The other day I got home from a really long day of work, exhausted but in need of some groceries. This is, as everyone knows, a dreadful combination. There are unspoken rules in life. Like, “do unto others” and “keep to the right to let others pass” (a particularly important rule for NYC pedestrians!) and “never go to the grocery store hungry,” the last of which probably being the most important, amirite?
In the square-off between power of will and power of desire, my sense of reason and rationale was down for the count, as the wretched little sugar-happy id of my exhausted psyche won by a devastating knockout. I wound up bringing home a package of Double-Stuff Oreos, and I was somehow so out of sorts that, in spite of my exhaustion, I managed to concoct a truly impulsive treat: vegan cookies ‘n’ cream cupcakes. Clearly my id did some serious damage, as my super-ego was still out cold and unable to prevent further poor decision-making from occurring by the time we got home.
I decided to incorporate the Oreos in a frosting, so naturally I had to smother something ultra chocolatey with it. I opted for a vegan chocolate cupcake, and my oh my was that flavor combo grand! Melted bakers chocolate–as opposed to cocoa powder–let the richness of truly delectable chocolate come through, ground chia seeds served as a protein-poppin’ substitute for the eggs, and a homemade vegan “buttermilk” was made with almond milk and some apple cider vinegar. The cupcake comes out with a really delicate crumb, but incredible moistness, and the Oreo frosting is good enough to eat with a spoon. And so you have America’s favorite cupcake.
Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes:
- 2 sticks Earth Balance Vegan Butter (8 ounces)
- 1 cup granulated sugar (7 ounces)
- 1 cup light brown sugar (7-3/4 ounces)
- 4 tablespoons ground chia seed
- 3/4 cup water
- 6 ounces unsweetened chocolate
- 2 cups cake flour (9-1/4 ounces)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup almond milk (room temperature)
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Vegan Cookies ‘n’ Cream Frosting:
- 1/2 cup nonhydrogenated shortening
- 1/2 cup Earth Balance vegan butter
- 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted if clumpy
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup nondairy milk or creamer (I used Almond Breeze unsweetened vanilla)
- 3/4 cup finely mashed cream-filled sandwich cookies (about 8)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 1-dozen cupcake tins with cupcake papers.
- Melt the chocolate over a double boiler or in a microwave. Set aside and allow to cool for 15 minutes.
- While chocolate is cooling, whisk together the chia powder and water, making sure to beat out all clumps. Set aside. In another small container, mix the apple cider vinegar and almond milk. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, mix the flour and baking soda. In another small bowl, mix the “buttermilk” and vanilla, and set both bowls aside.
- Using a hand or stand mixer, cream the butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar together. Add the chocolate and the chia mixture, and mix until incorporated. In three additions, add the flour and buttermilk mixtures alternately until just combined. Divide between the cupcake tins and bake 20 to 25 minutes until a tester comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before icing.
Cookies ‘n’ Cream Frosting:
- Beat the shortening and vegan butter together until well combined and fluffy.
- Add the sugar and beat for about 3 minutes.
- Add the vanilla and almond milk, beat for another 5 to 7 minutes.
- Stir mashed cookies into frosting.