kahlua cupcakes with chocolate mousse frosting

by Stacy

A few nights ago I needed a chocolate cupcake.

This was no pedestrian thought sauntering along the crosswalk of my mind, but a New York sidewalk-pounding commuter thought directly en route to my brain where it would lodge itself firmly until mollified, cake in hand.

kahlua cupcakes

That may not sound unusual to you, but chocolate isn’t my favorite type of cake. I love cake, I love chocolate, I just don’t always appreciate diluting either experience.

Scrolling through pages of search results, I hoped something would catch my eye. Something did, not on my monitor, but next to it.

Sitting on my desk was a slim, square book called Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. I actually won it in a recent giveaway from the lovely Jackie Vecchio, a fellow San Diego health coach.

kahlua cupcakes

Vegan baking sounds intimidating. No butter or eggs? What is egg substitute, anyway? But the best part of baking is sharing the bounty with others, and I feel terrible when someone is excluded from dessert because of an unknown-to-me dietary restriction or dairy allergy.

People seem surprised when they eat delicious food that’s free of animal products. Good food is good food. And these cupcakes aren’t “good for vegan cupcakes,” they’re good cupcakes, because they’re tender and rich and chocolatey.

kahlua cupcakes

They just happen to be good cupcakes you can share with people who don’t or can’t eat dairy or eggs. It’s not about what isn’t in them, it’s about what is.

My craving went away after a single cupcake. My husband took the rest to work, the first treats sent to his new job.

He reported initial confusion. No special occasion, I just made cupcakes and they got to eat them? Yep. And they did.

To be honest, I’m not sure if he told them the cupcakes were vegan. I’ll ask.

kahlua cupcakes

Did I mention the Kahlua I put in them? Because I was definitely craving chocolate cake, but I also sort of wanted a drink. Two birds, one stone: Kahlua cupcakes. Of course you can leave the Kahlua out, just replace it with more soy milk. Or Grand Marnier.

Throw the frosting together first so it can chill while you make the cupcakes. It’s also really handy the next day when you don’t have any other sweets in the house and one spoonful hits the spot.

What’s the best vegan food you’ve had? What’s your favorite dessert to take to a potluck?
What’s your favorite mixed drink?

print recipe
Kahlua Chocolate Mousse Frosting
This generously frosted 12 cupcakes and had leftovers. The frosting does have to chill for an hour, so allow some time. Adapted from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World.
  • 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate bar or chips
  • 5-6 ounces (1/2 package) silken tofu, drained
  • 2 tablespoons soy milk
  • 2 tablespoons Kahlua
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Chop chocolate into small pieces if using a bar. Heat a small pan with an inch of water in the bottom until water simmers. Place a pan on top of it that completely covers the bottom pan. Place chocolate in the top pan and stir until just melted and smooth. Remove from heat and let cool 5 minutes. Crumble tofu into a blender. Add soy milk, Kahlua, syrup, and vanilla. Puree until smooth.When chocolate is cool, add it to the tofu puree. Blend until combined. Pour into a bowl or airtight container, cover, and refrigerate at least one hour. After chilling, I whipped the frosting in my stand mixer with the whisk attachment so it was fluffier. Totally optional.

Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: about 1.5 cups

print recipe
Vegan Kahlua Cupcakes
Soft and chocolatey with a kick of Kahlua. Adapted from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World.
  • 3/4 cup soy milk
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons Kahlua
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350F. Line muffin pan with 12 liners.Combine vinegar and soy milk and stir. Set aside for 5 minutes until curdled. Add sugar, oil, vanilla, and Kahlua to soy milk. Whisk until foamy.In a separate bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add in two batches to wet ingredients. Stir until there are no large lumps.Pour batter into cupcake liners, filling 2/3 of the way. Bake 18-20 minutes. A toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake should come out clean.Turn out of pan and cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.

Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 12 cupcakes

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Kate May 16, 2011 at 7:11 am

These look delicious! Our anniversary is coming up…last year I made vegan cake, I think vegan cupcakes will be the treat of choice this year!


Stacy May 16, 2011 at 9:30 am

Ooh, it’s soon! Congratulations! =D

They are pretty darn chocolatey, and I actually used less chocolate in the frosting than they called for.


TreeHugginMomma May 16, 2011 at 9:18 am

These sounded really good until I got to the Tofu. I figured I could substitute coconut or almond milk for the soy milk, but I am wondering what I can substitute for the tofu (maybe overripe avacadoes?) I’ll give it a go and let you know.


Stacy May 16, 2011 at 9:33 am

It doesn’t taste like tofu at all, or is it a soy allergy?

I actually used almond milk and while they turned out fine, it didn’t curdle like soy (or dairy) milk will. That made me hesitant to list it as an option.
Hmm. You could just make regular frosting (powdered sugar, butter or vegan margarine, almond milk, Kahlua), it will just be much sweeter. Not bad, just different!


Stephanie, The Recipe Renovator May 16, 2011 at 11:31 am

Wow, looks like yet another book I’m going to have to buy! These look incredible. Extra points for using the word mollified.
Stephanie, The Recipe Renovator recently posted..Pineapple-coconut cupcakesMy Profile


Stacy May 18, 2011 at 6:11 pm

It’s a small book, so it will snuggle right in to your shelf for those cupcake emergencies.

Maybe we should add Scrabble to our SD blogger meetup. 😉


nancy rose eisman May 16, 2011 at 3:43 pm

Stacy, I totally feel your (chocolate cupcake) pang! The recipe looks scrumptious and your post was fantastic. If the goal of food blogging is to present words and images that make your reader want to run to their kitchen and make your recipe – SCORE!


Stacy May 18, 2011 at 6:11 pm

Thank you Nancy! Perhaps I will start a vegetarian supper club and serve them there. 😀


birch May 16, 2011 at 7:18 pm

Our go-to is pumpkin-chocolate. Pumpkin really brings out the taste of the chocolate.


Stacy May 18, 2011 at 6:12 pm

Hrmm. I suppose it’s better than banana.


Bridget May 16, 2011 at 9:56 pm

Those pictures make me want to make these right now…mmm vegan cupcakes. Trish got me that book, and the recipes I’ve tried turned out really well. Especially the brownie cupcakes. Have you found a good vegan brownie recipe, btw?


Stacy May 18, 2011 at 6:14 pm

Ooh, those brownie cupcakes sound amazing. Bourbon and cherry?

I haven’t tried making vegan brownies yet! Be sure I will let you know when I do.


Melissa@EyesBigger May 19, 2011 at 7:51 pm

They look delicious! You have some lovely photos on your blog :)


Stacy May 19, 2011 at 11:43 pm

Thank you!


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