Vegan Cookbook Giveaway and Decadent Vegan Cupcake Recipe

by Sharon Nazarian - Big City Vegan on 5:24 am

Vegan Chocolate Cookbook Fran Costigan
With Valentine’s Day in mind, it’s the perfect time to think about sweets and chocolate, and nothing could be sweeter then delicious vegan desserts.

My favorite vegan dessert recipes come from this amazing vegan chef, Fran Costigan. Rightfully known as the Queen of Vegan Desserts, Fran is a world-renowned chef, author, recipe developer, educator, and all round dynamic, kind-hearted and compassionate person.

In her latest book Vegan Chocolate: Unapologetically Luscious and Decadent Dairy-Free Desserts, Fran Costigan serves up 120 delectable vegan recipes including truffles, frozen desserts, cakes,cupcakes, brownies, cookies, pies and tarts, confections, beverages (including some spirited ones), and show stoppers like her Chocolate Hazelnut Six-Layer Cake and Buche de Noel. As someone who was lucky enough to be a recipe tester for this book, I can assure you, these are the best of the best. The instructions are clear and concise. Whether you’re a newbie or a pro, this cookbook will grab your attention and get you in the kitchen whipping up these decadent treats in no time.

The mouthwatering photos by photographer Kate Lewis are off the charts show stoppers themselves. This is a beautiful book with high quality, glossy pages. It makes a wonderful gift for any occasion, like Valentine’s Day.

Fran covers so much ground. Everything you ever wanted to know about vegan baking and making delectable vegan desserts is here. Vegan Chocolate has all of that and it’s entertaining as well. I love how Fran weaves in stories about the recipes, as you’ll see in the Black Bottom Cupcake recipe below. This book has charm and elegance to spare. Vegan Chocolate Cookbook Giveaway

I don’t know about you but I am always so excited to share delicious vegan foods. So many people are surprised that all these treats can be made without dairy and eggs and be not only as good as, but better than their non-vegan counterparts.  They are even better for you.

Some of my favorites include the Bittersweet Ganache-Glazed Chocolate Torte to Live For (voted by my friends as the best chocolate cake they ever had), Chocolate Orange Sesame Truffles, Chocolate Horchata, Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream, Magic Cookie Bars, Moon Pies, Eclairs, the Opera Cake, etc. Whipped creams, custard fillings, buttercream frostings, a chocolate ice cream shell are all possible in Chef Fran Costigan’s vegan kitchen, and will be in yours now too.

Fran Costigan and her publishers at Running Press were kind enough to provide me with a review copy and a book for this giveaway.

Even though only one will win the book, we are all winners. I’m sharing one of Fran’s most decadent and delicious dessert recipes, her vegan Black Bottom Cupcakes (see below). Also, if you have any questions for Fran, please note them in the comments section and Fran herself will answer them!

There are many ways to enter to win. Do one or more to increase your chances.

This giveaway ends on 2/3/14 at 12:01am EST and is open to anyone in the U.S. or Canada 18+. The winner will have 48 hours to respond to the notification email to claim their prize or a new winner will be drawn. The information you enter is collected by Rafflecopter and viewed by me in order to facilitate this giveaway.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Black Bottom Cupcakes

Recipe reprinted with permission from VEGAN CHOCOLATE © 2013 by Fran Costigan, Running Press, a member of the Perseus Books Group.

Photo credit: Kate Lewis

Fran Costigan's Black Bottom Vegan Cupcake Recipe Photo by Kate Lewis

Fran’s introduction:
Was this long-time favorite, slightly odd-looking icing-free cupcake the result of a mistake? “Oops! I dropped cheesecake batter in the batter in the Devil’s food cupcake batter!” The chocolate-flecked vegan cream cheese bakes into chocolate cupcakes for a treat as yummy, if not yummier, than the dairy version. Since the cake was already dairy- and egg-free in many of the original recipes (a.k.a. accidentally vegan), and nondairy cream cheese spread is easily found in natural food stores and larger supermarkets, creating an actual recipe to follow was literally and figuratively “a piece of cake.” Chocolate chips add flavor to the filling, and chia gel replaces the egg. The resulting bites of heaven fairly beg for a glass of ice- cold nondairy milk or a freshly made espresso (the latter is my choice).

Notes: Keep the “cream cheese” in the refrigerator until ready to use, but do not freeze it. When making the regular-sized cupcakes, the tins will be almost completely full. If you are making minis, go for a maximum of two-thirds full and no more than 11⁄2 teaspoons of filling.

Do not substitute Dutch-process (alkalized cocoa powder) for the non-alkalized cocoa in the recipe.

Makes 12 Standard-Size Cupcakes Or 24 Minis


1 1⁄2 teaspoons / 3 grams ground chia seeds
1 1⁄2 tablespoons / 22.5 ml warm water
8 ounces / 227 grams nondairy cream cheese spread, very cold
9 tablespoons / 56 grams organic confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2 teaspoons / 10 ml pure vanilla extract
2 ounces / 85 grams chocolate chips


1 cup / 129 grams organic all-purpose flour
1⁄2 cup / 70 grams organic whole wheat pastry flour
3⁄4 cup / 159 grams organic granulated sugar
1⁄4 cup / 50 grams organic whole cane sugar, ground in a blender until powdered
1⁄4 cup plus 1 tablespoon / 25 grams natural cocoa powder (non-alkalized)
1 teaspoon / 5 grams baking soda
1⁄4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 cup / 240 ml any nondairy milk
1⁄4 cup plus 2 tablespoons / 90 ml mild tasting extra-virgin olive oil or organic neutral vegetable oil
1 tablespoon / 15 ml apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon / 5 ml pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon / 5 ml chocolate extract (optional)


1. Mix the chia and water and set aside for a couple of minutes. Mix with a fork until thoroughly combined. Repeat twice, 5 minutes apart. The chia gel can be made a day ahead and refrigerated in a covered container. Mix before using.

2. Beat together the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla with an electric mixer. Add the chia gel and mix on medium for another 30 seconds until incorporated. Stir the chocolate chips into the filling. Refrigerate in a covered container while you make the cupcakes.


1. Position a rack on the rung just above the center of the oven and preheat to 350 ̊F / 180 ̊C. Lightly oil the top only of a 12-cup cupcake tin to make any bake-overs easier to clean, and line with paper liners that are slightly higher than the cups.

2. Put a wire mesh strainer over a medium bowl. Add the all-purpose flour, pastry flour, granulated sugar, whole cane sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt to the strainer. Stir with whisk to sift the ingredients into the bowl and whisk to aerate. (If any very small bits remain in the strainer, add them to the mixture in the bowl.) Whisk to aerate the mixture.

3. In a separate small bowl, mix the nondairy milk, oil, vinegar, vanilla, and chocolate extract (if using) until thoroughly mixed. Immediately pour into the dry ingredients. Whisk hard until the batter is smooth.

4. Fill the cups close to three-quarters full with batter. Spoon or scoop 3 tablespoons of the filling—but not more—into the center of each cake. The cups will be filled almost to the top. That’s okay.

5. Bake for 25 to 27 minutes, or until the edges of the cakes are firm when lightly tapped and the filling is set. Set the tins on a wire rack for 10 minutes. The filling will collapse into the cakes while they cool. Remove the cupcakes from the tin, and cool completely on a wire rack before serving.

Serving: I like to serve the cupcakes slightly chilled for the best flavor, but some of my testers liked the cakes best at room temperature. You’ll just have to make two batches and try them each way to decide!

Keeping: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to three days.

Recipe reprinted with permission from VEGAN CHOCOLATE © 2013 by Fran Costigan, Running Press, a member of the Perseus Books Group.

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