Fluffy icing, tender sponge and a hidden centre of oozing salted caramel, these vegan cupcakes have it all. Perfect for a bit of weekend baking or a special treat, no-one will guess they’re completely egg- and dairy-free.
- Preheat the oven to gas 5, 190°C, fan 170°C. Line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper cases. To make the sponges, put the sugar, oil and vanilla extract in a bowl then beat with an electric whisk for 1-2 mins until well combined. In a separate bowl, mix together the yogurt and vinegar, then add to the sugar mixture and beat for another 2 mins.
- Sieve in the flour, bicarbonate and salt, then whisk again until smooth. Fill the paper cases with the mix to about two-thirds full then bake for 20 mins until golden, risen and the sponge springs back when touched. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 mins, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Meanwhile, make the caramel sauce. Heat the sugar, spread and syrup in a small pan, stirring until melted. Bring to a simmer and allow to bubble for 2 mins. Add the soya cream and sea salt, then bubble for 2 mins before removing from the heat and leaving to cool and thicken.
- To make the icing, put the spread in a large bowl and beat with an electric whisk to soften. Add half the icing sugar and continue beating until smooth, then add the rest of the sugar and beat for 1-2 mins until pale and fluffy. Beat in 1 tbsp of the salted caramel sauce, then transfer to a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle. Chill in the fridge for about 20 mins so the icing is firm enough to pipe.
- When ready to assemble, scoop out a small hole in the middle of each cake and spoon in a little of the salted caramel. Pipe the icing in swirls onto each cake then drizzle with the remaining salted caramel.
Tip: These cupcakes are also delicious with other fillings; try replacing the salted caramel in the icing for 1 tsp vanilla extract and filling the cakes with strawberry or raspberry jam. Decorate with fresh fruit.
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Freezing guidelines: The cakes (without icing) are suitable for freezing. Make the cupcakes up to the end of step 2, cool completely, and then pack into a freezer-proof container and freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost fully before filling and icing.