Vegan Pomegranate Tahini Cupcakes – rich and moist chocolate cake topped with creamy tahini and pomegranate molasses icing.
I’ve never been a huge fan of cupcakes. Yes, they are trendy and undeniably cute but… For me they’re more fun to look at than to eat (which sort of defeats the purpose of food, no?).
The “cake” part of the cupcake I’m ok with. It’s the frosting I’m not very fond of. It’s always overly sweet and incredibly heavy, just like putting a big chunk of sweet butter in your mouth. And I’m pretty sure it’s more of a cultural thing (absolutely no one in our family likes it), because growing up in Spain, the only “frosting” we ate was made with fresh whipped cream that was just a tad sweet.
Most frosting recipes call for an (in my opinion) insane amount of sugar. I personally feel that using like, a whole pound is totally unnecessary… So we came up with our own version that is a lot less sweet and definitely lighter than regular icing.
For this recipe, we used equal parts of vegan cream cheese, coconut cream, tahini and confectioners’ sugar. We added some pomegranate extract for a little bit of a fruity taste and a touch of tartness. And just a pinch of beet powder, just for color (this is totally optional).
I’m definitely not a piping expert, but I found this cool color swirl piping bag that I used to combine both frosting flavors. If you don’t have one, you can use one flavor for each cupcake, or pipe one on top of the other. You can also fill the cupcakes with one flavor and top it with the other!
- For the cupcakes:
- ¾ cup unsweetened non dairy milk
- 3 tbsp ground flax
- 1½ cups whole wheat pastry flour
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- ½ baking soda
- ⅛ tsp salt
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- ¼ cup grape seed oil
- ½ cup maple syrup, at room temperature
- ½ cup pomegranate juice
- For the frosting:
- ⅓ cup coconut cream
- ⅓ cupvegan cream cheese
- ⅓ cup tahini
- ⅓ plus 1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar, divided
- 1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
- ¼ tsp beet powder (optional, just for color)
- To prepare the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350F. Line a 12 cup muffin tin with cupcake liners an coat them with cooking spray
- Combine the milk and ground flax in a small bowl and set aside
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baling powder, baking soda and salt and set aside
- Using an electric mixer, cream together the coconut oil and grape seed oil. Add the maple syrup and continue mixing until well incorporated
- Reduce the speed and add the flax mixture and pomegranate juice. Continue mixing for about a minute, add the flour mixture and mix until just incorporated (do not overmix)
- Fill the cupcake lines about ⅔ of the way and bake for 20 to 22 minutes. Let them cool completely
- To prepare the frosting, whip the coconut cream and cream cheese together until fluffy, using an electric mixer. Add the tahini and ⅓ cup of confectioners' sugar and mix until well incorporated
- Scoop half of the frosting and transfer it to a bowl. Set it aside. Add 1 tablespoon of sugar, pomegranate molasses and beet powder to the remaining frosting and mix for about a minute. Refrigerate both icings until ready to use
- Once the cupcakes have cooled completely, pipe the 2 color frosting on top. You can also scoop out some of the inside of the cupcake and fill it with icing