Just before Christmas, I had one of my non-vegan friends over for dinner. We’d been having conversations leading up to that about vegan foods, and what I do and don’t eat (I prefer not to say ‘can’ and ‘can’t’, it’s not about ‘can’t’, it’s about ‘want’. We should always remember that) and she was curious about sweet treats particularly. She just couldn’t get her head around the idea that vegan baked goods taste exactly the same if not better than non-vegan equivalents. So I made these for her. Let’s just say she was more than convinced.
These chocolate peanut butter jelly cupcakes are so rich and sweet, creamy and satisfying. I urge you all to try them out because you won’t be disappointed! It’s a simple vegan chocolate sponge mix with a spoonful of cherry jam in the middle and chocolate peanut butter frosting on the top. The frosting is the hardest and most time consuming part, but even then, the whole thing takes 2hrs max from start to ‘oops I’ve eaten them all’.
This sponge is the simplest, purely because the frosting packs so much flavour, so oil, water, and a little bit of cider vinegar is enough as an egg replacement in here. (See my other recipes for alternative egg replacements!)
Enough from me, as always, I like to let the recipe do the talking!
Yields 12 cupcakes
Chocolate Peanut Butter Jelly Cupcakes
1 1/2 cups plain flour (gluten free if preferred)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup water
12 teaspoons cherry jam (or any jam of your choice)
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and line a cupcake pan with cupcake cases.
2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Add the vanilla extract, vinegar, oil, and water. Using a spatula, mix the batter until smooth. [Yes it really is as easy as ‘put all the ingredients in a bowl and stir’!]
3. Add one tablespoon of batter to each cake case, and then spoon a teaspoon of cherry jam on top of the batter in each. Divide the remaining batter between each of the cupcake cases, making sure the jam is covered.
4. Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick (fork, knife or other poking implement) inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from the baking pan and allow to cool to room temperature.
For the peanut butter frosting:
6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate (I used my supermarkets own brand dark chocolate, but any dairy-free chocolate would work well)
1/2 cup coconut milk
3 tablespoons peanut butter (smooth, though crunchy would work if you wanted extra texture)
- Finely chop the chocolate and place into a mixing bowl. Set aside.
- On a medium-high heat, bring the coconut milk to a boil, stirring occasionally to prevent the milk from scorching.
- Pour the milk over the chocolate in the mixing bowl, making sure that the milk covers the chocolate.
- Allow to sit for several minutes before stirring until smooth. (The heat of the milk will melt the chocolate and you’ll be left with a shiny, smooth, creamy liquid chocolate mix).
- Stir in the peanut butter to this once the chocolate is smooth.
- Allow the frosting to rest on the counter until it cools down and thickens to a pipe-able consistency (this could take anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes, perhaps slightly longer on account of the peanut butter).
- Beat the frosting for several minutes until it incorporates air and feels lighter.
- Place the frosting in a piping bag (or a plastic bag with the corner cut out) and pipe the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes.