For the cupcakes:
- 2 tablespoons boiling water
- 4 teaspoons instant espresso granules*
- 1/3 cup vegan buttermilk**
- 1 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup vegan sugar
- 5 tablespoons vegan butter
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 Ener-G eggs
- 1/4 cup vegan sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 tablespoons instant espresso granules*
- 2 tablespoons light-colored corn syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons vegan powdered sugar
2. Lightly spoon the flour into dry measuring cups and level with a knife. Combine the flour in a large bowl with the baking soda and salt; set aside.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine 3/4 cup sugar, the butter, and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract; beat at medium speed for several minutes, until well blended. Add the Ener-G eggs, and beat until combined.
4. Add the flour mixture and the buttermilk mixture alternately to the sugar mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners (I liked the unbleached liners from Beyond Gourmet), and divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups - an ice cream scoop works well to ensure that you fill the cups evenly. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes - a wooden pick inserted in the center should come out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan on a wire rack, then remove the cupcakes from the pan.
5. Meanwhile, make the espresso syrup: combine 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup water, 2 tablespoons espresso granules, the corn syrup, and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 3 minutes. Pierce the tops of each cupcake a few times with a wooden skewer (a kebab stick works well), and brush the espresso syrup evenly over the cupcakes - the glaze will sink in to the holes you created and infuse the whole cupcake. Let cool completely on a wire
rack before dusting the tops of the cupcakes evenly with the powdered sugar.
*If you don't have espresso granules at home, you can substitute 8 teaspoons instant coffee in the cupcake batter, and 1/4 cup instant coffee in the glaze. I highly recommend seeking out instant espresso though, for its really rich deep taste. Likewise, if you prefer a cake to cupcakes, you can bake this batter in a 9-inch cake pan for 25 minutes instead.
**To make a buttermilk substitute, pour 1 teaspoon lemon juice into a measuring cup. Fill with plain non-dairy milk to equal 1/3 cup, then let the mixture stand for 5 minutes to sour it (known as clabbering). It will then mimic buttermilk in a recipe!
12 servings (1 cupcake), Calories 192
The coffee taste of these was exquisite, and the cupcakes themselves nice and moist. The glaze made the top of the cupcakes reminiscent of liqueur-soaked ladyfingers in tiramisu, for a wonderful contrast in flavor and texture in each bite. Overall - delicious.