Salted caramel is a popular flavor these days, and this vegan cupcake takes its cue from the trend. However, no actual caramel is involved, which means they're a lighter option while hanging on to all the sweet-and-salty goodness. The cake is wonderfully moist and fluffy, and the airy frosting features a sprinkle of fleur de sel on top for the perfect vegan dessert.

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Total time: 30 minutes

Yield: 12 cupcakes

Salted Caramel Cupcakes (vegan)

Ingredients, including ingredients for the frosting starting with the vegan butter

  • 1.5 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup natural cane sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened original almond milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable or grapeseed oil
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup vegan butter (such as Earth Balance)
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/8 cup unsweetened original almond milk
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1.5 cups powdered sugar
  • Fleur de sel, for sprinkling
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with unbleached paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl, add the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Mix with a fork to combine.
  3. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the almond milk, oil, vinegar and vanilla.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir gently until just combined. Take care not to overwork the batter.
  5. Fill the muffin tin wells with batter until about two-thirds full. Place the tin on the center rack in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in a cupcake comes out dry. Remove the tin and let cool on a wire rack.cupcake batter in tins
  6. While the cupcakes are baking, make the frosting. In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt together the softened vegan butter and the dark brown sugar.
  7. Increase the heat to medium-low. Add the almond milk and salt, and allow to come to a simmer while stirring continuously. Reduce heat back to low and simmer for 3-4 minutes.
  8. Remove from heat, stir in the vanilla, and pour into a large mixing bowl. Set aside to cool completely to room temperature.
  9. After the mixure has cooled completely, slowly add in the powdered sugar a little at a time, mixing with a handheld mixer on medium speed. Continue to add powdered sugar until the frosting is at the desired thickness. The frosting should be thick enough to hold its shape. Mix on low speed for 1-2 minutes to make the frosting nice and airy.
  10. Using a piping bag (or a butter knife) frost the cupcakes.salted caramel cupcakes
  11. Sprinkle a little Fleur de sel on top of each, and you have delightful salted caramel cupcakes, vegan-style!salted caramel cupcakes

Related posts on MNN:

Jaymi Heimbuch ( @jaymiheimbuch ) focuses on wildlife conservation and animal news from her home base in San Francisco.