Wednesday, October 31, 2012

VeganMoFo Day 23: Ube Cupcakes with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting

Ube (or purple yam) is used in several Filipino sweets ranging from cakes to pastries to ice cream to candy.  A quick  Google Image search for "ube" will yield vibrant photos of all the tasty ube treats I grew up eating.  The ube flavor is more subtle than sweet potato or pumpkin, but once you've tasted it, you'll certainly recognize it if you come across it in a dessert (and not just because of its purple color). 
Fresh ube can be a difficult thing to find. I've only had luck finding it at Asian supermarkets. If you can't find it fresh, it also comes frozen or powdered. You can even get it as jam! I've heard stories about ube cakes turning green during the baking process, so I was happy to see that these cupcakes stayed somewhat purple. :)
Makes 1 dozen cupcakes
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 scant cup of almond milk (or soy milk)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1¼  cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup ube, peeled, boiled and mashed
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 12-cup muffin pan or line with paper liners.
  2. Place the vinegar in a measuring cup and fill the cup with almond milk so that it equals 1 cup. Stir well and set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  4. In another mixing bowl, stir together the almond milk mixture, canola oil, vanilla extract, and mashed ube. 
  5. Add the wet to the dry ingredients and beat until smooth using a hand mixer.
  6. Fill each muffin cup about ¾ full. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a cupcake comes out clean. 
  7. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove the cupcakes from the pan and place on a wire rack. Let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting.
Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting
1 container of Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese
1/2 cup Earth Balance Buttery Sticks, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
¼ cup unsweetened coconut flakes, toasted (for garnish)
  1. Cream together the cream cheese, Earth Balance, and powdered sugar.
  2. Add the vanilla extract and ½ cup of coconut flakes and mix until combined.
  3. Toast the remaining ¼ cup of coconut flakes by oven or stove (instructions here)

These cupcakes are moist and not too sweet.  Feel free to add more sugar to the batter if you like things on the sweeter side.  And if you really want to achieve a bright purple color, you can try adding a few drops of red and blue food coloring, such as India Tree, which is vegetable based. 

This is the last day of VeganMoFo, but I hope you'll continue to check out this blog.  Thanks for a great month...and Happy Halloween!