from Flickr user Cookie's Cupcakes
And here's the recipe from Isa Chandra Moskowitz, co-author of Vegan With a Vengeance, Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, and Veganomicon.
Black cocoa powder is hard to find, but you need it to get the exact right flavor and color. If you can’t find it though, don’t sweat it, the cupcakes are still damn good. Don’t skip the sifting step, the cocoa tends to clump up, and no one likes clumps.
1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 Tablespoons black cocoa powder
1 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup plain rice milk - or - soymilk
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cups pure maple syrup
¼ cup sugar
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Prepare the cupcakes
Preheat oven to 350, line 12 muffin tins with cupcake liners, spray the liners with canola cooking spray.
In a medium sized mixing bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powders, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In a large mixing bowl combine all the wet ingredients plus the sugar and beat on medium with an electric mixer for a good 2 minutes.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet in 2 batches, mixing as you go. Beat for about a minute more.
Use a wet ice cream scoop to fill the cupcake liner ¾ of the way full. Bake for about 28 minutes, until a tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack.
Fluffy White Icing
1/4 cup non-hydrogenated margarine
1/2 cup non-hydrogenated shortening
3/4 cup superfine (or caster) sugar
¼ cup plain soymilk powder (don’t use low-fat, it has a “taste”)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (get the highest quality you can, the kind that’s thick and syrupy tastes best)
In a medium mixing bowl, beat together margarine and shortening with an electric beater on medium speed until well combined. Add the sugar and soy milk powder and beat for a good 10 minutes until very fluffy. Add vanilla extract and a pinch of salt, beat for another minute. You may want to do a little taste test and add a little more sugar if needed.
Chocolate Ganache Icing
1/3 cup soymilk
4 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
In a small sauce pan, scorch the milk (bring it to a boil) then lower the heat to a simmer and add the chocolate and syrup. Mix with a rubber spatula for about 30 seconds. Turn heat off, continue stirring until the chocolate is fully melted and the icing is smooth.
Royal Icing for the squiggle
2 cups powdered (icing, confectioners) sugar
2 tablespoons soy milk powder
2 tablespoons water
Sift the sugar into a mixing bowl. Add the soymilk powder. Add one tablespoon of the water and stir, then add the other tablespoon of water, a little bit at a time until you reach a consistency slightly more solid than toothpaste. The icing should not be drippy at all, if it is at a little more sugar.
Assemble the cupcakes
You will need two cake decorators bags. One fitted with a small hole tip (the kind you use for writing) and one fitted with a large star or circle shaped tip.
Fill the large tip one with fluffy white icing, fill the writing one with royal icing.
Poke a hole in the center of each cupcake using your pinky. Cram the fluffy white icing in the hole and squeeze to get as much into the center as you can, slowly lifting the bag, until the icing fills to the top.
Wipe the excess icing off of the top of the cupcake with a napkin or (if your me) your finger.
Dip the top of each cupcake into the chocolate ganache icing. Tilt the pan to add more depth to the icing for easier cupcake coating. Place all the cupcake on a cutting board, make some room in your fridge and put the cupcakes in there to set the ganache, about 10 minutes.
Use these 10 minutes to practice your squigglies for the tops. I use one my left hand to steady my writing hand by holding onto my right wrist. Practice a bit and see what works for you.
Remove the cupcakes from the fridge and make your squiggles on the top. Return to the fridge to set, I like to keep them in there till I’m ready to serve them.