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Not an Oxymoron: Delicious Vegan Cupcakes

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On Friday, I went to a housewarming party and offered to bring the desserts….and then I remembered the hostess is vegan. D’oh! I had a moment of panic where I seriously considered bringing fruit or popcorn–but then I started searching the internet. After reading hundreds of comments on at least a dozen recipes and studying a variety of articles, I came to the following conclusions: flaxseed, applesauce, and coconut oil are all over-rated fat substitutes. So I decided to look for a recipe that was either banana or pumpkin based–and then I remembered that Hummingbird Cake (the new red velvet) incorporates both!


This cake is bursting with flavors of pineapple, caramelized banana, and salty pecans. The texture is just sublime–crumby and moist. Although I would have preferred a cream cheese frosting, this drizzly icing does a more than adequate job. I would happily make these again, and not just for a vegan crowd! The recipe below is so heavily modified from Boulder Locavore it seems ridiculous to even link it, but if you’d like to see the original inspiration, click on over.

Cake (makes 12):

-2 large bananas, roasted and smashed

-1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

-1 tsp cinnamon

-1/2 tsp baking soda

-1/2 tsp salt

-1/2 cup sugar

-1/2 cup light brown sugar

-1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp canned pumpkin

-1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp grape seed oil

-1 tsp vanilla

-1/2 cup fresh pineapple

-1/2 cup chopped pecans


1.) Roast bananas-peel on-in a 350 degree oven for 12-15 minutes, until skins are black. Remove peel and mash bananas in a bowl. Set aside.

2.) In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon.

3.) In a small bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, sugars, vanilla and oil.

4.) Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir to combine.

5.) In a small bowl, crush the pineapple with forks until thread-like.

6.) Add the mashed banana and the crushed pineapple/juice to the batter.

7.) Fold in the chopped pecans.

8.) Divide evenly among 12 cupcake liners. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 12-15 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool completely before frosting.



-1 cup of vegan margarine

-3 tsp vanilla

-4 cups powdered sugar

-1-3 tsp vanilla rice or almond milk


1.) Using an electronic mixer, whip the margarine on high until light and fluffy, about 5 to 6 minutes.

2.) Add the vanilla and powdered sugar, and beat until incorporated.

3.) Depending on the texture, add 1 to 2 tsp of the milk substitute.

4.) Place inside pastry bag or ziploc with the corner snipped off. Drizzle over the top of cupcakes, and adorn with pecan.DSC_0254





About chicsmarts

favorite curiosities: taxidermy, dia de los muertos, teacups, bbq, general oddities, three tier cakes, and anything that sparkles.

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