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Thursday, December 29, 2016

Recipe: Mint Chocolate Chip Cupcakes (Gluten Free & Vegan)

Easy Mint Chocolate Chip Cupcakes Recipe - gluten free, vegan, low  fat, lower sugar, kid friendly, birthday cakes, wheat free, dairy free, egg free

Hello, my name is Kristy and I'm hopelessly devoted to cupcakes. 

Yup, I said it. 
It's out there, in the open. 
Cupcakes are my home skillet biscuit.

Well actually, they're cupcakes... not skillet biscuits... but hey! Bonus points if you know how where I first got home skillet biscuit from all those years ago 😉

Easy Mint Chocolate Chip Cupcakes Recipe - gluten free, vegan, low  fat, lower sugar, kid friendly, birthday cakes, wheat free, dairy free, egg free

But seriously, cupcakes are my favourite. Sure, cake is great and brownies are awesome but cupcakes give you the cake and frosting in one convenient little single serve package. 

When I was, say, 13, I really got into baking. My friends thought I was a little crazy baking things from scratch and so did my non-baking Mum - but they never turned their noses up when I asked them to try my creations. 

Somehow cupcakes weren't really that popular in Australia when I started baking them... at least not in the way I was making them. I don't really know why Australia was so behind the times but my friends and family thought I was a little crazy baking batch after batch of cupcakes, topping them with mountains of frosting and experimenting with different flavours and mix-ins. 

Easy Mint Chocolate Chip Cupcakes Recipe - gluten free, vegan, low  fat, lower sugar, kid friendly, birthday cakes, wheat free, dairy free, egg free

Mint Chocolate Chip Cupcakes were one of the first "unusual" batches I made. Friends and family thought I was a little bit crazy - and then they tasted them. 

The rich chocolate base. 
The fluffy, slightly mint tasting frosting. 
Chunks of chocolate sprinkled on top.

Before we finish up 2016, I decided we needed to finish the year on a sweet note - and what better way to do it than by recreating those cupcakes. This time they're gluten free and vegan but they're still seriously, ridiculously delicious. 

So let me share the recipe with you! >> 

Easy Mint Chocolate Chip Cupcakes Recipe - gluten free, vegan, low  fat, lower sugar, kid friendly, birthday cakes, wheat free, dairy free, egg free

Gluten Free & Vegan Mint Chocolate Chip Cupcakes Recipe
gluten free, vegan, egg free, dairy free, soy free, lightened up
makes 10-12 cupcakes 

For the Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes:
1 1/2 cups (180g) gluten free plain flour, sifted*
2/3 cup (60g) cocoa powder, sifted
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda 
1/2 cup (100g) coconut sugar or brown sugar** see notes
2 cups (480g) unsweetened applesauce
Tiny pinch of salt
If needed: 1/4 cup water or milk

For the Vegan Mint Buttercream Frosting:
1/4 cup (50g) vegan butter substitute (earth balance or nuttelex) or butter (for non vegan)***
1 cup (125g) icing sugar/powdered sugar, sifted
1/4 tsp peppermint extract 
1 small drop of green food colouring or a small amount of matcha powder
Optional: Chopped chocolate or chocolate chips, to garnish

To make the cupcakes
  • Preheat your oven to 180C/355F
  • Lightly grease your cupcake pans or line them with paper liners. 
  • In a bowl, sift your flour and cocoa powder and add in all of your other ingredients. 
  • Mix until just combined, adding up to 1/4 cup of water if needed to incorporate all of your ingredients (the batter will be thick). 
  • Divide your mixture amongst your cupcake pans, smoothing the tops with the back of a spoon or spatula.
  • Bake your cupcakes for 15-25 minutes or until cooked through and a skewer inserted into the centre removes clean. Baking time will vary depending on how thick your cupcakes are, so keep an eye on them and take them out once cooked through. 
  • Allow to cool completely before frosting.
To make the frosting: 
  • In a mixer, beat your butter spread until soft. 
  • Scrape down the sides and add your sifted icing sugar.
  • Beat until light and fluffy and all of your ingredients are incorporated. Add your mint extract and food colouring/matcha powder and mix until combined. 
  • If needed, add a little extra mint extract to get your desired taste. If your icing is too soft, add more icing sugar until it reaches your desired consistency.
  • Spread your cooled cupcakes with your frosting or pipe it on using a piping bag. 
  • Top your cupcakes with pieces of chopped chocolate or chocolate chips and enjoy.
  • Storing: These cupcakes will keep for 2-3 days in an airtight container at room temperature, however, if it's really hot inside your house they're probably best kept in the fridge. We keep ours in the fridge as it's summer in Australia! 
*If you want fluffier cupcakes, use 1 1/2 cups self raising flour and keep all of the other ingredients the same. We do like how dense and delicious these are as per the original recipe though!
**If you like your cakes sweeter, use 3/4 cup sugar here
***Coconut oil will not work in place of butter/margarine here. We use Nuttelex, however, if you're in the US earth balance or a dairy free butter alternative that can be used in baking is what you need to use. If you're not needing these to be vegan/dairy free, you can use butter.

But tell me, do you remember the first recipe you made from scratch on your own? 
And if you could have any kind of cupcake, what would it be? 
I can't really say no to any kind of cupcake - but anything involving chocolate is a winner with me! And as for the first recipe I ever made completely from scratch on my own - it was homemade ice cream! 


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