I paired my go-to recipe for a chill-and-whip, healthy, vegan, melt-in-your-mouth cashew buttercream with gluten-free buckwheat hummingbird cupcakes for a dessert that everyone can–and will–enjoy.
For the frosting, I hand-whipped with my favourite flat whisk, but if you don’t want to do this, a hand mixer will work just as well. For piping, I used a pastry bag to show the sturdiness of the fluffy cashew buttercream, however, freestyle with a knife also works if you don’t feel like being fussy.
These are American-style cupcakes with a plant-based, gluten-free twist–and absolutely to die for.
Vegan Hummingbird Cupcakes with Ultimate Cashew Buttercream Frosting Recipe
Gluten-free and vegan hummingbird cupcakes are the ideal vehicle for a cashew- and coconut-oil-based vanilla buttercream. This recipe is entirely plant-based, not too sweet, creamy and decadent-tasting, and a reader favourite!
Serves 12 to 18
Gluten-Free and Vegan Hummingbird Cupcakes
1 tbsp chia seeds
1/3 cup plus 1 cup water
1 banana, mashed
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp white or apple cider vinegar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup light buckwheat flour
½ cup quick-cooking rolled oats
1/3 cup coconut sugar or dark brown sugar
2 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp sea salt
1 cup(about 1 large) finely grated carrot
1 cup finely chopped fresh pineapple
Ultimate Cashew Buttercream Frosting
1 2/3 cups raw unsalted cashews, covered in water and soaked overnight (24 hours is even better)
½ cup coconut oil, melted
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup water
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp almond extract
½ tsp lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
1/8 tsp sea salt
- Cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 1, 12-count muffin tin with muffin papers, or 2 tins with 18 muffin papers for daintier cupcakes.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the chia seeds and 1/3 cup water; set aside until chia seeds have absorbed the water and created a gel, stirring once or twice, about 10 minutes. To chia seeds, add mashed banana and stir well. Add remaining 1 cup water along with the oil, vinegar, and vanilla. Stir to combine and set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix together the buckwheat flour, oats, sugar, coconut, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and salt. Add the chia seed mixture to the flour mixture, and stir well to combine. Fold in the carrot and pineapple until incorporated.
- Divide batter between muffin papers. Bake for for 15 minutes to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Remove from oven, transfer to a cooling wrack, and cool completely. Meanwhile, prepare the frosting.
- Frosting: Drain and rinse the soaked cashews. Place in a high-speed blender, along with remaining frosting ingredients. Blend on high until smooth and creamy, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a large shallow bowl and freeze for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, take frosting out of the freezer and whip with a whisk or hand mixer with beaters. Freeze again for 10 minutes, then whip again for a second time. Freeze for another 10 minutes, then whip again for a third time. Freeze for another 10 minutes, then whip for a fourth and final time, this time whipping very vigorously until frosting become fluffy and light. If it’s not cold enough, it won’t whip up, so repeat this process until desired consistency.
- Cover buttercream and refrigerate until ready to frost the cupcakes.
- To assemble, frost or pipe cold buttercream on cooled cupcakes. Store covered or in a large airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.