Today is Little Miss’s half birthday, which means that we do cupcakes. Because that’s how we roll here: cakes are for your whole birthday, and cupcakes celebrate your half birthday. This year, Little Miss asked for chocolate cupcakes.
I am the rare person who actually doesn’t really like chocolate cake. Except for molten chocolate cake, which is in an entirely different category altogether. That said, I needed to make a cupcake that tasted good.
Oh yeah, and that was dairy and nut free, since Little Miss is again off dairy. And her best friend in kindergarten has an egg allergy. So I got really creative. And I made a cupcake that is vegan (dairy and egg free), soy free, egg free, rice free, and nut free. And then put an awesome chocolate ganache topping on it.
When I picked up Little Miss from school today, her teachers told me that they were … wary of the cupcakes. Looking at all the things that weren’t in the cupcakes, they weren’t sure whether they wanted to even try them. I have to admit that I’d probably feel the same way. But the teachers told me they were awesome cupcakes. In fact, one teacher followed me to beg a leftover cupcake. My husband told me these were probably the best cupcakes I’d ever made. And he might be right.
Chocolate Cinnamon Cupcakes
1 1/2 c flour
1 1/4 c sugar
2/3 c cocoa powder (use the non-alkalized kind!)
1 1/4 t baking soda
1/2 t cinnamon
1/4 t salt
1 c water
1/4 c olive oil
1 T vinegar
2 t vanilla
1/2 c dried cherries, chopped
Place the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt into a large bowl. Stir well to combine.
Chop your cherries into smaller pieces – even in half would be fine. I’m lazy and just chop until there aren’t any pieces that are too big for me. Note that I was making a double batch (36 cupcakes) and this is 1 cup of cherries for that reason.
Using a liquid measuring cup, put in your water, then the oil atop that (to avoid dirtying yet another dish!) with the vinegar and vanilla atop that.
Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients slowly while mixing. Stir only until mostly combined, then add the chopped cherries and mix until they are barely distributed – don’t overmix this.
Immediately scoop the batter into cupcake pans, filling them a little less than 2/3 of the way full. Bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes until a cake taster comes out clean.
I frost mine with my chocolate ganache, which is a really yummy cooked icing. They. Were. Awesome.