Cupcakes / Frostings / Nuts / Vegan / Vegetarian

Vegan maple-walnut cupcakes with cream cheese frosting




This cupcake is yet another winning recipe from this fantastic book. The recipes in it have been foolproof and the chocolate cupcake has become my vegetarian/vegan chocolate cake stalwart.This time, I decided to try a slightly fancier recipe, for maple walnut cupcakes. What makes the cupcakes unique is that the walnuts are coated with a maple syrup and cinnamon shell before being chopped and folded through the batter. Which means you get a crunch of candied walnuts with every bite of fluffy maple-flavored cake. Yum. And although the original recipe recommends a vegan maple syrup and magarine frosting, I’ve decided to pair these slightly spiced cupcakes with a cream cheese and mascarpone frosting drizzled with maple syrup. I know this disqualifies the cupcakes as vegan but they remain vegetarian.

And delicious.

Vegan Maple Cupcakes

(makes 14 regular cupcakes)

(adapted from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World)

for candied walnuts:


1 cup walnut halves

1/3 cup granulated sugar

3 tbsp maple syrup (use dark amber, grade A syrup)

a pinch of salt

a large pinch of ground cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 275F. Arrange walnut halves on a tray and toast walnuts for 10 minutes, until the are fragrant and golden brown. Cool nuts completely.

2. Line a baking tray with aluminium foil or silpat. If using foil, grease foil lightly.

3. In a large saucepan, combine sugar, maple syrup and salt. Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon. The sugar should melt and the mixture bubbling. This will take about 5 minutes. Continue to boil for 3-4 minutes, until the mixture is a dark amber colour, thick and smells like caramel. Remove from heat and stir in walnuts and cinnamon. Coat nuts evenly with maple mixture.

4. Spread nuts out onto the lined baking sheet or silpat and allow to cool.

5. Measure out 1/2 cup sugared walnuts and chop finely to use in recipe. Extra walnuts can be used as decoration after the cupcakes are frosted, eaten or stored in an airtight container and refridgerated.

for cupcakes:


1/2 cup soy milk, at room temperature

1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar

1 1/3 cups flour

3/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

1/2 cup maple syrup (use dark amber, grade A syrup)

1/3 cup canola or soybean oil

2 tbsp brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup candied walnuts, chopped finely

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Whisk together soy milk and vinegar. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 10 mins to allow milk to curdle.

2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutemg into a large bowl. Whisk together oil, maple syrup, vanilla and brown sugar into the soy milk mixture.

3. Make a well in the dry ingredients and whisk in the wet ingredients in two batches. Whisk just until no large lumps remain, a few small lumps are okay. Do not overmix. Fold in chopped candied walnuts.

4. Pour mixture evenly into liners, filling up to 2/3rds of the liners, and bake at 350F for 20-22 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.

Cream cheese and Mascarpone Frosting

3 oz cream cheese (Philadelphia), softened to room temperature

1.5 oz butter, softened to room temperature

1/2 tsp vanilla

1/2 to 3/4 cup icing sugar, sifted

3 oz mascarpone, chilled

maple syrup, to drizzle

candied walnuts, to decorate

1. Cream together cream cheese and butter with electric beaters on medium speed until smooth, about 45 seconds. Do not overbeat the mixture.

2. Add in icing sugar and cream until combined, about 1 minute on med-high speed. You can add either 1/2 cup or 3/4 cup of sugar, depending on how sweet you like your frosting. Add vanilla and cream to combine, about 20 seconds. Do not overbeat.

3. Add cold mascapone (straight from the fridge) and beat on low speed to combine. Stop when everything is mixed in, it should take about a minute. Again, do not overbeat the mixture or it will get runny. Use frosting immediately or place into an airtight container and refridgerate.

4. Pipe swirls onto cupcakes, drizzle with maple syrup and top with a candied walnut half. Serve immediately.


22 thoughts on “Vegan maple-walnut cupcakes with cream cheese frosting

  1. Love your creations, however, vegan would mean that there were no animal products used in the recipe. Sounds really yummy though!

  2. Can I come and live with you? I promise to do all the washing up after you make your wonderful cakes… as long as I can taste them when you’ve made ’em 🙂

  3. Hi there 🙂 I ve an award to share with you. Do “pick” it up whenever you have E time. Thanks :)

  4. After I made that apple crisp of yours, I knew it was a good idea to bookmark your site and put it in my recipes folder. I didn’t make the cupcake, but all I needed to know was how to make those candied walnuts. I could eat bags of those all day.
    I didn’t know you were in singapore. Are you by any chance of tamil descent? Because if you are, you might be able to help out a single 29 year old american male and fellow dravidian. Don’t worry, it’s not what you think. (Although I’d be honored 😉 It actually involves the construction of a certain delicious flaky, buttery, bread called paratha. Being of rice-eating keralite origin, I am clueless.

  5. Hi girl!

    CAn this frosting be made with just cream cheese? and no masacaporne? Cus i dunno what that is and dun hf it at home-i hf cream cheese though…how?:)

    Lurv all the food yummiezs here!!!

  6. Hi Tracey, I don’t think there were any animal products used in the cupcake recipe. I’ve already qualified the frosting not to be vegan, since it uses butter and cheese. It is only the cupcakes that I claim to be vegan, and to my knowledge, they still are 🙂

    Shyam, of course you can come stay, I’d love to have someone to feed, and if you want to wash dirty dishes, I’ll not stand in your way. That’s the part I hate MOST about being in the kitchen. If only it weren’t so detrimental to the environment, I’d stock my cupboards with disposable-everything! And thanks for the meme link. If I can find the time, I’ll do it for sure!

    Thanks Maya for the award, it’s really sweet of you!

    js, I wish I could help, I seriously do. We Tamils are quite dumbfounded when it comes to leavened-bread-type-things too. But I think I’ve come across a recipe for a paratha in Tripat Narayanan’s book, Table- Food, Frangipanis and Flair. Let me try my hand at it and report back to you.

    Siva, I usually have problems with cream cheese frostings becuase they tend to become too soft and liquidy. The addition of mascarpone keeps it fluffy and thick. But there are so many people out there who successfully make cream cheese frostings (without any mascarpone). You may want to google cream cheese frosting and see what u get? My only tip is to not overbeat the frosting… I think if you work at it too long with your electric beaters, it gets water-y very quickly. GOod LucK!

    Thanks anamika… I usually am afraid to work with cream cheese frosting but this time it was of a easy consistency to pipe, thankfullY!

  7. I’ve been doing a search for vegan recipes this morning, I’m not technically vegan but I figure the fewer animal products the better. I was feeling overwhelmed at the sheer amount of mouth-watering recipes, where to start? So I gave it a rest and went to browse through my favorite links. And what should I find, but yet another vegan recipe! I think this is a sign. And maybe this is the one I ought to start with, it looks wonderful (and I have no doubt the kids will love it.)

  8. Also, you are very right about the cream cheese — which is why I don’t use an electric beater to mix it. I do it by hand, which keeps the consistency nice and thick.

    • Katie, I agree, it is kind of depressing to find a post on vegan cupcakes, only to find that the frosting is not vegan. I was like “Why? Why…” A cupcake is simply not a cupcake without its frosting. 😉
      Anyhow..for vegans reading this post, or those who want to follow Isa’s intentions on spreading vegan love, there is a wonderful vegan cream cheese frosting found here:
      Or if you own Isa’s book, you could use her recipe for the maple frosting. ;D
      I will definitely be making these soon.

  9. Katie–you could use a vegan cream cheese or a vegan butter. if you can find them it is not usually that difficult to sub.

  10. hello,

    just browsing through your site as I stumbled across it from looking for a cupcake recipe – I feel inspired! Your cakes look amazing! I may reply back with some questions as I am new to cupcake baking – but for now thank you for your fantastic recipes, if only you weren’t so far away I would love to sample them! x


  11. Hi! I was browsing the net when I can on this site and read this post! These souffle cups look REALLY familiar. Are these the cheap ones from BWY? My mom uses them and a lot of ppl complain about these even though they work real well. How is your experience with them?

    Thanks, Hakeber

  12. Looks like a great recipe but it’s confusing to call them vegan, even though I understand the cake is vegan and the frosting isn’t as it contains dairy.

    Keep em coming though. Thanks!

    Vegan Veronica

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