I LOVE cupcakes. Who doesn’t? A well-crafted cupcake is a little piece of Heaven: light, fluffy, with a creamy and sweet frosting. When I get married, I want to have cupcakes at my wedding instead of a cake, I love them that much. When I was in college, my favorite days were always the ones when I would walk into the dining hall and see the dessert cart (which they always placed prominently near the entrance) full of chocolate cupcakes. I would wrap one up in a napkin, put it in my purse, and sneak it back to my dorm for a study-time snack. I always had to scrape off half the frosting, though, because it was far too sweet and there was too much of it, and sometimes I wouldn’t feel well afterwards. So when I discovered all my food allergies, I knew one of my first orders of business HAD to be finding a good cupcake recipe 😀
Cue this wonderful recipe for vegan Salted Caramel Cupcakes! When I found this page, I was absolutely thrilled. I love sea salt and caramel, and I was excited to find a recipe full of all the things I love but without all the things that make me sick. So, I just had to give it a shot. Yesterday, I rolled up my hypothetical sleeves, and set out to make cupcakes (my first time making them from scratch, too!). My lovely friend McCracken volunteered to take pictures of the process, and the photos turned out fantastic!
Of course, I had to put my own spin on this recipe! I used Red Mill gluten-free baking flour with 1/2 tsp of Xanthum gum to keep the consistency right. I also used Truvia vegan sweetener instead of sugar, because I try to avoid processed sugar whenever possible. I also used coconut milk instead of soy milk, since that’s what I had in my fridge 😀 I also mixed in a dash of cinnamon into the batter for just a hint of spice. For the caramel frosting, I used the coconut version of vegan margarine. It was actually really delicious! I’m going to use it for the majority of my baking needs now, I think.
The cupcake mixture itself was extremely easy to make! I blended everything by hand, and the mixture came out really smooth. The only problem I had with the recipe was that her baking directions are in Celsius, and it converts to 356 in Fahrenheit…so I just rounded it down to 350 and baked them for a few minutes longer.
Sidenote: I absolutely adore these muffin tins. Metal ones require the use of liners to keep the batter from sticking, but with these, I just had to lightly grease them (with a vegan oil), and the cupcakes came out without a fight.
The caramel was amazing. It took a few tries with different blenders to get it right, but it was worth it. I was skeptical of a date-based frosting, but after tasting it, I am definitely a convert! It was sweet without being overpowering because of the sea salt and the coconut butter, and it tasted just like a caramel from a restaurant. I love that it’s fruit-based and has no processed sugar!! Mmmm. This will be a go-to frosting for me from now on.
I was worried that the frosting would be too thick and would tear up the cupcakes, but it went on smooth and creamy 🙂 I sprinkled some sea salt on top, and voila! I can’t talk enough about how good these cupcakes were. They were the lightest, fluffiest cupcakes I have ever eaten, and the caramel frosting was divine. My friends gobbled them up! It was wonderful to have a guilt-free cupcake that didn’t make me sick 🙂 I will be making these quite frequently, methinks.
These cupcakes prove that desserts don’t have to be full of sugar and other unhealthy ingredients! I encourage you to give them a try 🙂 You won’t be disappointed.