Blood orange cupcakes

Vegan Blood Orange Champagne Cupcakes (Inspired by Blood Orange)

THE DISH
Vegan blood orange cupcakes with blood orange champagne buttercream

THE INSPIRATION
This one’s pretty simple! Blood Orange is the prolific Dev Hynes (who’s also performed as Lightspeed Champion, and has written and/or produced songs for Solange Knowles, Florence & the Machine and Theophilus London), and last year he put out an awesome dance-rock album Coastal Grooves (think TV on the Radio, Holy Ghost!, ’80s pop). The last song on the record is called “Champagne Coast,” so these cupcakes — which I made for the ETB party last week — are flavored with blood oranges, and the frosting has champagne in it. The actual cupcakes certainly could have champagne in them, too — in fact, the only reason they don’t is because I spaced out and totally forgot about it… (Maybe it was that whole “OMG I have to make a few hundred cupcakes” thing that made me forget…) So, both versions are below.


THE RECIPE
Makes about 36 mini cupcakes. You could make 12 normal-sized cupcakes, baked for a few minutes longer. Adapted from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World‘s golden vanilla cupcakes.

Cupcakes

Ingredients:
1 cup soymilk**
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 1/4 all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup canola oil
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup champagne**
2 teaspoons fresh-squeezed blood orange juice
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon blood orange zest

** If you’re baking champagne in the batter, reduce to 3/4 cup soymilk, then add 1/4 cup champagne with the other wet ingredients.

Directions:

• Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line your cupcake tins.

• Whisk the soymilk and cider vinegar and let sit for a few minutes.

• Beat together the soymilk mixture, oil, champagne if using, sugar, vanilla, and blood orange juice.

• In the same bowl, sift in flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda and salt, and mix until well combined.

• Add the blood orange zest and mix until combined, just a few seconds.

• Fill cupcake lines about 2/3 to 3/4 of the way and bake for 15 minutes.

Vegan blood orange champagne buttercream

Ingredients:

1/4 stick Earth Balance shortening (or any other vegan shortening), at room temperature
1/4 cup Earth Balance, at room temperature
About 1 1/2 to 2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons champagne
2-3 teaspoons blood orange juice
At least 2 teaspoons blood orange zest
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

• In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together shortening and “butter” until well combined. Yes, it will make really gross noises.

• Add sugar, about 1/2 cup at a time, and mix on medium-high until fluffy. If you don’t add it gradually, this will happen (whoops!):

• Add vanilla and 2 tablespoons champagne, beat until well combined. Add the rest of the champagne, blood orange juice, vanilla and zest, and repeat. Adjust flavor and texture by adding more sugar and/or champagne. In the end it should feel just slightly thicker than whipped cream.

• Pipe frosting onto the cupcakes.

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