May 23, 2005

Fauxstess Cupcakes

by IsaChandra


The classic cream filled chocolate cupcake! The one with the chocolate ganache and the white squiggly. You know it, you love it. Black cocoa powder is hard to find, but you need it to get the exact right flavor and color. If you can’t find it though, don’t sweat it, the cupcakes are still damn good. This recipe is from Vegan With A Vengeance.


Recipe Notes

~ You can use the buttercream recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World for the filling. If you don’t have the book, just google it, the recipe is online almost everywhere. Except, inexplicably, here. Just halve the recipe. That way you don’t need to get soymilk powder. I don’t know, for some reason in 2003 I used soymilk powder, and now I don’t. (And either does anyone else.)

For the cupcakes:

1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 Tablespoons black cocoa powder
1 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup plain rice milk – or – soymilk
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cups pure maple syrup
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla

 For the fluffy white filling:

1/4 cup non-hydrogenated margarine
1/2 cup non-hydrogenated shortening
3/4 cup superfine (or caster) sugar
1/4 cup plain soymilk powder
pinch salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

For the ganache:

1/3 cup soymilk
4 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

For the squiggle:
2 cups powdered (icing, confectioners) sugar
2 tablespoons soy milk powder
2 tablespoons water

Prepare the cupcakes:

Preheat oven to 350, line 12 muffin tins with cupcake liners, spray the liners with canola cooking spray.

In a medium sized mixing bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powders, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In a large mixing bowl combine all the wet ingredients plus the sugar and beat on medium with an electric mixer for a good 2 minutes.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet in 2 batches, mixing as you go. Beat for about a minute more.

Use a wet ice cream scoop to fill the cupcake liner 3/4 of the way full. Bake for about 28 minutes, until a tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack.

 To make the filling:

In a medium mixing bowl, beat together margarine and shortening with an electric beater on medium speed until well combined. Add the sugar and soy milk powder and beat for a good 10 minutes until very fluffy. Add vanilla extract and a pinch of salt, beat for another minute. You may want to do a little taste test and add a little more sugar if needed.

To make the ganache:

In a small sauce pan, scorch the milk (bring it to a boil) then lower the heat to a simmer and add the chocolate and syrup. Mix with a rubber spatula for about 30 seconds. Turn heat off, continue stirring until the chocolate is fully melted and the icing is smooth.

To make the squiggly:

Sift the sugar into a mixing bowl. Add the soymilk powder. Add one tablespoon of the water and stir, then add the other tablespoon of water, a little bit at a time until you reach a consistency slightly more solid than toothpaste. The icing should not be drippy at all, if it is at a little more sugar.

Assemble the cupcakes:

You will need two cake decorators bags. One fitted with a small hole tip (the kind you use for writing) and one fitted with a large star or circle shaped tip.

Fill the large tip one with fluffy white icing, fill the writing one with royal icing.

Poke a hole in the center of each cupcake using your pinky. Cram the fluffy white icing in the hole and squeeze to get as much into the center as you can, slowly lifting the bag, until the icing fills to the top.

Wipe the excess icing off of the top of the cupcake with a napkin or (if your me) your finger.

Dip the top of each cupcake into the chocolate ganache icing. Tilt the pan to add more depth to the icing for easier cupcake coating. Place all the cupcake on a cutting board, make some room in your fridge and put the cupcakes in there to set the ganache, about 10 minutes.

Use these 10 minutes to practice your squigglies for the tops. I use one my left hand to steady my writing hand by holding onto my right wrist. Practice a bit and see what works for you.

Remove the cupcakes from the fridge and make your squiggles on the top. Return to the fridge to set, I like to keep them in there till I’m ready to serve them.


  • December 20, 2007 at 6:16 pm: Chocolatecoveredvegan

    I made the Royal Icing recipe, and it worked GREAT!

  • May 28, 2009 at 8:43 pm: Diane Patterson

    I guess no one noticed this before, but a couple of measurements in this post came out as “?” instead of “1/4” (I checked the recipe in VwaV to be sure).

  • May 18, 2011 at 4:56 pm: Valerie

    My daughter and I made these the other day. They came out FABULOUS!!! Tasted just right, too.

    We are gluten-free, so we converted the recipe to be gluten-free.

    Here’s what we changed:
    * We replaced the flour with 2/3 cup brown rice flour, 1/3 cup potato starch, and maybe 2/3 teasponful of xanthan gum. (Or it might have been guar gum we used — either will work.)
    * I used regular cocoa powder in place of the black cocoa powder, because we didn’t have the black kind.
    * I made some ingredient substitutions in the “fluffy white icing” for the filling, and then it came out gross. So my daughter and I tossed it in the compost, and mixed up a bigger batch of the white icing for the squigglies on top and used that as the filling. That worked fine, but if I had it to do over again I would make the filling gooshier — I thought it was too firm for filling — though it was perfect for squigglies. Maybe some coconut oil or other oil or margarine mixed in would do the trick. I am looking forward to playing around with the recipe to figure this out.
    * For the chocolate ganache icing, I used ricemilk (not soymilk), and EnjoyLife chocolate chips. It came out FABULOUS!!! I’ve been nibbling on the extra that was left over after frosting the cupcakes, and it is very yummy!
    * For the white icing for the squigglies, I replaced the water and soymilk powder with 2 tablespoons of ricemilk. That worked perfectly!


    • May 18, 2011 at 10:09 pm: IsaChandra

      Thanks for the tips!

  • February 3, 2012 at 5:50 pm: pterryanna

    What is the substitution for canola oil to margarine? Does anyone know? Thanks in advance!

  • April 30, 2012 at 6:04 pm: RL

    1 cup vegan butter = 3/4 cup vegetable oil

  • February 8, 2013 at 3:39 am: PBHopes

    My best friend wants these for his birthday but he wants peanut butter in them. Could I add peanut butter to the Fluffy Filling and make a Peanut Buttery Fluffy Filling?

  • March 30, 2013 at 1:44 am: Lalika

    I use soymilk powder! It’s available in the East Bay for cheap anyway. I use it when I’m making burger buns, rolls, sweetbreads, things like that. Powdered milk is one of those Baker secrets, gives it a more bakery-like flavor…

  • June 1, 2013 at 9:37 pm: HateWastin'Food

    the measurements for the ganache/frosting seem to be off..I made a double batch and ended up with seemingly MORE than half of what I made. :/

  • January 10, 2014 at 2:47 am: Stephanie Adkins

    Does anyone know what soymilk powder brand to use??

  • January 3, 2015 at 5:55 pm: dks64

    I kid you not, I’ve been searching for black cocoa powder since I got VWAV many, many years ago. Every time I go to a new store and walk through the baking aisle, I look out of habit. I think it’s impossible to find, I doubt it even exists. :p

  • February 13, 2015 at 3:00 am: The Noncommittal.Vegan

    dks64, I ordered some from Amazon on Tuesday and it got to me today. I am currently allowing my ganache to harden and refraining from eating all of the cupcakes that I’m baking for tomorrow. I must say, the black cocoa powder does make a difference and this is the best cupcake batter that I have ever tasted. Not even exaggerating. It took everything in me to not eat it all as I was scooping it into the cupcake papers. I may have licked the bowl clean once I was done filling all of my baking cups though….oops.