Vegan Chocolate Caramel Coconut Cupcakes
Yield: 12 cupcakes
  • For the Cake:
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
  • 1 cup water
For the Frosting:
  • 1 cup nonhydrogenated shortening
  • 3½ cups powdered sugar,
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2-4 tablespoons of coconut milk
For the Caramel Sauce:
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup coconut cream, cold*
  • 1 teaspoon flakey sea salt
For the Cake:
  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Line 12 muffin tins with paper liners, set aside.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the oil, vanilla, vinegar and water. Whisk together until smooth and lump-free.
  3. Divide the batter between the cupcake liners and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cupcake comes out clean. Cool the cupcakes on a wire rack while you make the caramel sauce.
For the Caramel:
  1. Place a heavy-bottomed 2 or 3 qt. saucepan over medium-high heat and sprinkle about a tablespoon of the sugar into the bottom.
  2. Lift the pan over the heat and shake/swirl the sugar until it starts to melt. Continue swirling the pan around until the sugar is all clump-free and melted.
  3. Sprinkle some more sugar on top and repeat the "swirl and shake" over the heat until the new sugar is incorporated and melted into the first batch. (The sugar will start to caramelize at this point which is why you want to lift if off the heat, preventing it from burning.)
  4. Repeat the previous step with the remaining sugar, sprinkling a little at a time until it is all melted and a dark amber color.
  5. Remove the pan from the heat and add the coconut cream very gradually, whisking constantly.
  6. If the mixture seizes up and clumps form, return it to low heat and continue to stir, breaking up the clumps until they dissolve. Stir in sea salt.
  7. Pour caramel sauce into a glass jar and let it cool in the fridge or freezer while you make the frosting.
For the Frosting:
  1. Beat the shortening until fluffy. Add the sugar and cocoa and beat for about 3 more minutes.
  2. Add the vanilla and coconut milk, one tablespoon at a time, and beat for another 5 to 7 minutes until fluffy, adding more coconut milk if needed.
  3. Spread or pipe the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes and drizzle with caramel sauce and sprinkle with flakey sea salt if desired.
  4. notes
Cake recipe adapted from All Recipes

* Coconut Cream is the thick layer on the top of the can of coconut milk, keep it chilled until ready to use to ensure it has separated. Use some of the thinner milk for the frosting.
Recipe by The Baker Chick at