Watch how to make vegan 'Close-tess' cream-filled cupcakes

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Baking is often the final cooking technique that vegans learn, but it actually isn't difficult. Eggless Cooking has great advice for baking without eggs; for fluffy products, such as Chloe Coscarelli's vegan cream-filled cupcakes, the recommendation is to use a vinegar and baking soda combination.
Watch Chloe's video, posted to her YouTube channel, TheOfficialHungry, to see how vinegar and baking soda work together as a leavening agent for these light and delicious vegan "Close-tess" cupcakes.
Vegan 'Close-tess' cream-filled cupcakes
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour (includes cooling time)
Yield: 14 cupcakes
Chocolate cupcakes
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour*
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup cold water or coffee
1/2 cup vegetable oil (canola, safflower, etc.)
2 tablespoons vinegar, white or apple cider
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
* For a gluten-free version, use gluten-free all-purpose flour plus 3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum.
Crème filling/frosting
1 cup vegetable shortening, non-hydrogenated
3 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-5 tablespoons milk (soy, almond or rice)
Chocolate ganache
1 cup chocolate chips, dairy-free and semi-sweet
1/4 cup coconut milk, canned and well-mixed
2 tablespoons canola oil​
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (176.7 degrees Celsius). Put paper liners in 14 cupcake cups.
2. Whisk dry ingredients (flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, salt) in large bowl.
3. In separate bowl, whisk wet ingredients (water/coffee, oil, vinegar, vanilla).
4. Pour wet ingredients into the dry and whisk until blended -- do not overmix.
5. Fill cupcake liners about 2/3 full. Bake for 16-18 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean (a few crumbs are okay). Cool completely.
6. Make the crème filling/frosting by beating the shortening until smooth with an electric mixer.
7. Put the mixer on a low setting and add sugar and vanilla. Then add milk a tablespoon at a time until the mixture is slightly thinner than regular frosting (needed quantity will vary with air humidity). Set the mixer to high and beat until crème is light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
8. Fill the cooled cupcakes by fitting a piping bag with a small round or Bismarck tip and filling it with crème. Insert the tip into the top of cupcake and squeeze -- 2-3 teaspoons of filling will fit without needing to scoop out any cake.
9. Make the ganache by melting chocolate chips and coconut milk in microwave or double boiler, then whisking in canola oil until the mixture is smooth.
10. Spread ganache over the top of each cupcake, then pipe a looping pattern of crème frosting over the ganache.
Planning ahead? The cupcakes can be baked and filled then frozen for up to two weeks. When ready to serve, apply step #10 to thawed cupcakes!
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