Is it a cupcake or a muffin? I’ve been asked this several times by Polish friends. What differentiates between the two? Does it have to do with the texture, add-ins like fruit and nuts, or the topping? It’s a tough question to answer, but for me, frosting always makes it a cupcake. What’s the deciding factor for you? I whipped up these vegan cupcakes, made with sweet potato, for our daughter, Lisa. She liked them a lot, but she LOVED the cashew cream cheese frosting. She thought it was so cream cheesy! I know there are other things you can do with cashews along this line. Vegan cashew cheese seems to be turning up in both sweet and savory recipes.
I found this on Pinterst, which I find to be a great source of inspiration. I’ve come across several recipes I want to try from Alissa at Connoisseurus Veg. Her pumpkin muffins were the first one to get a test run. A few substitutions to use what I had on had, and now we have sweet potato cupcakes.
Because it uses so much sweet potato purée, the cake is very dense and moist. You may have used applesauce in place of oil before, but in this case, the sweet potato purée is replacing the eggs, as well as providing the main flavor.
The frosting made about three times as much as we needed for the “cupcakes,” so if you’re baking for a crowd, go ahead and triple the cupcake batter portion of the recipe. I’d love to be able to tell you that these are so moist that they’ll keep for days, or that they freeze well. The truth is, we may never know, they disappear too quickly. If you find out, let us know!
PS – The Penzy’s Baking Spice is similar to pumpkin pie spice that you can find from other brands, or just mix your own to achieve a similar volume. My recommendation would be, in descending amounts, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and clove (very light on the clove).
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 1 cup flour
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 3 teaspoons Penzy's Baking Spice
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup sweet potato purée (you can bake and purée your own, I had a can from Sprout's)
- ½ almond milk
- ¼ cup oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- Almond milk, approximately, ¼ cup
- Soak the cashews in water for 6 hours or overnight, drain
- Preheat oven to 350
- Spray or line 12 muffin cups
- Add the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt to a bowl, whisk together until uniformly combined
- In another bowl, combine the sweet potato, milk, oil, and vanilla
- Combine the wet and dry ingredients, stirring just until incorporated
- Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups
- Bake for 18 - 20 minutes or until the tops spring back when lightly touched (if you're not using paper liners, you should see the cake just begin to pull away from the pan)
- Cool before frosting
- In a blender or a food processor, process the cashews with the vanilla and lemon juice, scraping down the sides
- Blend in the powdered sugar and enough almond milk to achieve desired consistency