The Lenten season is upon us, and literally, the day after Valentine's Day, I walked into my local supermarket to find a ridiculous amount of Easter candy already being sold. It may be snowing in a majority of the United States right now, but as far as the retail world is concerned, it's beginning to feel a lot like Spring!
With that being said, I decided it would be a perfect time to share my ultimate favorite vegan cupcake recipe (aside from my go-to tiramisu cupcakes, that is). Vegan carrot cake cupcakes are so incredibly dense, and because you're making your own batch, you can decide what you want to do with it. For example, I am not a raisin fan (when it comes to my desserts, at least), but I love walnuts, so I usually end up topping these with a little bit more chopped walnut than the recipe calls for. (The carrots in these pictures were assembled with fondant. I am not the biggest fan of fondant's flavor, so that's why I usually opt for the walnuts. However, if you're interested, you could easily find rolled fondant in these colors at Michael's or any other specialty store that sells baking/cake decorating equipment.)
Vegan Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
(Makes 12 cupcakes)
For the Cupcakes -
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup soy yogurt, plain or vanilla (I recommend WholeSoy & Co. brand.)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup finely grated carrots
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup raisins (If you don't like raisins, you can be assured that omitting them won't affect the recipe! Pinky swear!)
For the Frosting -
1/4 cup nonhydrogenated margarine, softened
1/4 cup vegan cream cheese, softened
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1) Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a muffin tin with 12 cupcake liners.
2) In a medium mixing bowl, mix together sugar, vegetable oil, yogurt, and vanilla. Sift in the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices) and mix until smooth. Fold in carrots, walnuts, and raisins.
3) Spray the cupcake liners with non-stick baking spray. Fill the liners two-thirds full. Bake for 26 - 28 minutes, until a toothpick inserted through the center of one comes out clean.
4) While the cupcakes are baking, begin the cream cheese frosting by creaming together margarine and cream cheese until just combined. Use a handheld mixer to whip while adding the confectioners' sugar in 1/2 batches. Mix until smooth and creamy, then mix in the vanilla. 5) Once the cupcakes are fully cooled, top each with a generous amount of cream cheese frosting.