vegan birthday: vegan coconut cupcakes

Sunday was my good friend Kristen’s birthday and I figured I’d bring along a sweet, vegan treat to our Monday night bowling league to help celebrate. After all, it’s always best to keep the birthday flame alive!

Normally, when I make cupcakes for vegan friends, I make the 6 minute chocolate cake recipe from the Moosewood Cooks at Home cookbook (also known as “wacky cake”). I love it, it’s easy to make BUT I feel that it’s almost worn its welcome. I needed a break from the familiar so I decided to try something new. The problem with many vegan cakes and baked goods is that they tend to be heavy and dry…however the addition of vinegar somehow creates a surprising moistness and lightness. These cupcakes are beyond light with a nice crisp top! So moist and so tasty that I put them on par with one of my favorite coconut cupcake recipes from Ina Garten — with way less fat. A total keeper.

21 comments to “vegan birthday: vegan coconut cupcakes”

  1. 1
    purplecupcake   February 21, 2006 at 4:52 am

    Those look delish! The frosting recipe sounds good, too.

  2. 2
    Molly   February 21, 2006 at 8:08 am

    Kickpleat, these look delicious! A few months ago, I made a coconut cake from an old issue of Saveur, and though it looked pretty spectacular, it tasted only so-so. Next time, it looks as though vegan is the way to go…


  3. 3
    kickpleat   February 21, 2006 at 8:53 am

    Purplecupcake, these are a total winner!

    Molly, I’ve only made one coconut cupcake recipe before – the Ina Garten recipe and I made it as my wedding cupcakes. They were great, but sometimes I hate using so much butter and eggs. This recipe is a perfect subsitute and so easy!

  4. 4
    crystal   February 21, 2006 at 10:14 am

    Oooh, I like the idea of using coconut milk in the frosting!

  5. 5
    Joe   February 21, 2006 at 7:27 pm

    We loved Ina’s Coconut ones, but I like the nutritional stats a bit better on these!

  6. 6
    Samantha   February 22, 2006 at 2:21 pm

    I am going to make those soon… yum! Coconut milk in the cake plus flaked coconut, delish.

    I too love the 6 min chocolate cake, I use an identical recipe from King Arthur (their cake pan cake) recipe. I usually use one of those individual cups of unsweetened applesauce plus 1T oil instead of all the oil.

    And a recent discovery, you can leave out the cocoa and make all sorts of non-chocolate variations. And instead of applesauce, I used mashed bananas for a quick banana cake.

    Sorry it took me so long to comment on your site, many of your recipes are dinner inspirations at my house! Take care, and thanks. 🙂

  7. 7
    Tania   February 22, 2006 at 11:28 am

    I like the idea of adding coconut milk to cake batter. Mmm … how clever!

    I, too, love Ina Garten’s coconut cupcakes, so if you put these vegan ones on par with Ina’s, I’m sold! I don’t know if I can part with the cream cheese frosting, though …

  8. 8
    kickpleat   February 23, 2006 at 9:02 am

    Crystal, the coconut milk in the frosting didn’t actually give much of a coconuty flavour. It was used mainly for adding wetness!

    Yup Joe, these have no butter & eggs to fatten you up like Ina’s recipe! Give it a try!

    Certainly, if you have no moral obligations to cream cheese Tania, then by all means, go with cream cheese icing!! Mmmmmm!

    Thanks Samantha for the tips! I’ve never tried substituting fruit puree for some of the fat in a recipe (I’m making a mental note!). Thanks also for all the sweet words 🙂

  9. 9
    Tania   February 23, 2006 at 2:41 pm

    Hi, again! If you have time, I’ve tagged you for a meme about recipes …

  10. 10
    JP   June 19, 2006 at 5:14 pm

    Hey there, I just made these for my partner’s birthday in May. She’s vegan, and I hunted online for a recipe and found yours! I discovered, too late, that I was out of cupcake papers, so I made this as a 1-layer round cake. It was FABULOUS! I had trouble with the icing, though – I’m not great at eyeballing amounts, and so the icing was quite runny. It was still tasty, though!

  11. 11
    Anonymous   August 1, 2006 at 5:19 pm

    Thanks for this recipe. I’m baking one in the oven right now! I was really worried about the butter and eggs but thanks to you, I can feel well stocked with the canola I always have on hand.

  12. 12
    Sarah   March 22, 2008 at 6:49 pm

    This coconut cake was AWESOME! I doubled the recipe and made a two-layer cake, then used a buttercream frosting with coconut extract added. Then I topped the cake with coconut. I am impressed- thanks for the recipe!

  13. 13
    Anonymous   August 13, 2008 at 4:41 pm

    by “t” do you mean tsp or tbsp?

  14. 14
    kickpleat   August 14, 2008 at 10:05 pm

    Anon, t = teaspoons, T = tablespoons

  15. 15
    shelliechandar   January 27, 2009 at 12:29 pm

    we have been using this recipe on our vegan days for three years. My husband is Hindu so he has certain days of the week that we go vegan. It was hard for me because I am a dessert addict…my children love these..and of course so do I…I can never just eat one..Thank you so much for this amazing recipe and a family tradition!!

  16. 16
    kickpleat   January 27, 2009 at 1:16 pm

    shelliechandar, i’m so glad that this recipe has become a family tradition! what a great tribute for a great little cupcake!

  17. 17
    Shannalee   June 2, 2009 at 3:23 pm

    Kickpleat, Let’s talk about your wedding cupcakes. Are they posted somewhere on this site? I read a comment someone posted on your recent cabbage post, and then I started looking. These look lovely, and maybe, as Molly said, vegan IS the way to go. But just in case? Any chance we’ll get the wedding recipe?

  18. 18
    Tasha   September 6, 2010 at 10:41 am

    Did you use canned or boxed coconut milk? Will it matter which kind I use, I am really looking forward to trying this cake and getting away from butter and eggs.

  19. 19
    kickpleat   September 6, 2010 at 10:46 am

    Tasha, I used canned coconut milk here. I’ve never seen any boxed.

  20. 20
    Tasha   September 11, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    Thanks. So Delicious ( makes coconut milk, similar to soy and almond milk.

  21. 21
    kickpleat   September 11, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    Ahhh, good to know! Nope, this is the old school Asian style canned milk.

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