Stout Gingerbread Cupcakes with Chocolate Icing

There are recipes that you remember for their explosive flavor.  Or their rich chocolate icing.  And there are some that you remember for wreaking havoc on your life.

This is one such recipe.

Let me explain: months ago, my friend Rebecca sent me a recipe for stout gingerbread cupcakes.  She asked me if they could be veganized.  I said, "Of course, everything can be veganized!"  Friends, I made that stinkin' recipe two separate times, both resulting in failure.  The second time was even more worse than the first time.  I've learned my lesson - if something goes worse the second time, you might have to go back to the drawing board.  And so I did.

(Funny enough, the same thing - in my mind - applies to the SATs.  I took them the first time and I wasn't completely happy with the score, so I went back and practiced and took them again - AND DID WORSE.  I decided that it wasn't worth another try.  I don't look at it as quitting, but rather learning a valuable lesson, haha.)

PIN Vegan Stout Gingerbread Cupcakes 2.jpg

I then adapted a recipe from Vegan Cupcakes, just to be on the safer side.  This post is the product of that adaptation.  These cupcakes have an amazing flavor; that's why I'm posting the recipe here today.  I'm sharing my pseudo-successes and failures with you because I wanted to let you know that A) not everything I make is pretty and B) you can salvage your culinary failures.

Like I said, the cakes have great flavor.  The gingerbread and stout are such a wonderful flavor combination.  But my cupcakes sank in the middle.  If you Google this problem, it's usually due to a lack of leavener, like baking soda/powder; and/or a lack of enough flour.  I'm not sure what my exact problem was, but I embraced my ugly cakes.  I decided that they looked like thumbprint cookies, so I think that I'm now going to call them thumbprint cupcakes.  With that idea in mind, I put a dollop of ganach-like icing on top, in the dimple, and then topped it with a small heart pie piece, leftover from my Pie Crust Cookies.  Always freeze your extra pieces!  You never know when they'll come in handy :-)

Ingredients:
1 1/2 c. organic whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 c. coconut sugar
1 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. allspice
1/4 tsp. cloves
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 ripe banana, smushed
1/2 c. stout
1/2 c. molasses
1/4 c. pure maple syrup
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. lemon juice

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350° and line a muffin tin with nine (or so) parchment cups.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the banana, coconut sugar, maple syrup, and molasses.  Scrape the sides as necessary.  Add in the vanilla and stout.  Continue to mix.  Slowly add in the dry ingredients and then finally the lemon juice.  Make sure everything is incorporated. 

Vegan Stout Gingerbread Cupcakes 22.jpg

Spoon the batter into the muffin tin.  I like to go at least 2/3 of the way full.  Bake the cupcakes for 15-20 minutes.  Insert a toothpick to see if it comes out clean.

If you're cakes don't dimple, congratulations!  If not, don't sweat it.  Make my chocolate ganache sauce and spoon a dollop into each crater.  Top with a gumdrop or other festive decoration.  

Just own it like you did it on purpose!

Cheers,
-Aileen

This post is part of A Vegan Holiday, a collaboration among vegan and veg-friendly bloggers. Follow along on social media with #AVeganHoliday. Want to learn more or become a contributor? Find out more here or here