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Sweet Cocoa Cupcakes with Rich Chocolate Frosting

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ABOUT THE RECIPE:

Oh wow—these Sweet Cocoa Cupcakes with Rich Chocolate Frosting are amazing! That’s what I said the first time I made these simple, but super tempting treats. Avocado and a light version of vegan “buttermilk” both stand in effortlessly for the butter and the egg, while tofu and dark vegan chocolate chips whip up to provide a rich and decadent frosting. So pretty too—a real crowd pleaser!

Makes 6 servings

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INGREDIENTS:

CUPCAKES
½ cup nondairy milk
1½ teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
½ cup peeled, seeded and chopped avocado (1-inch chunks)
1 cup filtered or spring water, plus more as needed
1 cup plus 3 tablespoons whole wheat flour, plus more as needed
2⁄3 cup vegan white sugar
¼ cup plus 1½ tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

FROSTING
1⁄3 cup nondairy milk
8 to 10 ounces firm regular tofu
2 tablespoons vegan powdered sugar
1⁄3 heaping cup vegan chocolate chips

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INSTRUCTIONS:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a six-cup standard muffin pan with paper liners.

Put 1⁄2 cup of nondairy milk and the lemon juice into a small bowl and stir to combine. Let the mixture stand for 5 to 10 minutes to make a light vegan “buttermilk.”

Put the avocado and 1⁄2 cup water in a blender and process until smooth and creamy in texture.
Meanwhile, put the flour, sugar, cocoa powder and baking powder in a large bowl and stir with a dry whisk to combine. Stir in the avocado mixture, the “buttermilk” mixture, 1⁄2 cup water and vanilla extract.

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The batter may be quite loose, but if it seems overly wet, stir in a bit more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the mixture is moist but not runny. Alternately, if the batter seems overly dry, stir in a bit more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the mixture is moist.

Mound the mixture equally into the six lined cups. Bake for 35 minutes, or until set and a toothpick inserted in the middle of a cupcake comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes, then remove the cupcakes and put them on a wire rack. Cool completely before frosting the cupcakes.

While the cupcakes bake, heat 1⁄3 cup of nondairy milk in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until steaming hot, but not boiling. Put the tofu, powdered sugar and chocolate chips in a blender. Pour in the steaming nondairy milk and process until smooth.

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Put a piping bag that has been fitted with a star tip into a tall glass, so it remains upright. Spoon the frosting into the piping bag (see note). Refrigerate the frosting for 1 to 2 hours, or until it is thoroughly chilled and firm enough to pipe onto the cupcakes.

Once the cupcakes have cooled and the frosting is chilled, pipe a generous amount of frosting on top of each cupcake. Serve immediately, or place the cupcakes in a tightly covered container and refrigerate until serving. For best taste, remove the cupcakes from the refrigerator about 15 minutes before serving.