In this instructable, I will teach you how to make amazing cupcakes. These cupcakes are one of my favorites to make, with the added bonus of being vegan. This recipe makes roughly 20-24 cupcakes
If you want to know how to make one of the parts of the cupcakes, the Instructable is broken up into several Steps 1-3 are specifically about the cupcakes themselves. Steps 4-5 are specifically about the pear compote. Step 6 is specifically about the maple frosting. Steps 7 and 8 are about assembly and decorating, so they are only necessary if you are making all parts of the cupcakes.
Step 1: Whisk and Sift.
In a small to medium bowl, whisk together 2 cups of almond milk with 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar. I recommend using unsweetened almond milk or vanilla almond milk. Vanilla almond milk will add to the vanilla flavor of the cupcakes. After whisking, set the mixture aside so it can curdle.
Next, place 2 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour, 4 tablespoons of cornstarch, 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, and 1 teaspoon of salt into a sifter. Sift these ingredients into a medium to large bowl. Mix if you feel the sifter has not mixed the contents sufficiently.
Step 2: Mix It All Together.
In a large bowl, place the almond milk mixture prepared in Step 1, 2/3 cup of canola oil, 1 1/2 cups of sugar, and 3 teaspoons of vanilla extract (if you would like to more vanilla flavor, add more vanilla extract or even a vanilla bean). Beat together until mixed.
Then, add the flour mixture little by little into the same large bowl. If you think clumps remain, sift the flour mixture again as you add it. Once completely incorporated, the batter should be liquid.
Step 3: Prepare, Fill, and Bake.
Line two pans with cupcake liners.
Next, scoop the batter into each liner about two-thirds full. You may alter the height of the batter in each liner depending on the amount of cupcakes you want.
Bake for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Step 4: Prepare the Pears.
Gather 5-6 pears that are ripe but still firm. Peel them using a knife or a peeler.
Remove the core via a knife or a corer.
Chop the now unpeeled, coreless pears into small pieces.
Step 5: Form the Compote.
Place the prepared pears into a medium saucepan. Add 1/2 cup of apple juice and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. Let the mixture cook for about ten minutes, stirring only to incorporate the ingredients.
After the ten minutes is up, add 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. Stir to incorporate. Let the compote cook for approximately five minutes, so that it thickens. Let cool before placing it into your cupcakes.
Step 6: Make the Frosting.
Begin making the frosting by placing 1/2 cup of vegan butter (like Earth Balance) and 1/2 cup of vegetable shortening (like Crisco). If you don't need to make it vegan, you can substitute the vegan butter for normal butter. Beat the butter and shortening together until fluffy (this should take only a minute or two).
Next, add 1/2 teaspoon of pure maple syrup. Mix until combined.
Then, slowly add powdered sugar until you get the desired taste and consistency. This should be about 3-5 cups, so I typically use a 2 lb bag that contains 4 cups for a medium balance. If the mixture gets too thick, add almond milk to smooth it out.
Step 7: Assemble.
Once the cupcakes and compote have sufficiently cooled, remove the center of each cupcake. You can use a knife or a corer. Pour the compote into the cupcakes.
Frost the cupcakes. While you can use a piping bag or squeeze bottle, I simply use a spatula to frost my cupcakes. However, if you want more visual appeal, you can use those other tools.
Step 8: Decorate and Enjoy!
I packed my finished cupcakes into portable tray with a lid. I had enough spaces and cupcakes to make the number 17 on the top tray, which was awesome as it was for a New Year's party. I topped each cupcake with a big star sprinkle. Sprinkles are not always vegan, so if you need them to be vegan, make sure the ones you buy are. This guideline also applies to all other decorations.
There you have it: delicious cupcakes for everyone to enjoy. I hope my Instructable helps, and I wish you the best of luck in your baking endeavors. :)