Another tradition for me when baking cakes is to replace each teaspoon of vanilla with a tablespoon of liqueur. Frangelico (hazelnut liqueur) is terrific in most desserts. This time, I used Kahlua in the cupcakes and crème de cocoa in the icing.
Adapted from The Grit Cookbook. You can find the recipe for this as a 3 layer cake on VegPeople.
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup unbleached sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup canola oil
2 tablespoons Kahlua or 2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup cold coffee
4 teaspoons cider vinegar (1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon)
Preheat oven to 375 F. Put 12 cupcake liners in a cupcake pan.
In the bowl of your mixer, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, soda and salt. Add the canola oil and blend on low. Add the Kahlua or vanilla and then raise the speed of the mixer to medium. Slowly add the coffee. Then add the vinegar and mix until batter is just blended.
Divide batter among the 12 cups. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of several of the cupcakes comes out clean.
Cream Cheese White Chocolate Icing
Adapted from Simply Recipes. My version is more of a glaze than a frosting. You’ll have leftover icing; I suggest dipping strawberries in it.
4 ounces (1/2 a package) Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese
4 tablespoons Earth Balance margarine
1 tablespoon Cream De Cocoa
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar (i.e. powdered evaporated cane juice)
Blend all ingredients until well-combined. Refrigerate until firm enough to ice cupcakes.