Did Someone Say Vegan?

Anyone that knows me well, will know that the chances of me cooking something, *gasp* vegetarian, are slim to none.  Occasionally I cook meals that don’t include meat, but I have never gone out of my way to specifically create a dish that is vegetarian.  Until now.  And I figured that if  something is worth doing, its worth doing properly.  So I went nuts and didn’t just make vegetarian cupcakes, I made VEGAN cupcakes *double gasp*.

Mapper’s other half was visiting from Denver for the week, and he is a vegan.  I was in the mood to make some cupcakes, but wanted to ensure he could also partake in devouring them.  I watch enough cooking TV shows to know that it is possible to make vegan cupcakes.  But I have always been doubtful that they can even come close to the real thing.  It’s not often that I will hold my hands up and admit I was wrong.  But in this case, I really have to.  The cupcakes were so good, that I have been inspired to try more vegan dishes.  Posts to come soon…

I was in the mood to make chocolate orange cakes.  Very un-summery, I know.  I’ll just pretend I was practicing for Christmas.  I spent a lot of  time researching, and ultimately decided to attempt the cupcakes made by Chloe Coscarelli, who was the first vegan to claim victory in Cupcake Wars.  You can find her recipe here.  I skipped the buttercream filling and candied orange peel.  I topped half of the cupcakes with the vegan ganache, and half of them with a chocolate orange sour cream frosting for the people who weren’t feeling 100% committed to being vegan that night.  I.e. me.  Afterall, you can take a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink!

Chocolate Orange Frosting


  • 3-oz semisweet chocolate
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp orange zest
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 – 1 cup icing sugar


  • Melt chocolate and butter together in a bowl over a pan of simmering water.  Allow to cool for about 5 minutes, or until close to room temperature.
  • Stir in the sour cream, orange zest, salt and vanilla extract.
  • When smooth, blend in (with an electric mixer) about 1/2 cup icing sugar.  Gradually add in remaining icing sugar until you have a smooth, spreadable consistency.
  • Frost cooled cupcakes immediately.


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