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Valentine’s Day Red Velvet Cupcakes

Last summer Kind Lifer Steph shared her PB&J Cupcakes, which looked insane! She’s back to share some more cupcakes, this time they’re Valentine’s Day inspired. Try them out and let me know how it goes!

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Valentine’s Day Red Velvet Cupcakes

by Steph

I love baking. I love the results of baking a little too much. So, whenever I have the opportunity to make confections for other people (so I don’t eat them all), I’m in. This is the second year in a row that I’ve made vegan Valentine’s Day cupcakes for my office and everyone loves them (and no one ever complains about them being vegan. I mean, what kind of rude person complains about a free cupcake?).
This year, I decided to get a little extra adventurous on the decorations. I found this video on Youtube on creating chocolate decorations:

So, I took some Trader Joes semi-sweet chocolate chips and melted them in a metal bowl over a pot of boiling water. Then, I followed the Youtube lady’s technique to create these little chocolate things.

I decided to put them in the fridge to make them cool faster, but they still weren’t as stiff as I would have liked. If you try it, I’d recommend using a baker’s chocolate and possibly one with a higher percentage of cocoa. They still worked, though!
Then, the cupcakes! In honor of Valentine’s Day, Red Velvet seemed like an appropriate choice. Years ago when I worked at Trader Joes, a customer gave me a secret tip for these goodies that always makes them sensational: as the very last step, grate about 2 tbsp. of semi-sweet chocolate with a cheese grater and stir it into the batter. My secret is now yours. Mmmm.

Vegan Red Velvet Cupcakes Recipe

Prep time: 20
Mins Cook time: 17 Mins
Yields: 12 cupcakes
1 cup nondairy milk (I used almond milk)
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar (I used organic sugar from Trader Joes)
2 Tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup oil (I used canola)
2 tsp red food coloring (I’ve never tried it, but supposedly you can also use beet juice… which is more natural so probably better)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
n a medium size bowl, mix together the milk and vinegar allowing it to curdle. This will take about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir in the sugar too.
Once the milk has curdled, stir in the oil, food color and the extracts. Whisk it well to combine.
Make a well in the dry ingredients and slowly add the wet ingredients to it, stirring it until all the ingredients come together. Small lumps are okay. Take care to see that you do not over mix it otherwise you will not get fluffy cupcakes.
SECRET TIP (see above)
Fill each muffin tin 3/4ths full of the batter. (I filled them a little more full so that I would have exactly 12 cupcakes)
Bake it for about 16-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cupcake comes out clean or with very little crumbs is okay too.
Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let it remain there for 5 minutes. After that remove the cupcakes from the pan and let it cool completely before you can frost it. Be patient! I was excited to get started on the frosting, but if you don’t wait, the cupcakes will absorb your frosting and it’ll be a mess.

Cream Cheese Frosting

Source: Modified from
Prep time: 10 minutes
Yields: enough for 12 cupcakes
My #1 rule for baking: you should never buy frosting. Even if it were vegan, which I doubt exists, homemade is so easy, cheap, and 3 MILLION times tastier. Ingredients: 1/2 cup non-hydrogenated margarine (softened) 1/4 cup vegan cream cheese, softened (I used “This Is Not A Tub Of Cream Cheese” from Trader Joes) 2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Using a stand-up mixer (or a handheld one), cream together the margarine and cream cheese until well combined and a little fluffy. Add the sugar ½ cup at a time and beat for about 3 minutes. Add the vanilla and beat for another 2-3 minutes until smooth and creamy. NOTE: This frosting is creamy and a little heavy so if you prefer something lighter and fluffier, I highly recommend this Vegan Fluffy Buttercream Frosting. I wasn’t sure if I loved the chocolate do-hickies, so I also tried sprinkles:
You can do both, if you want! (See the photo above, just before my boss devoured it).

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Thank you, Steph! These look yum!
Are you making a sweet treat for Valentine’s Day? What’s your favorite?

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