Last week in class one of my professors asked in a joking way “So when do we get some of your baking?”
Me : *dead serious* “Next week. Be ready.”
I have this terrible habit of being far too easy to convince to show up at school bearing baked goods. Cupcakes seemed like an obvious crowd pleaser, and I have been meaning to make oreo cupcakes with the new salted caramel oreo thins, so salted caramel oreo cupcakes it was. My class was pretty excited when I showed up late, and I got a lot of comments on how they were so good, along with the standard “I can’t believe these are vegan!” to which I replied, if they felt they were good, they were all honour bound to disagree the next time they heard a person say vegan food is gross.
So…if you are not aware of Isa Chandra, I am sorry.
Isa is the vegan wizard behind the Veganomicon and the Post Punk Kitchen, but my favorite resource of hers is Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. When I was new to vegan cupcakes, I referenced that book until it was dog eared. At this point, I have the basics of vegan cupcakes down and am able to innovate my own flavours without following a recipe, using Isa’s recipe as a base. The following recipe is adapted from Isa’s Vanilla Bean Cupcake with Chocolate Ganache.
Vegan Salted Caramel Oreo Cupcakes
Makes 1 dozen – Preheat Oven to 350 – 18-22 minutes bake time
- 1 cup non dairy milk*
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 1/4 cake&pastry flour or all-purpose flour
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup canola oil
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup vegan butter
- 1/4 cup vegan baking sticks or vegan shortening
- 1 1/2 cup icing sugar
- vanilla to taste
- splash of non dairy milk
- 12+ salted caramel oreo thins
- Gold sugar sprinkles
Gimme the cakes
Preheat your oven to 350F and line your cupcake tin with liners.
Mix your non dairy milk and apple cider vinegar together, and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk the sugar, vanilla, and oil together. When combined, add the non dairy milk.
Using a flour sifter, whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. At this point, I sometimes add chopped oreos into the batter. Since I wanted a fluffy and light cake for the salted caramel, I omitted cookie in the batter. When I want very decadent oreo cupcakes, I place one full oreo in the bottom of each cupcake liner before pouring batter on top. Fill up your cupcake liners, and pop in the oven. I bake for 18 minutes on a convection bake and check, increasing by 2 minutes and re-checking.
While your cupcakes are in the oven, make your frosting! I start by using a large cook’s knife to split oreos in half. Attempting to saw them will lead to smashed cookies, the best approach is to place them on a cutting board and quickly and firmly press down the middle. I always start with more cookies than I believe I need – the inevitable cracked cookies get placed to the side for the frosting.
In your mixer or by hand, quickly cream your butters and shortening together. Add vanilla. Slowly add icing sugar while continuing to swiftly mix your butter. You should begin to get fluffy peaks. I keep my non dairy milk beside me and add small splashes as needed. You want your frosting to smooth, not wet, with no lumps. At this point, I crush all the broken cookies and whip them into the frosting.
Let your cupcakes cool on a rack (or, if you are like me and doing this very last minute, put them outside and put the frosting on before they are completely cooled and accept the inevitable frosting melt). Frosting can be piped into swirls or applied with a spatula or frosting knife. Place one half cookie on each cupcake, and top with gold sprinkles.
Eat, Share, Repeat!