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Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Frosting

Mondays suck, am I right? Well, let’s make this Monday better with cupcakes! This recipe was inspired by one of my favorite treats, dark chocolate bars with little grains of sea salt in them. Because dark chocolate is not terribly sweet, the sea salt adds a warm tang to the chocolate, emphasizing the subtle sweetness for a tasty dessert.

I had originally written this recipe so that I could submit it to Made Just Right, Earth Balance’s nearly month-long recipe contest; but as I was uploading a photo for the recipe, the site redirected me and the recipe and full instructions were lost. URGH! So, I’m going to re-type them because I love this recipe and I want my lovely reader’s to have a chance to make them!



  • 3 Cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1 1/2 Cups Sugar
  • 1 Cup Cocoa Powder
  • 2 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1 Cup Applesauce
  • 2 Tbsp. White Vinegar
  • 2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Cups Ice Cold Water
  • 2 tsp. Coarse Sea Salt



  1. Preheat oven to 350°F, and get two cupcake sheets (2 dozen cupcakes) ready with liners. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, and baking soda. In a smaller bowl, stir together the applesauce, white vinegar, vanilla extract and water.
  2. Slowly pour the wet mixture into the dry and stir together until combined, then fold the grains of coarse sea salt into the batter so that it does not dissolve. Fill cupcake liners 3/4 of the way full, place in the oven and bake for 19-22 minutes or until a toothpick draws clean.
  3. After the cupcakes are done baking, place them in the refrigerator to cool and move on to making the frosting.
  4. Whip the Earth Balance with a mixer on high-speed, and slowly add in the powdered sugar. Split the vanilla beans with a sharp knife and scrape out the paste, add it into the frosting mixture along with the additional vanilla extract and soy milk and mix together.
  5.  Add more powdered sugar if you’d like a stiffer frosting, and use 1.5-2 tbsp. of it per cupcake. Optional: for added cuteness, top with finely chopped chocolate and a couple of grains of sea salt.

For the record, I really need to practice piping frosting because I am pretty terrible at it! Regardless, these cupcakes tasted great and have a unique flavor that is addictive. I hope that everyone has a fabulous week!


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Christine Oppenheim (@VeggieFixation)

Friday 21st of December 2012

Jackie! I want one of these in my mouth right now! The only thing that could beat this would be salted caramel frosting or topping!

Jackie @ Vegan Yack Attack!

Thursday 27th of December 2012

Omg, Salted Caramel on top?!?!? That sounds so insanely good. I will definitely be trying that out, next time! :D

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