Oct 30, 2013
Peanut Butter Filled Chocolate Halloween Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache Icing. Vegan. Gluten-free. Oil-free.
Ummm…. let me just say right up front that these cupcakes are a wee bit too decadent to be deemed “healthy” and not something that you would ordinarily see coming out of my kitchen. There. Said.
This recipe started as an experiment—cue Frankenstein music… wait, is there some particular music that indicates a Frankenstein experiment?? I don’t think so. Well anyway, it all started with an idea for a chocolate muffin. Batter made. Test muffin in the oven (yes, I do bake ONE muffin when I’m testing a new recipe). What comes out of the oven is a little brown miracle. More like a cupcake than a muffin. So I’m thinking… peanut butter filling.
Filling done. Cupcakes cooled. Filling piped into the chocolately, cakey goodness. Hmmm… what shall I do to cover up those cute little dots of peanut butter filling peeking out of the tops? Why chocolate ganache, of course. Keep in mind I hadn’t yet tried my hand at a vegan ganache. I used to make ganache with heavy whipping cream. When I used to be a baker. So I pull out some coconut milk and… yes, it works perfectly. So! This dessert just kept getting more and more decadent caloric delicious!!! Now, all that said, you COULD leave off the ganache and simply use the peanut butter filling as a frosting. It would still be a helluva devilish dessert and with much less sugars. One I would be more apt to blog about as a healthier alternative to SAD (Standard American Diet) desserts.
What can I say? Once in a while I slip into a spell of baking madness and create something scary good. I know it’s only ONE day till Halloween and I’m sorry for this late-in-the game recipe. But you can still enjoy these cupcakes, even if it isn’t the witching hour.
Here you go…
~ for the cupcakes
- ½ cup buckwheat flour
- ½ cup potato starch
- ¼ cup brown rice flour
- ½ cup non-alkalized cocoa powder
- ¾ cup coconut sugar or other minimally processed dry sweetener
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1½ TBS flax meal + 3 TBS water
- 1 cup cashew milk (No substitutions! It’s the fat content that provides the richness needed since we’re not using oil)
- ½ cup unsweetened apple sauce
- 3 TBS raw cashew butter
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
~ for the peanut butter filling
- ¼ cup peanut butter
- ¼ cup raw cashew butter
- 2 TBS maple syrup
- 3 TBS unsweetened soy milk or other non-dairy milk
NOTE: if using as an icing, double these amounts
~ for the ganache icing
- 1 10 oz. bag vegan chocolate chips
- 1 cup full fat coconut milk (like I said, you may want to use the peanut butter icing instead!)
- Combine the flax meal with the water and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- Line a 12-muffin baking tin with paper liners of your choice.
- Mix all dry ingredients together for the cupcakes.
- Mix all wet ingredients together for the cupcakes, including the flax mixture.
- Pour wet ingredients into dry and whisk well to combine.
- Add ¼ cup batter to each cupcake liner.
- Bake for 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Mix all the filling ingredients together and whisk well to combine.
- Add the filling to a piping bag, fitted with a #12 tip.
- Gently push the tip into the top of each cupcake and SLOWLY squeeze out some filling until the top of the cupcake rises just a bit.
- For the ganache, heat the coconut milk and the chocolate chips in a saucepan over medium heat until the chips are melted, whisking constantly.
- Let the ganache cool completely, then top the cupcakes, either using a piping bag with a tip of your choice, or you can simply use a spatula to spread it on top. NOTE: Depending on the ambient temperature in your kitchen, the ganache will be thicker or thinner when it cools. If you’re going to be using a piping bag/tip, make sure you decorate the cupcakes when the ganache is at room temp and not too cool. It does set up pretty hard if the temperature in the room is too low, which would make it difficult to pipe.