The perfect holiday treat!
275 g/2 cups plain/all-purpose flour
100 g/3/4 cup natural cocoa powder (such as Ghirardelli Unsweetened Cocoa)
2 teaspoons (10 ml) baking soda
1 teaspoon (5 ml) baking powder
a pinch of salt
450 ml/1-3/4 cup unsweetened soy milk
2 teaspoons (10 ml) red wine vinegar
320 g/ 1-2/3 cups caster/superfine sugar
320 ml/1-1/4 cups sunflower oil
2 tablespoons (30 ml) vanilla extract
1 cup (227 g/8 oz) Vegan, non-hydrogenated margarine
1 cup (125 g/4 oz) icing sugar (confectioners’ or powdered)
1-1/2 teaspoons (7.5 ml) pure vanilla extract
5 oz (145 g) quality bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped, melted and cooled
1/4 cup (60 ml) almond or soy milk
pinch of salt
24 Madagascar Vanilla Wafers (available at Whole Foods)
Vegan Googly Eyes *** see recipe below
Preheat the oven to 160°C (315°F) Gas 4. Put the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl. Sift twice.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the soy milk, vinegar, sugar, oil and vanilla extract. Pour into the flour mixture and stir until well combined.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake pan and bake in the preheated oven for 40-55 minutes. A wooden skewer inserted in the middle should come out with almost no crumbs attached, and the middle of the cake, when pressed, should spring back slightly instead of sink. Bake for an additional 5-10 minutes if necessary.
Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Slide a table knife all around the edge to loosen the cake, then remove from the pan. Transfer to a wire rack to cool for 1 hour.
To create the frosting: In a bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, combine the icing sugar and margarine and beat on low speed, about 1 minute.
Add vanilla and beat on low until well combined. Add the melted & cooled chocolate and beat on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add almond milk and salt, and beat on medium speed for another minute.
~*Make Them Reindeer (see attached photos!)*~
Frost cupcakes, Place Nilla wafers with a chocolate chip nose on cupcakes, then place pretzels above! Use some extra icing to put on the googly eyes and you're done!
***Vegan Googly Eyes:
1 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp. cornstarch
1 Tbsp. corn syrup
2 tsp. nondairy milk
1/4 tsp. almond extract (or vanilla extract)
mini nondairy chocolate chips (like Enjoy Life)
Whisk together the powdered sugar and cornstarch. Add the remainder ingredients except for the chocolate chips and mix until combined. It should be a thick paste at this point.
Place into either a piping bag or Ziploc baggie and pipe dots into one row onto a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Gently top each dot with the mini chocolate chip--you don't want to wait too long to place the chocolate chip in the middle or it will set.
Repeat until all the paste is gone.
Allow the googly eyes to set for at least 24 hours on your counter.