One day I was scurrying back and forth between academic buildings in my woolen pea coat and scarf and the next I'm sweltering in my short sleeve buttons ups.
So today, as I was contemplating an afternoon of research and study, I thought a cool summer snack might be in order. I really wanted cupcakes but didn't have any eggs so I decided to go vegan and make some vegan cupcakes.
Thus the virgin piña colada vegan cupcake was born!
These little cuties are sweet, light and deliciously moist (insert your own dirty joke here). They are perfect for a particularly warm spring or summer day. Plus you can now share delicious cupcakes with all your vegan friends.
this recipes makes a dozen large cupcakes.
(Note: this vegan cupcake is based on the Post Punk Kitchen's vanilla vegan cupcake which you can find for free here)
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup coconut cream
1 tea apple cider vinegar
1 1/4 all purpose flour
2 TB cornstarch
3/4 tea baking powder
1/2 tea baking soda
1/4 tea salt
1/3 cup canola oil
3/4 granulated sugar
1 tea spoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup frozen pineapple tidbits (or small one inch cubes of pineapple)
2TB lemon juice
1 tea lemon zest
Take a can of whole fat coconut milk and stick it in the fridge the day before making the cupcakes. Alternatively stick it in the freezer for an hour then stick it in the fridge for another hour then use. The chilling of the can of coconut separates the milk from the cream, if you get low-fat this won't work because they've already separated out some of the cream and usually also pasteurized it so it will not separate.
Preheat oven to 350 and put paper liners in cupcake pan and set aside.
When the coconut cream and milk have separated use a spoon to push through the cream to allow the milk to drain out of the can. I used Trader Joe's Coconut Cream: extra thick and got about 1/2 cup of coconut milk out of it, it may be more or less depending on the brand you use. Make up the rest of the cup in coconut cream (in my case another 1/2 cup). Put the rest of the cream in the fridge for later. Use a fork to beat the cream and milk back together but don't worry if it isn't completely smooth.
Pour the 1 cup coconut in a large mixing bowl and add vinegar, sugar and oil, beat the mixture together so there are no large lumps of anything. Add flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda and cornstarch and mix gently, until everything is incorporated, don't over mix. Add the pineapple pieces or tidbits and lemon juice and mix again gently. Add lemon zest and fold it gently into batter.
Grease a large soup spoon and place a generous spoonful of batter into each of the cupcake liners. If there is a little batter left top off the ones which need a little extra.
Bake for 20 minutes or until the cupcakes are golden brown. Take out of pan and place on wire rack and let cool completely before topping.
1/4 cup pineapple tidbits
rest of the can of coconut cream
1/2 tea vanilla extract
Maraschino cherries (optional of garnish)
While cupcakes are cooling measure out 1/4 cup pineapple tidbits or pieces. If they are frozen stick them in the microwave or heat them in a small sauce pan to defrost. If you are really thinking a head measure them out before making the cupcakes and let them defrost while you cook.
Put the pineapple into the food processor and pulse chop until it resembles crushed pineapple. Add the rest of the can of coconut milk from the cupcakes plus the vanilla and pulse until everything is incorporated and relatively smooth (there will still be tiny flecks of pineapple giving it an attractive speckled look).
At this point the topping will be a little loose with a creamy mild taste. If it is not sweet enough for your taste adds some powdered sugar. Take out of the food processor and put back in the fridge which will thicken it as it chills.
(Note: if you really don't want these cupcakes to be virgin then you could probably add a splash of white rum to the topping. I haven't tried it though so I can't vouch for how it would turn out. )
When the cupcakes are room temperature top with a generous spoonful of the pineapple-coconut topping. If you like them (I don't) add a Maraschino cherry to the very top and enjoy!