Vegan Chocolate Orange Hazelnut Cupcakes
Chocolate and oranges are a match made in heaven. My Mom used to buy dark chocolate oranges, shaped like an actual orange with sections when I was little and I thought they were the coolest thing ever. I mean chocolate is already the coolest, but make it shaped like and orange with orange flavor, even better. So ever since then I have always loved the combo. I felt like making some chocolate cupcakes last weekend, and decided to make them chocolate orange, but take that even up a level and add hazelnut to the mix.
Raw Guru recently sent me some Rawmio orange chocolate hearts and those were kind of the inspiration for the chocolate orange flavor because I remembered how good it was, plus they sent me some Rawmio chocolate hazelnut spread which I thought would be amazing in cupcakes as well! I was super excited about these! I made a simple chocolate cake base, with coconut milk and the Rawmio chocolate hazelnut spread for richness. I also added in a bit of orange juice and zest to give them a lovely orange flavor. The batter tasted heavenly even before I baked it!
They smelled amazing while baking as well! I could not wait to finish them and of course try one. But first, I needed to create a luscious frosting for them. I used full fat coconut milk (mostly the cream) to make it extra rich and smooth and added in more of the Rawmio chocolate spread as well as some more cacao powder and maple syrup to sweeten plus orange. It was sooo good, like just eat out of a bowl good, because it tasted like chocolate hazelnut orange mousse.
The finished cupcakes turned out lovely! I topped them with some dried orange slices and some of those adorable Rawmio chocolate orange hearts. They were so good too, rich soft chocolate cake with a hint of hazelnut and orange topped off with the most luscious mousse like frosting that echoed the flavor of the cake. If you are a chocolate fan, definitely give these a try!
Vegan Chocolate Orange Hazelnut Cupcakes
- 3/4 cup organic whole wheat pastry flour
- 2 Tbsp cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 cup maple sugar
- 1/2 cup full fat coconut milk (the thick kind, I prefer Thai Kitchen brand) at room temperature
- 1/4 cup Rawmio Chocolate Hazelnut Spread (or hazelnut butter)
- 1/4 cup orange juice plus 1 Tbsp orange zest
- 1 Tbsp cider vinegar
- 1 cup canned full fat coconut milk (you want to use a brand that is at least 3/4 of the can thick cream or it will not work for this recipe, I like Thai Kitchen brand)
- 1/4 cup Rawmio Chocolate Hazelnut Spread (or 1/4 cup hazelnut butter mixed with 1 Tbsp cacao powder and 2 tsp maple syrup)
- 2 Tbsp maple syrup
- 1 Tbsp orange zest
- 1 Tbsp orange juice
- 1/8 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp melted Dastony Coconut Butter (not coconut oil), warmed to liquid
- Preheat the oven to 350F degrees and position rack in center of oven.
- Oil 8 muffin tins or line them with paper liners.
- Whisk flour, cacao powder, baking soda, sea salt, and sugar in a large bowl to blend well.
- Whisk coconut milk, the Rawmio chocolate hazelnut spread, and the orange juice and zest together in small bowl to blend well, then whisk into the flour mixture until well blended.
- Whisk the cider vinegar into the batter.
- Transfer the cake batter to prepared tins.
- Place in the oven, and bake until tester inserted into center comes out clean with just a few moist crumbs attached, about 17-20 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
- To make the frosting, combine all ingredients in a high speed blender and blend until completely smooth. Pour into a bowl and place in the freezer until the consistency of stiffly whipped cream (about 30-45 minutes depending on how warm it has gotten). Once it is ready place in the refrigerator until ready to frost.
- When ready to assemble, place the frosting in a pastry bag and pipe over the cupcakes.
- Garnish with Rawmio chocolate hearts.
- Enjoy! Refrigerate cupcakes if you have leftovers.
Cupcakes keeps stored in the refrigerator, covered for up to 1 week.
If you would rather use coconut sugar or even just granulated sugar for this, either will work in place of the maple sugar.
This cake can be made gluten free by swapping out the whole wheat pastry flour for Bob's Red Mill gluten free all purpose baking flour (this is a brand I have used before and have tested it in cakes with great results).