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.
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.
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.