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Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Nutella Buttercream

  Sooo, this cupcake is totally vegan.  The buttercream is...kinda sorta vegan.  Peanut butter, no big deal.  Nutella?  Apparently it contains milk product.  But wait wait wait!  If you're a vegan and you're wringing your hands, stop.  You can make your own!  Vegan-ize it!  There's lots of stuff out there, but this recipe looks pretty good.  Everybody wins!

  Now you might be thinking, how on earth do you make cake without eggs or butter?  Avocado, and vegetable oil!  Ferreals!  Maybe this isn't new information to all, but it is for me.  At least the avocado part is.  When I saw this week's Sundays with Joy recipe, I was like, "Say whaaat?"

  But I was a good sport, and gave it a go.  And you know what?  They were actually pretty darn good!  No slightly perceptible green chunks, and a very handsome texture.

  Aaand the buttercream?  Well, it was just a vegan chocolate buttercream.  To be honest, I was bored, and kinda tired of plain ol' chocolate buttercream.  Vegan or no.  So I thought I'd do vanilla.

  But then I was like...don't I have peanut butter?  Oh yeah, that could work.  I went to the pantry, and a jar of Nutella got all up in my face.  I decided a bit of chocolate couldn't hurt, as long as there was peanut butter around.

  You see where this is going.  A little of this, a little of that...and I had this gorgeous, fluffy, and not-so-vegan frosting.  Newsflash, I'm not vegan.  And I don't know if I could ever be.  But, if I ever were to become so, these would be my go-to cupcakes.

  As I did last week,  I will not be sharing the cupcake recipe, since it is not my own, but Joy's.  If you want to get your hands on it, I highly recommend purchasing her book!  But I will happily provide you with the buttercream recipe, since it's mostly just something I made up.  Happy Sunday!

Peanut Butter Nutella Buttercream
Yield: enough to generously frost about 20 cupcakes

  • 2 sticks plus 2 tbsp. unsalted butter (or any vegan butter in sticks), at room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup Nutella (you can vegan-ize it by making your own, but the texture may not be as smooth)
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk (or soy milk), or as needed

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until soft and fluffy.  Scrape down the bowl and add the powdered sugar.  Mix on low speed to first incorporate, then increase speed and beat until well-combined.  Beat in the vanilla and salt.  Add the peanut butter and nutella, and mix until combined.  Add the milk, and then increase the speed to medium-high and beat until soft and fluffy.

**Note: If you aren't planning to pipe frosting on the cupcakes, you will want to decrease the amounts here by 50%, since just spreading uses much less frosting.

Sources: inspired by Joy the Baker's Cookbook