Chocolate-Raspberry Cupcakes with Basil Frosting
Tender chocolate cupcakes with a subtle note of cardamom, filled with raspberry jam, and topped with creamy basil frosting. Makes 24 cupcakes. Vegan, dairy-free, egg-free.
Basil Frosting
  1. Heat oven to 350°F with a rack in the center of the oven. Line a muffin tin with twelve paper cupcake liners.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.