Chocolate Cupcakes . Sprouted Kitchen

I have been waiting for an occasion to make a big layer cake. I'm not that great of a baker and after a few failed attempts, I still feel the desire to get it right one of these times with the perfect cake and frosting recipes. I want it to be understated and beautiful and decadent. Like Tara's cakes. I am attempting her recipe next in hopes of a cake like that. So, what does one do mid-week when you want cake but maybe not a triple layer situation? Cupcakes, of course. Cupcakes on an ordinary Wednesday made me think of small victories - of little things that are going right, like finishing taxes and friends with a new healthy baby and picking a paint color for the nursery... reasons to celebrate with cake that may not be a birthday. You can always find people to help you eat cake. 

I pulled this cupcake recipe from the new Oh She Glows Cookbook by Angela Liddon that is packed with a great collection of vegan recipes. It is a lovely resource for those on a vegan diet or otherwise just trying to eat less meat and dairy and more produce. Because it was what I had, I substituted dutch processed cocoa for the natural stuff here. I know, I know. I altered the baking soda/powder and things got funky and I don't recommend doing that. Do as I say, not as I do. I am writing the recipe as published, with natural cocoa. If you want to use dutch, find another recipe, the acid v. alkaline ratio doesn't work with it here. The frosting is not so vegan, but I always prefer mascarpone based frostings over buttercream (vegan or otherwise) and I was the one who would be consuming most of these so there you have it :) To weekday cake!

Chocolate Cupcakes . Sprouted Kitchen

Chocolate Cupcakes . Sprouted Kitchen

Chocolate Cupcakes . Sprouted Kitchen


Cupcake recipe barely adapted from Oh She Glows Cookbook

  • 1 cup non-dairy milk
  • 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup natural cane sugar
  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil or grapeseed oil
  • 1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1/2 whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/3 cup natural cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 8 ounces mascarpone
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 2 Tbsp. milk, as needed
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract 
  • 1 pint strawberries, cleaned, stemmed and chopped 

Chocolate Cupcakes . Sprouted Kitchen

Chocolate Cupcakes . Sprouted Kitchen

Preheat the oven to 350'.

In a mixing bowl, combine the non-dairy milk and vinegar. Let them sit for a few minutes (this creates a vegan buttermilk). Add the vanilla, sugar and coconut oil and stir to mix. 

In another bowl, sift together both flours, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and stir to combine. If the coconut oil gets chunky because it got cold, use a mixer or whisk to break it up (Angela suggests an electric mixer but I was afraid it would make the cake tough). 

Grease a muffin tin or line it with liners. Fill the vessels 3/4 full for 10 cakes, 1/2 full for 12. Bake on the middle rack for 21-24 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool completely. 

While the cupcakes cool, make the frosting. With a hand or stand mixer, combine the butter, mascarpone, powdered sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla and milk and mix until smooth - adding a tiny splash of milk as needed to thin the frosting. When the cakes are cool, frost them and top with a bundle of fresh strawberries. 

Chocolate Cupcakes . Sprouted Kitchen

Reader Comments (41)

These look so good!! I too prefer a mascarpone frosting as opposed to a buttercream on cupcakes, or cakes. Three cheers for midday cupcakes!

I am crazy into the mid-week cake. These are gorgeous, and I can't wait for the day when we can split one. Or, really, one each. And we'll share the table. xx

March 27, 2014 | Unregistered Commentertara

Girl you and me both. This week needed cake on a Monday. In fact, I'm tempted to whip up another batch. It's been a doozy.
Cheers to chocolate cupcakes!

March 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

I love the «Oh She Glows» cookbook. I am not vegan but as you said, I try to eat less dairy and I stopped eating meat.
My neighbor borrowed the book from my bookshelf, I am bookmarking your recipe ;)

March 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNolwenn

These look incredible. I just bought your cookbook last week and I am IN LOVE with your simple (yet refined) approach to recipes and beautiful photography. I adore mascarpone, but haven't had it in a frosting before - I'll need to give these a try!

These cupcakes are seriously stunning! I love this recipe!

I cant decide if i like the frosting or the cake in this..either ways looks good :) yay for accomplishing small things and celebrating with cupcakes, how appropriate :)

March 27, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterdixya

Completely relate to being baking challenged. It's interesting (and completely true) how much less intimidating cupcakes are when the recipe is basically the same as it would be for that triple layer cake. The marscapone icing sounds incredible. Can't wait to try this one.

It looks like a small piece of art. Yummy piece of art.

I think I'm the same number of weeks along as you. Everything you've posted (or didn't post in those early months) has been right on track. Caaaaaake!

March 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLydia

These photos just brought a much needed smile to my face. Keep creating. You all are awesome.

March 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCaprice

To weekday cake!!! You know where I stand on this one. (: There's always a reason for cake and celebration. xoxo

March 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterStacy

Can't stay, off to make a heaping bowl of mascarpone frosting...

March 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJade Sheldon-Burnsed

I am very much in favour of weekday cake and 'just because' cupcakes. Especially when they're smothered in mascarpone frosting.

March 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKathryn

Gimme Gimme Gimme! This looks awesome!

March 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAbigail

I am loving Ange's new book! Also, I had no idea dutch process cocoa would affect baked goods that way! That last shot with the thick coated cupcake and strawberries!? Ahhh, yes. What a fun mid-week celebration!

March 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Oh my goodness. These cupcakes look wonderful. So simple yet so rich and decadent.

March 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJoshua Hampton

I make mascarpone frosting all the time. I made cocoa mascarpone frosting, strawberry mascarpone frosting and yummy. I make mine with a tub of mascarpone, 1 cup of powdered sugar, 2 cups of whipping cream + any of the flavours I choose. Adding the whipping cream makes it nice and light and super easy to frost a super high 3 layer cake!

March 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterGiulia

Absolutely beautiful photos. I couldn't agree more with midweek cupcakes being a small victory :) Here's to cupcakes!

It seems like no matter what you approach, you do it with vigor and gusto. So, I know someday we will see that layer cake here on Sprouted Kitchen. Still, I am one more for small treats, so I love these cupcakes. They look absolutely delicious. Thank you so much.

March 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDena@gathering-flavors

These cupcakes look absolutely delightful!

March 28, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterami@naivecookcooks

Cheers to celebrating small victories! Love your perspective, and love the looks of these cupcakes!

I just made this recipe (as a whole double layer cake) with dutch process cocoa because that was what I had too I added one heaping teaspoon cream of tartar to the dry ingredients and it turned out really well. Normally cake recipes with dutch cocoa call for baking powder (which contains both acid and base) whereas with acidic natural cocoa recipes usually use just baking soda. I had already added the baking soda so I couldn't switch to baking powder, but baking powder is basically just baking soda + cream of tartar anyways. Next time I will try it with natural cocoa.

Also, Angela's vegan chocolate buttercream is amazing.

March 29, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterGenoa

This looks incredible! I'll try making it with spelt flour and coconut sugar. Thanks for sharing!

March 29, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterThe Naked Fig

I can't think of any reason not to try these amazing looking cupcakes!

March 30, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMedeja

I am in the process of moving flats at the moment and while I am anxiously waiting for all my belongings to be shipped looking at these gorgeous cupcakes is pure torture! I am intrigued by the chocolate mascarpone frosting, haven't yet had mascarpone with chocolate but it sure looks insanely good in these photos. Also, mid-week cake? I am all for that!

March 30, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSophia

Hip hip for picking a paint color for the babe's room! <3 And for cupcakes. These look delicious, lady.

March 30, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAshlae

Yay for getting taxes done! It's such a good feeling. That frosting sounds it wouldn't be sickeningly sweet - my favorite kind. I may have to make these with carob to please my Reuben. :)

Def, a real treat. If I am not wrong cocoa mascarpone frosting is the X factor that changes the taste from upside down, correct me if I am thinking on wrong lines. Anyways, you deserve a pat on the back for this insanely delicious recipe.

Cupcakes are perfect anytime, anyplace in my opinion...

April 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRocky Mountain Woman

Oh my God, it looks soooooo delicious *-* i have to try it!

Oh, wow these chocolate cupcakes look delicious! Could you also turn them into a cake?

Sara, thank you so much for your lovely words about my book! (Sorry for the delayed reply- it's moving week over here and I'm a bit behind.) Also, that's good to know about switching out the cocoa and leaveners - vegan cakes can be a fussy bunch! Hope you are getting settled in your new home nicely.

April 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAngela

These look delish - Oh She Glows is awesome. I often do like you did here - take one aspect of a vegan recipe, and then incorporate non-vegan elements (in my case, mostly cheese, because I see no reason to eat the vegan stuff). The mascarpone frosting looks amazing - I imagine it would be bit less tangy than a typical cream cheese frosting - I'm going to have to give it a try!

Wow these look so tasty and delicious! I'm always on the look out for new desserts to try and I cannot wait to attempt this one!

April 7, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKim

This looks incredible! Any idea how I would convert the cake batter recipe to non-vegan? I would greatly appreciate the advice! xxx

April 7, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMeredith

There's nothing better than a chocolate cupcake once in a while.

April 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterShe

These are so mouthwatering!! Yum - haven't had a cupcake in forever!

April 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAngela

These look amazing and I can't wait to try them.

Does anyone know what I can substitute Whole Wheat Pastry Flour with?

April 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKzu.

So beautiful! That mascarpone frosting looks to die for!

I was wondering if an electric mixer is required for the frosting since I don't have one, does that mean the frosting won't come out ok?

July 24, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterYuritzi

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