Saturday, October 29, 2011

Vegan Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple "Buttercream" Frosting and Toasted Walnuts

I'm going to a Halloween party tonight and wanted to bring something festive for autumn. These are very pumpkin-y, which I love, and they were quick since I used bisquick as the base for the cupcakes. Hopefully everyone will enjoy them as much as I have!


Cake (makes about 24 cupcakes):
3 cups original Bisquick
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
1 cup soymilk
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 teaspoon vanilla
egg replacer for two eggs

1 package (16 ounces) vegan confectioners sugar (such as Hain Organic Powdered Sugar)
3-4 tablespoons vegan margarine
1/4 cup maple syrup

1/2 cup chopped walnuts
brown sugar


1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease and flour 24 medium muffin cups or line with foil or paper baking cups.

2. Beat all cake ingredients together with an electric mixer or stand mixer on low speed until combined, then on medium speed for about four minutes, scraping the bowl as needed. Fill muffin cups about halfway.

3. Bake for about 15-20 minutes (it may take a bit longer, but start checking for done-ness at around the 15 minute mark. Cooking time varies by oven and altitude). They are done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean/when the cake is starting to pull away from the edges of the pan/when you can press the top of the cakes lightly with your finger and they feel springy. Immediately remove from pan and place on a wire rack to cool.

4. To make the frosting, put the confectioners sugar in your mixing bowl and add the margarine (which should be room temperature or slightly softened). Begin beating the sugar and margarine together on low speed at first so the sugar doesn't make a huge mess. Once its crumbly, increase the beater speed. Gradually add the maple syrup until you reach a fairly stiff and creamy consistency. You may need to adjust the measurements--making frosting isn't always an exact science, and you need to adjust it to meet your own taste and consistency requirements. Add more confectioners sugar if it's too thin. Add more margarine (or shortening) if you want it fluffier. Add more syrup if it's too thick. If the frosting isn't "maple-y" enough, you can add maple flavoring too. I don't like an overpowering maple flavor, so the syrup alone worked for me.

5. Frost the cupcakes, generously. Sprinkle a little sugar and cinnamon on top.

6. Preheat the oven to about 450 degrees. Spread the walnuts on a baking sheet and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Bake about 5 minutes, then turn, sprinkle on more cinnamon and sugar and bake another 5 minutes, until toasted. Keep a close watch on these, they burn very easily. Like everything else, cooking time varies by oven and altitude. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

7. Once the walnuts have cooled, sprinkle a few pieces (5-7 or so) on top of the cupcake for garnish. Enjoy!

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