These cupcakes can be made with virtually any cake/frosting combination, but Joonbug likes to use the Basic Chocolate Cupcake and Vanilla Buttercream Frosting from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. The moist little cakes have a tendency to fool even the most discerning omnivores, and are highly, highly addictive.
If you're a strict vegan, you might want to switch out the Jordan almonds for some vegan jelly beans (or these adorable vegan "Peeps" from Sweet & Sara), as some of the food colorings on the Jordan almonds are a bit questionable.
Easter Nest Cupcakes
1 cup soy milk
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon coffee, chocolate or more vanilla extract (Joonbug tends to use coffee in everything chocolate I bake. It does something magical to the chocolate without really showing up in the overall flavor)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt.
1) Preheat oven to 350. Line cupcake tin with liners.
2) In a large bowl, whisk together soy milk and vinegar, and set aside to curdle. Add the sugar, oil, vanilla, and other extract and beat until foamy.
3) In a separate bowl, pour flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt through a wire mesh strainer to sift them together. Gradually add the dry ingrendients to the wet ones and mix until just incorporated. A few lumps are better than overmixed batter (which leads to less moist cake!)
4) Fill liners up to about 3/4-1/2 of an inch from the top. Bake 18-20 minutes.
1/2 cup organic nonhydrogetnated shortening (I use Spectrum Organic)
1/2 cup vegan buttter substitute (like Earth Balance)
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup soy milk
Beat shortening and butter together until fluffy. Add sugar and beat for 3 more minutes. Add the vanilla and soymilk, and beat another 5 to 7 minutes.
Toasted Coconut Nests:
1 cup shredded coconut, sweetened or unsweetened
Preheat oven to 350. Toast coconut on a sheet pan for 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Once cupcakes have cooled completely, frost them and sprinkle toasted coconut generously over the top. Place three Jordan almonds in the center of the "nest."