Light and fluffy vegan coffee cupcakes dotted with nuggets of soft chopped walnuts and topped with smooth dairy free vegan coffee icing, with a sprinkling of walnut pieces. There is a reason why I confidently name them the best.
So, to be quite honest, I didn't expect this to go well. I am/was/am still something of a giant ignoramus when it comes to vegan foods. There's the truth of it. If I made cupcakes in the past I happily wanged in an egg and butter and thought nothing of it. Little could have convinced me that cupcakes could taste anything but perfect if these basic baking rules were not adhered to.
Truth is these are not just the best vegan coffee and walnut cupcakes, these are the best EVER coffee and walnut cupcakes vegan or not! And I don't bestow than honour lightly. They are absolutely irresistible.
As such I am definitely going to be adding more vegan recipes to the blog. I hope that you lovely people will bake yourselves up a batch and provide me with a little feedback/star ratings below. I am keen to see if you agree with me regards how marvellous they are so please do share how yours turn out.
Why do these vegan coffee and walnut cupcakes work so well?
I did a lot of research before I came up with this recipe. My dining table was an amass of every variation of vegan coffee cupcake recipe on offer. I put this recipe together based on what I thought would work and it turned out it actually did work. Which was a bit of a stunner.
So these are the reasons I used these particular ingredients for my own version of vegan coffee and walnut cupcakes.
Cider vinegar : baking is science. I guess that is why it was called Domestic Science back in the dark ages of my school days. To ensure your ingredients harmonise you must use the right products in the right quantities. Cider vinegar is like the group leader of these cupcakes. It ensures the coffee cupcakes rise and have a lovely fluffy consistency and adds a lovely depth of flavour. It works in partnership with the almond milk and the bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) to achieve this. You can substitute cider vinegar for white vinegar, but you would lose some of the flavour.
Another of my cakes that works really well using oil is my Easy lime frosted carrot cake with walnuts.
Mix of brown sugars : using light brown sugar and golden caster sugar gives a lovely nuttiness to the coffee cupcake. It adds colour and flavour to, whilst ensuring they are just sweet enough.
Walnut oil : I will be honest here, I didn't even know I possessed walnut oil until I went foraging into the dark depths of The Big Cupboard for ingredients for these coffee cupcakes. Mine was just a supermarket brand and worked fine. You can just use a flavourless oil as an alternative. Adding oils keeps the leavening agent (bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)and/or baking powder) in check. Oil slows down the gluten formation and ensures the cakes remain moist and fluffy.
Who knew so much complicated science was going on when those little cupcakes are doing their thing in the oven.
Coffee powder : well it is a given that this is a key ingredient but try to use a good brand. Mixing the instant coffee with a tablespoon of just boiled water gives the cupcakes a lovely coffee flavour that is not too overpowering.
Another popular vegan recipe is my Vegan Apple Cake
How to make these vegan coffee and walnut cupcakes
These are easy peasy to make once you've done your prep.
Prep your wet ingredients : mix together your cider vinegar and almond milk and leave for 5 minutes to curdle slightly. In a separate bowl mix together your coffee and just boiled water and allow to cool for 5 minutes then mix in your vanilla extract.
Prep your dry ingredients : sift together your flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and cinnamon and set aside.
Weigh out all of the rest of your ingredients.
Then we are ready to begin putting all of the ingredients together in our little vegan coffee cupcake experiment.
Mix together your prepped dry ingredients and your sugars so fully combined. You can do this in your stand mixer, with a hand mixer or just by hand.
Add in your wet ingredients and give the whole lot a good beat on a medium high setting with the paddle attachment for about 30 seconds. Don't worry about the batter being very runny, that's how it should be. Then stir in your chopped walnuts.
One advantage of the batter being very liquid is that it makes it far easier to measure out your cupcakes cakes equally. I used just over 2 tablespoons and 1 teaspoon in each.
Pop into your oven and let them do their magic science thing for 15-20 minutes. When well risen they are done. To double check they are ready gently touch the top and they should happily spring back up again.
Create your coffee frosting
Once your vegan coffee and walnut cupcakes are totally cool you can pipe on your diary free butter icing frosting.
To make your frosting prepare your coffee as you did before and leave to cool for a few minutes. Whilst it cools beat together your diary free butter (I used Vitalite) and icing sugar until smooth. Then beat in the coffee.
If you want to pipe the icing on in a swirl effect, you just need a piping bag and a Jem 22 piping tip (Shop). Chop the end tip off the piping bag, pop in the icing tip then stand the whole thing upright in a pint glass. This helps to keep it steady whilst you add the icing. If you're anything like me you will still find filling the icing bag a bit of a messy affair but as long as the piping on the cupcakes works out who cares! If you want to know more about the method use for piping swirls I recommend watching this video.
The cupcakes store well in an airtight tin, mine were still perfect a week after baking. You can also freeze the these cupcakes.
Like this recipe? Then you may also want to try my Marbled vegan chocolate Bundt cakes for chocolatey dairy free vegan treat.
Vegan coffee and walnut cupcakes
Here's what you'll need...
- 12 cup muffin tray
- muffin cases
Ingredients you'll need...
Vegan coffee and walnut cupcakes
- 200 ml almond milk or soya milk
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoon instant coffee
- 1 tablespoon just boiled water
- 200 g plain flour (all purpose flour)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 100 g light brown sugar
- 100 g golden caster sugar
- 70 ml walnut oil or a flavourless oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 50 g chopped walnuts
Vegan coffee icing
- 1 tablespoon instant coffee
- 1 teaspoon just boiled water
- 100 g vegan diary free butter
- 250 g icing sugar sifted
Here's what we do...
Vegan coffee and walnut cupcakes
- Heat your oven to 180°C/160°C Fan/350°F/Gas mark 4
- Line your muffin tin with 12 muffin cases.
- Mix together your almond milk and cider vinegar and set aside.
- Mix your coffee with your just boiled water and set aside to cool then add your vanilla extract.
- Sift together your flour, salt, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and cinnamon.
- Add your flour mixture and sugars together and give them a whizz together in your mixer to combine.
- Add your oil, coffee, vanilla extract and milk mixture and beat on a medium high heat until smooth, ie about 30 seconds.
- Mix in your chopped walnuts.
- Add just over 2 tablespoons and 1 teaspoon to each muffin case.
- Bake in the centre of your oven for between 15-20 minutes until well risen.
- Remove from your oven and tin and place on a cooling rack.
Vegan coffee and walnut icing
- Add your coffee and teaspoon of just boiled water together, mix and leave to cool.
- Add your dairy free butter and sifted icing sugar and beat until fully combined.
- Add in your coffee mixture and beat thoroughly.
- Ice your cakes in swirls - see blog for a video on how to do this.