Capture summer flavors and bakery-level indulgence with these chocolate cupcakes. You’ll notice the fresh fragrance of basil before you take your first bite. Enjoy the unexpected pairing of vanilla, basil, chocolate, and a hint of cardamom. Take another bite to reach the zip of raspberry filling. My Taster says the raspberry ties the other flavors together beautifully. Want extra dazzle? Add natural food coloring and sprinkles.
- 3 cups white whole whole wheat flour 360 grams
- 1/2 cup natural cocoa 43 grams
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons cardamom
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups brown sugar 440 grams
- 2/3 cups mild or fruity olive oil
- 2 tablespoons vinegar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 cups cold water
- 1/3 cup raspberry jam
- 4 ounces Miyoko's Cultured Vegan Butter or other vegan butter (56 grams), softened
- 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar 420 grams
- 1/4 cup aquafaba or plant milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- pinch salt
- 1/4 cup basil ribbons fresh, cut just before adding
- Heat oven to 350°F with a rack in the center of the oven. Line a muffin tin with twelve paper cupcake liners.
- Put flour, cocoa, baking soda, cardamom, and salt in a medium bowl and whisk to combine and break up lumps. Stir in brown sugar. Add oil, vinegar, vanilla, and water, and stir just enough to combine. Scoop batter evenly into cupcake liners, filling each one two-thirds full.
- Bake cupcakes for 20 minutes until tops are firm. Remove the muffin tin from the oven and let it cool on a rack for 10 minutes. Remove cupcakes and let them cool completely, for at least one hour.
- While the cupcakes bake or cool, make the frosting. Let vegan butter soften but not melt in a mixing bowl. Beat until creamy, about 30 seconds. Add powdered sugar, aquafaba, vanilla, and salt. Beat on low to combine, then beat on medium high until smooth, about two minutes. If butter starts to melt, pop the bowl in the fridge for 10 minutes or so, then continue. When frosting is creamy and smooth, cut basil into ribbons, and immediately use a spoon to stir basil into frosting. (If you wait, the edges will turn brown.) Optionally, add food coloring "to taste." If you will be piping the frosting, spoon it into a pastry bag. Refrigerate until needed.
- When cupcakes are cool, use a small melon-baller to scoop out a divot from the center of each cupcake, saving the top layer. I used one that holds 3/4 teaspoons of water. Use a spoon or pastry bag to fill the holes with raspberry jam, then cover with the reserved top layer of the divot you removed.
- Pipe on or spread frosting, adding sprinkles if desired. Enjoy and share cupcakes right away if you want. Store any extra in a covered container. If you don't eat them first, they will last for a week refrigerated or four to five days at cool room temperature.