Vegan! Gluten- and Soy-Free! from Kitchn.com

For the Cupcakes:
2 tbsp ground flax meal
1/3 c warm water
3/4 c brown or white rice flour
1/2 c teff flour
3/4 c granulated cane sugar
1/2 c cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 c almond milk
1/2 c sunflower oil
1 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 c boiling water

For the Icing:
1/2 c virgin coconut oil
3 c powdered sugar
2 tbsp almond milk (I ended up using closer to 6, and my icing was still more like frosting…)
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp lemon juice

1/2 c unsweetened flaked coconut, toasted

Prepare the cupcakes:

Preheat the oven to 350F with rack in the middle. Line 12 standard (1/3 cup capacity) muffin cups with paper liners.

In a small bowl, combine the flax meal and warm water. Set aside to gel, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients with a whisk.

In another mixing bowl, combine the almond milk, sunflower oil, vinegar, and vanilla. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and beat vigorously for about one minute. Stir the boiling water into the mixture. The mixture will be quite runny.

Pour mixture into the prepared cupcake pan. Bake 25 minutes, or until set in the middle. Set aside to cool before frosting.

Prepare the icing:

Place coconut oil in a bowl and beat vigorously to loosen. Add powdered sugar and beat to combine. Stir in almond milk, vanilla, and lemon juice until well-combined.

Frost the cooled cupcakes with the coconut icing then sprinkle each cupcake with a spoonful of flaked coconut.  Makes 12 cupcakes, and plenty of frosting.

Let’s just start out by saying that THESE ARE THE BEST CUPCAKES I’VE EVER HAD. Kudos to this recipe author for it being her first attempt at such a concoction- and being from the preferring a less-sweet dessert camp, this cupcake and I are a perfect match. I also love it when the frosting is what brings sweet to the table, to complement a faint saltiness to the cupcake. They were super moist, just the right amount of dense, and the chocolate level just perfect. I made them for my sister’s birthday earlier this month, and we were all very impressed by them, and the presentation in the parchment paper instead of the usual paper cupcake liners. Here’s my delicious cupcake:

I cut 12-inch squares from parchment paper, and then used a plastic cup to fit them into the cupcake pans. Of course, the paper wants to just pop right out of there, so you have to hold the paper in place while you pour this super runny batter in. I don’t know if it would go as smoothly with a thick gooey batter (unless you had a buddy to help you out), so as alarming as this runny batter was, it was a good thing. The parchment paper also allowed me to fill the cups fuller and have no spill-over (or muffin top) that I probably would have had otherwise. And can we talk about frosting containment? What a perfect vehicle for the divine toppings- I was really able to pile it on. Speaking of frosting, let’s address that extra liquid that we needed… I used a hand mixer to get the ingredients combined, and it was super pebbly until I added more and more almond milk- basically you can decide the consistency- if you want a frosting, use less; for an icing, more. I will definitely be making this icing in the future, and think it would be absolutely BOMB on this cake.
Here’s the pan of cupcakes. Good thing for birthdays; I’d weigh 12 times what I do now if I didn’t have help eating these yummy recipes.
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