You don’t have to be vegan to love vegan food and this recipe for vegan chocolate cherry cupcakes will be a delight for everyone. When you have children who all eat varied diets from pescatarian to vegan you will always be on the lookout for a good vegan cake recipe. Welcome to my world! These are also egg-free so are perfect for anyone with an egg allergy. These vegan chocolate cherry cupcakes taste every bit as good as a non vegan cupcake as they are full of natural raw cacao, coconut oil and fresh cherries. They are moist and decadent topped with chocolate ganache and topped with a chocolate dipped cherry. But the best part is when you bite into the cupcake and find a hidden cherry surprise!
I like to use fresh cherries when I can find them but a good tip is when cherries are in season grab a load of them to freeze in batches. Then you can make these vegan chocolate cherry cupcakes all year round! July and August are the best months to find cherries but you can still find imported varieties before and after these months. I like to keep cherries in my freezer all year round as you can’t beat a slice of Black Forest gateau anytime of the year!
Health Benefits of Cherries
Did you know that cherries are as antioxidant as berries as they contain high amounts of flavonoids that give the cherries their dark colour. In fact, the darker the cherry the better as it has a higher concentrate of flavonoids. Cherries also contain a high amount of melatonin which aids sleep as well as being a powerful antioxidant.
Tips for Preparing Cherries
Try and find organic cherries where you can or from a good supplier as supermarket cherries can be sprayed with wax. Simply rinse them with drinking water and drain in a colander. If using in salads and desserts then cut the cherry in half and remove the pip with a sharp knife. Alternatively, use a cherry pitter which will act as a cherry punch (an olive stoner will also do the job). When using cherries in salads or desserts add them at the last minute as the cherry juice will stain the other ingredients in the dish.
These vegan chocolate cherry cupcakes are easy to make just by mixing the dry ingredients with the wet. The cherry surprise is simply made by heating the cherries with fresh orange juice and maple syrup.If you are stuck for time, the filling, ganache and cashew buttercream can be made the day before and left in the fridge. These are also delicious with the ganache or buttercream on its own. Hope you enjoy them!
- 180g plain spelt or wheat flour
- 110g coconut or brown sugar
- 40g raw cacao or cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 180ml milk
- 100ml olive or rapeseed oil
- 1 tablespoon organic apple cider vinegar
- For the filling:
- 100g cherries, pitted and quartered
- 35ml fresh orange juice
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- For the chocolate ganache:
- 120ml coconut cream
- 200g vegan chocolate
- For the icing:
- 120g cashew nuts
- 60g coconut oil, melted
- 30ml maple syrup
Sieve the flour, cacao powder, baking powder and baking soda into a large bowl. Add the sugar and combine well.
Heat the milk to just warm in a saucepan and add the the oil and apple cider vinegar.
Add the warm ingredients to the dry and mix well.
To make the cherry filling, add the cherries, orange juice and maple syrup to a saucepan. Heat over a low heat until the cherries soften and the mixture is hick. Set aside.
Spoon two thirds of the cupcake mixture into at the cases. Top with a teaspoon of cherry filling and top with a third of the cupcake batter.
Place in the preheated oven and bake for 18-20 minutes.
To make the ganache, chop the chocolate into small pieces. Heat the coconut cream to just below boiling and add immediately to the chocolate pieces. Stir continuously until smooth. Set aside.
To make the cashew buttercream, place the cashews in a high speed blender until smooth. Add the coconut oil and blend. Scrape down the sides. Add the maple syrup and blend on low. Place in a bowl in the freezer and beat every 20 minutes until the right consistency for spreading or piping.
Pipe some cashew buttercream on top of the cupcake and top with chocolate ganache and a chocolate dipped cherry. Enjoy!
These cupcakes are equally delicious with just the chocolate ganache and a chocolate dipped cherry on top. For a cherry cashew butter cream, add some cherry filling to the buttercream and mix well.