Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake Cupcakes

Happy Halloween! Happy Samhain! Happy End of Vegan MoFo! That's a whole lotta celebrating to do! It was a push at the end, but I managed to do 20 posts for Vegan MoFo. What a journey!

This last post was supposed to be a big finale - pumpkin cheesecake cupcakes with gorgeous natural orange and green frosting. Did not work out, as my first attempt here explained. But since this was a recipe from Post Punk Kitchen, you can bet your bottom dollar that these cupcakes were scrumptous! There was a whole muffin tin of them when I started out, meant for the Halloween Party for the staff at the co-op tomorrow. Oops! Ate almost half of them! Yup, it's that good!

While this was my first pumpkin recipe of the season, it most certainly will not be my last. Look for more posts using pumpkin, my favorite winter squash by far!

Pumpkin Cheesecake Cupcakes (from PPK)
(makes 12)

1/2 cup whole cashews soaked in water for 2 to 8 hours or until very soft
1/4 cup mashed banana (about half of 1 medium-sized banana)
1 12 to 14 oz package silken tofu, drained
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons coconut oil, at room temperature
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 3/4 cups canned pumpkin puree (or 1 15 oz can)
3/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Drain the cashews and place in a food processor and process until very finely chopped, scrapping down to get it all evenly chopped. Add the banana, tofu, sugar, brown sugar, coconut oil, cornstarch, lemon juice, vanilla, orange zest, and sea salt and blend until completely smooth and no bits of cashew remain.

Set aside 1/2 cup of batter. To the remaining batter, add the pumpkin puree, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg and blend until smooth. Place cupcake papers in a muffin pan and spoon in batter to 12 cupcakes, only filling it up 4/5 of the way full.  Randomly spoon dollops of the reserved batter onto the cheesecake. Poke the end of a chopstick into a batter blob and gently swirl to create a marble pattern; repeat with the remaining dollops. Bake for 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean.  Remove it from the oven and let cool on a rack for about 20 minutes, then transfer to the refrigerator to complete cooling, at least 3 hours or even better if overnight. Unwrap to serve or top with your favorite icing!


Recipes currently inspiring me:

Beet Cheesecake Bites at Ripe
Snowballs at Joanna Vaught
Sweet Potato Gnocchi at My Zoetrope

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