white, doesn’t matter)

-1 cup flour

-1/3 cocao powder

-1/2 tsp baking powder

-3/4 tsp baking soda

-dash of salt

-3/4 cup sugar

-1/3 cup canola oil

-3+ tbsp instant coffee granules


-1/2 cup shortening

-1/2 cup Earth Balance margarine

-3.5 cups powdered sugar

-splash of vanilla

-1/4 cup cold coffee (strong)


-large and small mixing bowls

-measuring cups, measuring spoons, and mixing spoon

-electric mixer

-12 cup muffin pan

-muffin liners (I like aluminum)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

1. In the large mixing bowl, mix the soy milk and vinegar and let rest for a few minutes to allow the milk to curdle.

2. In the small mixing bowl, mix together the dry ingredients–flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cocao powder.

3. Once the milk has curdled (it should look somewhat frothy, thick, and maybe even a little clumpy–essentially, like you wouldn’t want to drink it), add the sugar, oil, and vanilla and mix well with the electric mixer. Beat until foamy.

4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in batches and continue to mix until blended. It’s okay if there are a few lumps. I like to take a spoon and finish the mixing by hand. Fold in the instant coffee granules to this batter.

5. Line the muffin pan with your liners and divide the batter into the liners equally. They will only be a little over half full. Bake at 350 degrees for 15+ minutes, depending on your oven. Test with a toothpick or piece of uncooked spaghetti to see if the cake is done; it should come out clean.

6. While the cupcakes are cooking (or cooling), prepare the frosting. Beat the shortening and Earth Balance together until fluffy. Add the powdered sugar and mix for a couple of minutes until well-blended. Add the vanilla and cold coffee and mix for a few minutes or until thick enough and light enough to spread over your cooled cupcakes.

7. Once the cupcakes are cool, spread the frosting over each one and top with your favorite garnish (I like chocolate covered espresso beans). Yum! Vegan mocha cupcakes to indulge in!

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