Salted Caramel Cupcakes (vegan and gluten free)

So, as it were, Lil Sis and I are doing a Couch to 5k program together. Or as she would say that she’s “just humoring me”. I don’t know about that, but either way, we’re doing it. Maybe a little unconventionally due to some scheduling difficulties, but we’re doing it! I’m running two 5k’s this summer, so I thought I’d stick with a program I knew and had done before. Now I’m just dragging Lil Sis along with me. 🙂 That being said, we started our first day on Easter Sunday. Now, while this may seem a bit counterproductive, I offered that we (Nick joined us) would stop by Easter afternoon, do our first day workout and then share an Easter dessert. Eh, what can you say? We did exercise. Not nearly enough to work off the cupcakes we ate, but whatever! These cupcakes are worth it. I mean really, REALLY worth it. When I first ate one I immediately told Nick that they were for sure part of my “top five cupcakes ever”. That’s saying something.

THESE CUPCAKES WILL KNOCK YOUR SOCKS OFF.

Salted Caramel Cupcakes
recipe adapted from Chloe’s Vegan Desserts
Cupcakes
1 1/2 cups Bob’s Red Mill gluten free all purpose baking mix
3/4 tsp xanthan gum
1 cup evaporated cane juice
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt
3/4 cup almond milk
1/2 cup canola oil
2 T apple cider vinegar
1 T pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350. Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, xanthan gum, evaporated cane juice, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the almond milk, oil, vinegar, and vanilla. Pour the wet mixture into the dry and whisk until just combined. Do not overmix. Fill the cupcake liners about 2/3 full with batter. (you should get 12 cupcakes) Bake for 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting.

cooling cupcakes

Frosting
1/2 cup earth balance
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup almond milk
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 cups powdered sugar
Fleur de sel, for sprinkling

In a medium saucepan, melt earth balance and whisk in the brown sugar, almond milk and salt. Bring to a gentle boil and let boil for 3 1/2 minutes. Remove from heat, add vanilla and let cool. Using a stand mixer, slowly beat the caramel mixture with the powdered sugar. If frosting is too thick, add 1 T almond milk at a time until the the frosting reaches a spreadable consistency. (I did not have to add any) Beat on high until smooth. Spread a thin layer of frosting on the cupcakes and sprinkle with the Fleur de sel.

salted caramel cupcakes

Eat your heart out with complete and utter joy!

*If you are not going to eat all the cupcakes the first day, only sprinkle the ones you’re going to enjoy with the Fleur de sel. Otherwise it starts to melt away the frosting by the next day. Not that it stopped me. Tasted the same, just didn’t look as pretty.

**Also, the frosting makes enough for a double batch of cupcakes (darn!). However, it’s absolutely sinful spread upon an ooey gooey cinnamon roll!! 😉

Enjoy!

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