My friends threw me a great party last night… my house is like a building site at the moment with scaffolding and dust everywhere so it was very sweet of them to oblige. I stuffed some big green chilli peppers with chopped pistachios, red onions, raisins and cumin. Marc made his lovely foccacias and some pakoras and a mango dip. I also made Halloween cupcakes; chocolate mint and chocolate orange. They had chocolate skulls, bats, cats, gravestones and ghosts on them from Hotel Chocolat. The mints ones had mint from the garden and the orange ones had a teaspoon of Marc’s homemade marmalade in each one. They were very sweet! The cake stand was from John Lewis. It looked like a lot of food but by the end of the night it was all gone which was good, I hate seeing food wasted. It’s criminal. If you are not going to eat it then don’t bloody cook it! I’m sad Halloween is over, it beats the crap out of Christmas.
This recipe makes 12 chocolate orange and 12 chocolate mint cupcakes. You will probably have a bit left over too which you can just make extra with or what I did was to make muffin sized extras to eat without frosting on them.
- 480 ml soya milk
- 2 tsp cider vinegar
- 300g granulated sugar
- 160ml rapeseed oil
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 220g fine plain flour
- 80g cocoa
- 1 ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp orange blossom water
- 1 tbsp orange zest
- 2 tsp peppermint essence
- 200g tbsp vegan margarine
- 400g icing sugar, sieved if lumpy
- Orange and green food colouring
- 12 tsp orange marmalade (around 1 inch of a jar)
- Halloween-themed small chocolates
- This strips of orange peel
- Crystallised orange segments
- Fresh mint leaves
- Edible glitter
- Pre-heat the oven to 180°C
- Get 24 cupcake liners ready in your cake tins; use orange and green if you have them.
- Whisk the soya milk and vinegar in a large bowl and set aside for 2-3 mins to curdle.
- Add the sugar, oil and vanilla and whisk up a froth!
- In another bowl, sift the flour, cocoa, bicarb and baking powder.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture bit by bit and mix with a handheld whisk to break up any lumps. Try to keep the mixture as light as you can by not losing all the air bubbles.
- Divide the mixture into two roughly equal amounts – there will be some of each left over so don’t panic!
- For the chocolate orange mix, add 2 tsp orange blossom water and 1 tbsp orange zest.
- For the chocolate mint cakes add 2 tsp peppermint essence.
- Pour mix into the cake liners filling them ¾ full and bake for 20 mins. If you don’t have different coloured liners, try to remember which is which. You’ll know they are ready when a toothpick is inserted and comes out dry.
- Remove the cakes from oven and place on rack to cool.
- While they are cooling prepare your frosting. Beat the margarine with a wooden spoon until pale and fluffy. Add the sugar, bit by bit, and keep beating. This may require some elbow grease!
- Divide the frosting into two equal amounts. Add 1 tsp orange blossom water to one and 1 tsp peppermint essence to the other. Add orange and green food colouring respectively at the same time to each to avoid confusing them.
- Assemble the orange cakes. Warm the marmalade in a small pan until runny and discard any large pieces of peel. Cut a small disc out of the top of each cake and fill with 1 tsp of the warmed marmalade. Replace the disc and gently push into place. Pipe a swirl of frosting onto each cake. Add any extras you want to decorate the cake with: chocolate Halloween shapes, strips of orange peel, crystallised orange segments and/or edible glitter.
- The mint cakes are simpler, just pipe the green frosting onto each cake and add any chocolate decorations, glitter and/or a small sprig of fresh mint to each.
The cake recipe is adapted from the book Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World by Isa Chandra Moskowitz & Terry Hope Romero.