Milk It

Knowing we’d be entertaining vegan guests, Rowan and I spent some time tweaking and testing cupcake recipes before her birthday party. The one we settled on makes a rich, dense, chocolately cupcake that impressed even the vegan-skeptics among us.

rowan is 16 brownie cupcakes

Whether you prefer your milk come from cows, goats, almonds, soy, or rice, I’d recommend having a tall glass handy.

Vegan Brownie Cupcakes with Cacao Cookie Dough Frosting

2 cups sugar

1 cup brown sugar

Rounded cup cocoa powder

1 1/2 cups margarine, melted

4 Tablespoons ground flax seed

12 Tablespoons water

3 teaspoons vanilla extract

4 Tablespoons almond milk

2 1/2 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

Before you begin mixing up the batter, you’ll need to prepare your flax egg-replacer. Mix flax with water and let sit in fridge for at least 30 minutes. An hour’s better.

Preheat oven to 350.

Combine sugar, brown sugar, and cocoa powder.

Add melted margarine.

Add flax mixture, vanilla, and almond milk.

Add dry ingredients.

Stir til just combined.

Fill cupcake cups completely. (Don’t fill three quarters of the way as you often do for muffins and cupcakes.)

Bake for 20 minutes.

Yield: 14 cupcakes

Vegan Cacao Nib Cookie Dough Frosting

10 Tablespoons margarine

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1/2 cup flour

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1 teaspoon molasses

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 Tablespoons almond milk

Cacao nibs (We love Taza Chocolate’s nibs. We took a free tour on a cold winter day a few years ago, and have been hooked on their bars and their baking and chocolate-covered nibs ever since. Well-played, Taza.)

Cream margarine.

Add brown sugar.

Add flour.

Add powdered sugar.

Add molasses, vanilla, and almond milk.

Add cacao nibs.

Pipe or spread on cupcakes. If piping, use a very large tip to avoid clogging. If it does clog, insert a chopstick into the tip and wiggle it around a bit.

Sprinkle with cacao nibs.

(Photo by Dagny.)

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