I adapted a recipe for chocolate cinnamon cupcakes with spiced buttercream frosting and candied walnuts. My taste testers agreed the fluffy chocolatey yumness was a success. You know you have found yourself a treasure when the entire bowl and spoon are worth licking. Admittedly I am quite proud of myself for the way they turned out. This is partly because it almost feels like a joke trying to replicate the gorgeous recipes from one of my favorite bloggers, Angela Liddon from Oh She Glows. My stomach can personally vouch for her talent in writing recipes. All of her foodie pictures completely seduce me. She is my go-to girl for finding recipes for special occasions. Or any occasion actually. I count “I’m hungry” as a pretty good “occasion” to get things rolling in the kitchen…
This particular occasion was my boyfriend’s birthday! 24 baby! I asked him to describe his favorite dessert and he told me he liked treats that are fluffy or with chocolate. So of course I gave him both.
The changes I made to this recipe included added mini chocolate chips to the batter, cardamom to the candied walnuts and cardamom and quite a bit of additional sugar to the frosting (it tasted a little to creamy for my palette and not quite sweet enough without the added sugar), and substituted coconut butter for the canola oil. I also changed the order for making the different parts of the cupcake so that by the time the cupcakes are cooled off you can immediately start frosting them and topping them with walnuts.
- 2 cups + 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder (I used unsweetened Ghirardelli)
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips (I used mini)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1.5 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 & 1/8th cup sugar
- 2.5 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg (Grate fresh nutmeg if you have never done so! Amazing!)
- 1 & 3/4 cup water
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/8th cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup coconut butter
- Spiced Buttercream Frosting
- Candied Walnuts (see below)
Cupcake Directions: Preheat oven to 350F. Line a cupcake pan. Mix dry ingredients (flour, cocoa powder, chocolate chips, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg) in a large bowl. In a medium bowl mix wet ingredients (water, vinegar, coconut butter, and vanilla). Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir with a spoon. Fill each cupcake tin about 1/2-2/3 full ( I filled them halfway and wish I had done them 2/3 full.) Bake for about 20 minutes and as Angela recommends: until the cupcake springs back slowly when pressed. She also advises you to be careful as it is easy to overbake these.
While baking, prepare your candied walnuts.
Angela’s Easy Candied Walnuts
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp cardamom
- 1 cup walnuts, toasted
Candied Walnuts Directions: Preheat oven to 275F. Spread 1 cup of walnuts onto a baking sheet and toast for 8 minutes being careful not to burn. Remove walnuts from oven and baking sheet. Place walnuts in a large bowl and set aside. Turn the heat to medium and add remaining ingredients to the pot. Stir ingredients and bring to a boil. When boiling, reduce heat to a simmer stirring frequently to ensure that the sauce does not stick or burn. Continue stirring the mixture for about 5 minutes. Mixture will become airy and thicken. Remove pot from stove top and IMMEDIATELY pour mixture into a bowl. Begin stirring immediately. The mixture will start to harden instantly. When all walnuts are coated with mixture, place walnuts back on baking sheet. Break apart walnuts to individual pieces so that they are no longer clumped together. Set aside candied walnuts.
Begin making frosting!
Spiced Buttercream Frosting
- 1/2 cup Earth Balance , softened
- 2 ¼ cup powdered sugar
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp cardamom
- 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
- 2 tbsp almond milk
Frosting Directions: Stir earth balance vigorously or whip with mixer. Add powdered sugar, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice, cardamom and almond milk. Stir or whip with mixer a second time.
Frost your cupcakes, top them with your candied walnuts, give them to your favorite person and eat them yourself 🙂