Chloe Coscarelli's Coffee Almond Crunch Cupcakes


Makes 14 Cupcakes
Want to prove to someone that you’re a cupcake rock star? This is your cupcake! They are the ultimate, decadent, melt-in-your-mouth masterpieces. If you want to impress, make these cupcakes!
Make-Ahead Tip
Cupcakes can be made in advance and frozen, unfrosted, for up to 1 month. Frosting can be made the day before and stored at room temperature. Thaw cupcakes and assemble before serving.
1½ cups all-purpose flour*
1 cup sugar ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder 1 teaspoon baking soda ½ teaspoon salt 1 cup canned coconut milk, mixed well before measuring ½ cup canola oil 2 tablespoons white or apple-cider vinegar 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder

1 cup non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening 3 cups powdered sugar 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 3 tablespoons instant espresso powder dissolved in ¼ cup water Ganache
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips(dairy-free)
¼ cup canned coconut milk, mixed well before measuring 2 tablespoons canola oil 1 cup chopped toasted almonds Chocolate-covered espresso beans, for garnish To make the cupcakes:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two 12-cup cupcake pans with 14 cupcake liners. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together coconut milk, oil, vinegar, vanilla, and espresso powder. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and whisk until just combined.
Do not overmix. Fill the cupcake liners about two-thirds full with batter. Bake for 16 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out dry with a few crumbs clinging to it. Cool the cupcakes completely before frosting. To make the frosting: Using a stand or hand mixer, beat shortening until smooth. With the mixer running on low, add powdered sugar and vanilla, and beat to incorporate. Add 1-tablespoon of espresso liquid at a time, as needed, until it reaches desired frosting consistency and espresso flavor. Increase speed to high and beat for 2 more minutes until light and fluffy. To make the ganache: Melt chocolate chips and coconut milk in a double boiler or microwave. Whisk in oil until smooth.

To assemble the cupcakes: Once the cupcakes are completely cooled, slice the dome of the top of each cupcake and pipe with a layer of frosting. Place the top of the cupcake back on top of the frosting. Spread a thin layer of ganache over the dome of the cupcake and sprinkle with almonds. Garnish with an additional bit of frosting and espresso bean.