Vegan since 1975, I decide to answer the question, "What DO you eat?" These posts tell about some meals and recipes my family and I have enjoyed over the years.


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Cherry Themed Cupcakes

For the third year in a row I have attempted to find cherries in my co-op on George Washington’s birthday to no avail – not fresh, frozen, dried or canned. I scoured the shelves with my eyes, but could only come home with some Panda Cherry Licorice and some Chocolove Cherries and Almonds in Dark Chocolate bars. It would have to do, but it wasn’t the basis of a pie…so I made CHERRY THEMED CUPCAKES.

I was happy with how these turned out. They had a springy texture and a pleasant taste. The surprise filling was tasty and the chocolate on top was yummy. The licorice and almonds lent a different chew and crunch than normally comes with a cupcake. I am wondering if my good luck with the cherry themed cupcakes stemmed from my use of fresh baking powder. If you have a run of flat baked goods, don’t blame yourself too much; just go out and buy some fresh baking powder. 

This recipe makes 14 cupcakes. It is helpful to have some parchment baking cups on hand to insert in the muffin tins.                                                                                               


2 cups – white flour
1½ cups – whole wheat pastry flour
½ cup – organic sugar
1 Tbl. – Rumford non-aluminum baking powder
Sprinkle of salt

½ cup – sunflower oil
1 ½ cups – water
½ cup – soymilk or other non-dairy milk
½ tsp. – hazelnut extract (or vanilla extract)

1/8 cup (approx.) – Follow Your Heart Soy Cream Cheese
¼ cup (approx.) – Trader Joe’s Super Fruit Spread with Morelo Cherries

2 bars – Chocolove Cherries and Almonds in Dark Chocolate (I really only used one and a half, and ate the other part.)

Stir the dry ingredients together with a fork to break up any chunks of baking powder or flour. Some people may prefer to sift. 

Stir in the oil with the fork until it is fully incorporated.

Add in the water/soy milk/extract mixture and whisk it together until most of the lumps are gone.

Use an ice cream scoop or small ladle to dollop out portions into each parchment cup. I used If You Care Parchment Baking Cups, which are unbleached. Fill them half-way full.

(Optional: I got creative and added a rounded ¼ teaspoon of the soy cream cheese to the top of each cupcake, followed by a rounded ½ teaspoon of the fruit spread. I topped off each cupcake with the remains of the batter. They were nearing the top at this point. This meant there would be a filling inside them.)

Bake them for 30 minutes and take them out to cool on a rack.

Meanwhile, melt the remains of the chocolate bars. Slather some on the top of each cupcake. Let them cool. 

Top with Panda Licorice for decorations. This licorice has the intriguing ingredient “black carrot juice concentrate,” along with cherry puree. 

I defy anyone to identify these cherry themed cupcakes as some sort of inferior vegan dessert. In fact, unless you mention it, nobody will know the difference.


  1. These look amazing! I'll have to make them soon. Thanks for the recipe.

  2. You're welcome! I like the challenge of making something from whatever is on hand.