Confession: I take dessert to every family holiday gathering in order to prove veganism is delicious. I come from a large southern family, and sugar is a common denominator amongst their taste buds. I like my food to be loved by all, sue me.

pumpkin maple mini cupcakes
Recipe type: dessert
 
makes 24 mini-cupcakes
Ingredients
for the cake
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (I buy the canned 100% pumpkin from Libby)
  • ¾ cup dry sugar (like turbinado)
  • ⅓ cup neutral oil (grapeseed or canola)
  • ¼ cup plain or vanilla almond milk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract (or more vanilla)
  • 1¼ cup unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
for the frosting
  • ¼ cup Earth Balance margarine
  • ¼ cup vegan shortening
  • 2 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a mini-muffin tin with 24 paper liners.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, stir the pumpkin, sugar, oil, and extracts together until combined.
  3. Sift in all of the rest of the cake ingredients listed and stir gently with a fork until just combined (careful, you can over mix this easily and the cake texture will get funky).
  4. Fill liners completely full with batter (I use a large spoon to do so), and bake on the center rack for 15-18 minutes (until a toothpick comes out clean).
  5. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes before moving to a rack.
  6. While your cuppies are in the oven, using a stand mixer or hand mixer, combine the Earth Balance and shortening until creamy and fluffy.
  7. Then add the sugar ½ cup at a time until the frosting is getting stiff and thick.
  8. Add the syrup and extracts and beat to combine.
  9. This frosting should “peak” and hold at room temperature just fine. If you need it thicker/stiffer just add additional powdered sugar in small batches (1/4 cup at a time), or if it is too dry you can add non-dairy milk by the teaspoon until the consistency is just right.
  10. Pipe the frosting on your cooled cupcakes and top with chopped pecans, walnuts, a sprinkle of cinnamon, or whatever your fancy.