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Crème-Filled Chocolate Cupcakes

Crème-Filled Chocolate Cupcakes.
Chloe Coscarelli's Crème-Filled Chocolate Cupcakes.Brandon Goodwin / TODAY

Chef notes

Vegan chef Chloe Coscarelli's homemade version of classic Hostess cupcakes is just as rich and decadent as the original — even without butter or cream!


Chocolate Cupcakes
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup cold coffee or water
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons white or apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Crème Frosting
  • 1 cup non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2-5 tablespoons soy, almond or rice milk
Chocolate Ganache
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (dairy-free)
  • 1/4 cup canned coconut milk, mixed well before measuring
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil


For the Chocolate Cupcakes:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 (12-cup) cupcake pan with 14 cupcake liners.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together coffee, oil, vinegar and vanilla. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and whisk until just combined. Do not over mix.

Fill the cupcake liners about two-thirds full with batter. Bake for 16 to 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean with a few crumbs clinging to it. Cool the cupcakes completely before frosting.

For the Crème Frosting:

Using a handheld or stand mixer, beat the shortening until smooth. With the mixer running on low, add powdered sugar, vanilla and 1 tablespoon nondairy milk at a time, as needed, until frosting reaches a spreadable consistency. You may not need to use all of the nondairy milk. Beat on high for 2 more minutes until light and fluffy.

For the Chocolate Ganache:

Melt chocolate chips and coconut milk in a double boiler or microwave. Whisk in oil until smooth.

To assemble the cupcakes:

Fit the piping bag with a small round or Bismarck tip and fill with the Crème Frosting. Insert the tip into the center of the top of each cupcake and squeeze the bag to fill with about 2 to 3 teaspoons frosting. There is no need to scoop out any of the cake. Spread the top of each cupcake with a thin layer of Chocolate Ganache and pipe a 4-loop design with the Crème Frosting.