I've seen a lot of cheeseburger cupcake recipes online, but none of them were vegan. The thought of having someone who was vegan appearing as if they were eating a burger amused me, so I adjusted the recipe. Surprisingly, there were a few things I've learned about making vegan cupcakes that I thought I'd share.
WARNING!! This takes a lot of time. Mostly, because I only have 2 cupcake pans so I had to do a lot of washing in-between steps. It probably took me a total of 2 - 3 hours to make.
Step 1: Gather Ingredients
I used this cupcake recipe , this brownie recipe , and this buttercream frosting recipe . The cupcake recipe asks for coconut oil, but if you don't have any (or your grocery store doesn't have any) you can substitute it with vegetable or olive oil.
In a nutshell, you need all of this:
- apple cider vinegar
- almond or soy milk
- all-purpose flour
- white sugar
- baking powder
- baking soda
- coconut oil (or vegetable or olive oil)
- vanilla extract
- unsweetened cocoa powder
- nonhydrogenated shortening
- nonhydrogenated margarine (I used Earth Balance)
- powdered sugar
- food coloring (red, yellow, green)
- sesame seeds
Also, if your margarine and/or shortening was refrigerated, I would take it out of the fridge so that it can soften by the time you get to making the frosting.
Step 2: Create Burger Buns
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 cups almond milk
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup coconut oil, warmed until liquid (or vegetable or olive oil)
1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Instead of lining your cupcake pans, grease them with a cooking spray.
2. Measure the apple cider vinegar into a 2 cup measuring cup. Fill with almond milk to make 1 1/2 cups. Let stand until curdled, about 5 minutes. In a large bowl, Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the almond milk mixture, coconut oil and vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir just until blended. Spoon the batter into the prepared cups, dividing evenly.
3. Make one batch fill up to half the depth of the tray (these are the top buns) and another batch that fill up to a quarter of the tray (these are the bottom buns).
4. Bake until you can poke them with a toothpick and it comes back out clean (about 10 mins).
5. Take them out of the oven and allow them to cool in the pan. Then carefully remove them. I used a fork to scoop them out, but be careful not to scratch the pan! If you try removing the cupcakes before they're cooled enough, they'll break apart.
Vegan cupcakes are different from regular cupcakes that use eggs and butter. For one, they don't rise as much as regular cupcakes. Secondly, they don't cut very well. Other cheeseburger cupcake recipes call for you to bake normal cupcakes and then cut through them. This doesn't work with vegan cupcakes. They tend to fall apart and crumble when you try to slice through them. Lastly, they tend to be a little stickier than regular cupcakes. If you don't grease the pan well enough, the cupcakes will burn.
Step 3: Create Burger Paddy
This is the recipe I used with appropriate measurements (original recipe here ):
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
3/8 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Make sure your oven is still at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Pour in water, vegetable oil and vanilla; mix until well blended.
3. Again, using the cupcake pans, only fill the pans half-way (or less if you want thinner paddies).
4. Bake until a toothpick comes clean after poking the center of the brownie (about 15 mins).
5. Allow to cool. Be careful when removing the brownies. They sometimes can break easily.
You can also just make chocolate cake batter if you don't like brownies. However, I liked the combination of cupcake and brownie.
Step 4: Make Frosting
1/2 cup nonhydrogenated shortening (softened)
1/2 cup nonhydrogenated margarine (softened) (a.k.a. Earth Balance)
3 1/2 - 5 cups powdered sugar, sifted if clumpy
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup plain soy milk or soy creamer
1. Beat the shortening and margarine together until well combined and fluffy. This is important. The consistency of your frosting depends on how fluffy you make your shortening and margarine combination.
2. Add the vanilla and soy milk.
3. Add the sugar and beat until fluffy. Try to make your frosting thicker. The original recipe only calls for 3 1/2 cups of powdered sugar. To thicken the frosting, add more powdered sugar. I'd recommend using around 5 cups total of powdered sugar.
4. Separate a decent amount of frosting per color food coloring that you'd like to make. Mix in enough food coloring until you've reached the desired color. I added in 5 drops at a time.
If you don't have frosting bags, you can use ziploc bags. Cut off the tip of one corner and secure in your frosting tips. Then, scoop in your frosting, making sure not to have the frosting leak through. Then, close the bags, making sure to get rid of as much air as possible.
Step 5: Frost and Assemble!!!
Place the brownie burger paddy in the center.
Add more frosting on top of the burger paddy. I put the "cheese" on this layer. I drew a square with the yellow frosting to imitate a slice of cheese.
Take the cupcake for the top bun and place it upside-down on top of the brownie burger paddy. This keeps the color of the top bun consistent with the bottom bun.
Step 6: Optional: Sesame Seeds
Some recipes use a lemon or an orange mixture to make the sesame seeds stick. This one uses a simple sugar mixture (1 part water, 2 parts sugar). I like this better because it doesn't add any additional taste to the cupcake.
Brush some of the mixture on the top of the cupcake and sprinkle some sesame seeds on top.