A rich, fulfilling vegan and gluten-free way to celebrate sometimes seems impossible, doesn’t it?
For years I’ve tinkered with gluten-free desserts only to have them taste like gluten-free desserts. The ingredients became more complex and expensive, and the baking process grew in length for each recipe I uncovered. And I was never satisfied with the result.
Then I found this one, and whittled it down to my liking. Made with heart-healthy avocado, gluten-free flour, and the milk alternative of your choice, these cupcakes are devoured every time I place them on a table. The vegan chocolate chunks, folded into the batter, are mouthwatering when you catch a bite.
Though no vegan or gluten-free recipe is ever completely simple or inexpensive, this has become a staple, and well worth the time and money spent. Celebrating a birthday? Attending a party? Show up with a tray of these. You could go all night without telling anyone they’re gluten-free or vegan, and they’d never know.
For the cake:
3 oz. quality vegan chocolate*
2/3 cup freshly brewed coffee
1 1/2 cups gluten-free flour (I use King Arthur’s multi-purpose gluten-free flour mix)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I use Ghiradelli)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 large very ripe avocado, mashed
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup unsweetened soy, coconut, almond, or sunflower milk
1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips (I use the Enjoy Life brand found at Whole Foods)
For the icing:
8 oz. vegan chocolate, chopped*
1/2 cup coconut milk, plus more if necessary
* To make things easy, I often buy two bags of Enjoy Life’s vegan chocolate chunks rather than buying one bag and searching for a separate bar of vegan chocolate.
• Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease cupcake liners then place them in cupcake pan. Batter should make approximately 15 cupcakes.
• Place a small saucepan over low heat and add 3 oz. of quality vegan chocolate and freshly brewed coffee. Whisk until chocolate is totally melted, then remove from heat and set aside to cool.
• In a large bowl, whisk dry ingredients together: flour, both sugars, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
• In another separate large bowl, beat together your mashed avocado, oil, and vanilla extract until smooth. Whisk in cooled chocolate and milk of choice. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Gently fold in 1/2 cup of vegan chocolate chips (if you want richer batter, throw in more—the chips are delicious when they’re baked and melted). Your batter should be fairly thick. If it’s too thick, add an extra tablespoon or two of milk.
• Pour batter slowly into cupcake holders; fill halfway. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until tester inserted into center comes out almost clean with only a few crumbs attached. Let cool completely before dislodging cupcakes and icing.
To make vegan chocolate icing:
Using a small saucepan over medium-low heat, add coconut milk and chopped chocolate. Watch pan carefully and whisk until chocolate is completely melted. Add more coconut milk if you want thinner icing. Let stand for a few minutes, then immediately spoon over cupcakes. And have fun! Feel free to top each with decorations: sprinkles, nuts, toffee, chips, or anything else. Best eaten immediately!