It’s down to one week until Valentine’s Day! The second recipe is for vegan chocolate banana cupcakes with vegan chocolate buttercream frosting (damn, that’s a mouthful). If you haven’t checked out the first recipe, here it is.
When I was coming up with Valentine’s Day recipes, I really wanted to include something vegan. It’s a great way to challenge myself to make something different, and also a good idea to keep the cholesterol levels down.
These chocolate banana cupcakes are fluffy and moist, and the chocolate buttercream frosting is creamy and slightly tangy from the homemade cultured European-style vegan butter. That’s right. You heard me. Homemade vegan butter.
First, preheat the oven to 338°F (170°C) and line a cupcake pan with paper liners. In a small bowl, whisk together the cake flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. In a separate bowl, mix together the sugar, mashed bananas, oil, almond milk, apple cider vinegar, and vanilla extract. Add the dry ingredients and mix together until just combined. Pour the batter into the cupcake liners and bake for about 18 minutes, and let them cool completely.
While the cupcakes are cooling, make the buttercream frosting. Where I live, you can’t find vegan butter in supermarkets and ones sold online are quite expensive. I was starting to give up on vegan buttercream when I saw Stef from Cupcake Project had made a vegan buttercream from homemade vegan butter. I decided I would give it a go myself, although the thought of making my own butter brought me back to second or third grade when my classmate Brian (or maybe it was Ryan) did a book project on one of the Little House on the Prairie series and brought in the classic jar of heavy cream which we all took turns shaking. I was not looking forward to shaking a jar of soy milk, but as it turns out, making vegan butter at home involves no jar shaking! Phew! I checked out the website Stef used and decided to make cultured European-style vegan butter. The recipe calls for soy yogurt which my supermarket recently started carrying and I’ve been curious as to what it tastes like. If you plan on making vegan butter (you should, it’s very easy!) but can’t find any lecithin, I got liquid sunflower lecithin from iHerb.
In a bowl, beat the vegan butter until light and fluffy. Add the cocoa powder and continue to beat. Add the powdered sugar ½ cup at a time and continue to beat until creamy. Beat in a teaspoon of almond milk (or any other non-dairy milk) and see if the texture is to your liking. If you want it a little thinner, just add another teaspoon of almond milk. For the cocoa powder, I like using a dutch processed cocoa powder but I ran out after using it in the cupcakes so I used natural cocoa powder. Whatever you have is fine!
Put the frosting into a piping bag fitted with a piping tip and pipe away. I used the Ateco 855 closed star piping tip. If you don’t want to pipe your frosting on the cupcakes, just smear it on with a knife.
Top each cupcake with anything you like! I went with slices of strawberries cut into hearts using a cookie cutter, but you could use heart sprinkles, or a slice of banana to match the chocolate banana cupcakes. The strawberry hearts were not only cute but a nice bite of fresh, juiciness that cut the rich chocolate flavor.
If you love the combination of chocolate and bananas, you’ll love these cupcakes! If the thought of making your own butter or even just buttercream frosting is daunting, make the cupcakes and dunk the tops into some chocolate ganache and call it a day.
Are you starting to make any plans for Valentine’s Day? I have one more recipe up my sleeve which will be up on the blog this weekend! I’m bringing these vegan chocolate banana cupcakes and my final Valentine’s dessert (can’t tell you yet!) to this week’s Fiesta Friday co-hosted by Petra and yours truly. It’s just in time for Valentine’s Day so be sure to bring your romantic dishes and join us at Angie’s for all the fun! (Don’t forget to read the fiesta guidelines before linking your delicious blog post)