Vegan Gluten-free Black Bottom Cupcakes

Brrr! I don’t recall being this cold in a long time! Winter is finally here, though it’s sunny still. I love how where we live, the seasons start slowly. Often it will be a full month into summer, autumn, winter or spring before the weather really sets in. What that means for today, is that the sun is shining and there are still a few red, yellow and orange autumn leaves clinging to the vines, dangling from the trees. We have spent some time outdoors lately, the sun not so harsh and the wind not too chill, our jackets thick against the burgeoning cold.

Vegan Gluten-free Black Bottom CupcakesVegan Gluten-free Black Bottom CupcakesVegan Gluten-free Black Bottom Cupcakes

A visit to the hills was in order, before all the colour had fallen from the trees. We played hide and seek for what seemed like hours (“not long enough!” was the plaintive cry) and searched eagerly through the undergrowth to spy bright red toadstools poking up through damp earth – just like in the fairy tales. A good hike in the crisp air was the perfect antidote to a busy week spent in the urban jungle, chasing dreams… earning money to pay the mortgage, study, washing, dishes, only half-living in the week, full living on the weekend.

Vegan Gluten-free Black Bottom CupcakesVegan Gluten-free Black Bottom CupcakesVegan Gluten-free Black Bottom Cupcakes

A morning spent outdoors in brisk weather always raises the appetite, and with all that cold air burning up calories, it was time to refuel. What better way than to refuel with cake? These decadent, rustic cupcakes are just the ticket. If you’ve played your cards right, you’ll have soaked the cashews the night before, and are all set to whip up a batch. There are already two versions of this recipe on the blog, but with my recent foray into vegan baking, it was about time to make them without eggs or dairy. Enjoy them today, sunshine or no.

Vegan Gluten-free Black Bottom CupcakesVegan Gluten-free Black Bottom Cupcakes

What’s your favourite season, dear reader?

Black Bottom Cupcakes {vegan, gf}
The scrummiest things are often the ugliest. ~ Anon

Makes 12 to 14 cupcakes

Ingredients
For the cheesecake filling:
½ cup non-dairy yoghurt (I used plain unsweetened coconut yoghurt)
50g (⅓ cup) soaked raw cashews (soaked for at least 4 hours)
1 to 2 tablespoons sugar or sweetener
2 to 3 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons corn starch or arrowroot
1 teaspoon psyllium husk powder
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
⅛ teaspoon salt

55g (¼ cup) dairy-free chocolate chips

For the cake:
150g (1 cup) plain (all-purpose) gluten-free flour
50g (½ cup) almond meal (or almond flour) *
225g (1 cup) white sugar
50g (½ cup) unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking (bicarb) soda
¼ tsp salt
250ml (1 cup) unsweetened soy milk or other plant milk
83ml (1/3 cup) safflower, canola or sunflower oil
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup dairy-free chocolate chips, extra

Method
The day before, add 1/3 cup raw cashews to a glass or ceramic bowl and cover with filtered water. Cover bowl with cling wrap and set aside to soak for at least 4 hours.

Preheat to 180 degrees C/ 350F. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin, or line the tin with paper muffins cups.

For the filling: Drain soaked cashews and then blend all filling ingredients into a smooth mixture in a power blender (I used a hand-held stick blender). Add the choc chips and stir through with a rubber spatula. Refrigerate until needed.

For the cake: In a medium bowl sift together the flour, almond meal, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, oil, vinegar and vanilla. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and gently stir in the wet ingredients until just combined. Be careful not to beat, otherwise the cake will become tough, not tender.

Divide the batter among the muffin cups. Spoon a few teaspoons of the filling into the centre of each cupcake, dividing the filling evenly. This will fill the cups almost completely, which is fine. Sprinkle with extra choc chips, if desired.

Bake for 25 to 28 minutes, or until the tops are slightly golden brown and the cupcakes feel springy when gently pressed. These moist treats will keep well unrefrigerated for 2 to 3 days if stored in an airtight container.

Notes
Adapted from David Lebovitz, via Leitesculinaria. Vegan cheesecake adapted from Vegan Richa

*If using almond flour (as opposed to almond meal), you may need to add 2 tablespoons extra to achieve the same consistency.

Did you make this recipe?
Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and share a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #redhotcentre!

2 thoughts on “Black Bottom Cupcakes {vegan, gf}”

  1. What a beautiful picture you paint. I felt I could see it all. More, more, the children cry! I remember thinking when the children were little that i should buy them thin winter coats and myself a thick, long one. Then there might be a chance that our ability to stay outside and build snow men would last the same duration.
    Those cheese cake bites look perfectly delectable. My least favorite un-season is the end of winter, those grey days of promise seem to take forever. Otherwise I love the rest from spring to snowy winter.

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