1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup applesauce
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup non-dairy milk (+ 1-2 tablespoons for frosting)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup Dutched unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup mini vegan chocolate chips (optional)
3-4 cups powdered sugar
1 cup vegan butter
natural food coloring (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a mini muffin pan with paper liners (I used primary blue to contrast the orange frosting).
In a large bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking soda. This is the dry mixture.
In a separate bowl or standing mixer, combine light brown sugar, granulated sugar, applesauce, vegetable oil, non-dairy milk and vanilla. Slowly incorporate in the dry mixture until smooth.
Optionally, stir in chocolate chips for added texture and richness. Pour batter into cups.
Bake for about 15 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcakes comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
As for the frosting, combine powdered sugar and vegan butter. Optionally, add in natural food coloring. For fancy swirls as pictured, pipe on frosting with piping bag and large star tip. Otherwise, opt for a low maintenance approach and spread frosting on with a knife. Feel free to top with sprinkles, chocolate chips, cookies crumbs or candy. Enjoy!