When I first got the idea to make vegan eggnog cupcakes, I had planned to use a prepared vegan eggnog for the liquid in the batter, but when I finally got around to making them, I didn’t have any eggnog in the house. So I decided to make them with almond milk and other ingredients in the hopes that they’d still taste noggy enough. I reasoned that I had been making my own vegan eggnog for years before the commercial products came out, and all that experience taught me that if you add enough nutmeg and Myers dark rum, it will taste like eggnog!
My first batch made with almond milk turned out fantastic, but I still wondered if the flavor would be even better (or maybe too intense) if made with a commercial vegan eggnog. Plus I hadn’t tasted real eggnog in over 30 years, so I wanted some other opinions. I asked two of my talented recipe testers to try out the cupcakes before I shared the recipe with you.
Barbara Bryan made two versions: one with So Delicious Coconut Milk Nog and one with almond milk. She reported that both versions were excellent, but the version with the nog was more noggy than the almond milk one. Barbara used the optional cinnamon in her cupcakes; I did not. The cupcakes took 20 minutes to bake in Barbara’s oven. Here’s one of Barbara’s cupcakes:
Lea Jacobson made them with almond milk. She made them as mini cupcakes and they took about 22 minutes to bake in her oven. Lea loved the decadently delicious frosting so much, it made her consider other things to put the frosting on — even pondering the idea of “frosting shots.” Suffice to say it’s definitely a “lick the bowl” kind of frosting! Here’s one of Lea’s mini-cupcakes:
All three of us used the Myers Dark Rum in our cupcake batter and frosting, but the extract should work fine. An extra sprinkling of nutmeg on top is the icing on the cupcake icing! Here, then, is the recipe for Vegan Eggnog Cupcakes:
Vegan Eggnog Cupcakes
3/4 cup vegan eggnog or almond milk
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/4 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
Scant 1/2 teaspoon salt (more than 1/4 teaspoon but less than 1/2 teaspoon)
3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons dark rum (or 1 1/2 teaspoons rum extract)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup Earth Balance
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons dark rum or 1 1/2 teaspoons rum extract
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350° F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners. Set aside.
In a small bowl, combine the eggnog and vinegar and set aside. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, nutmeg, cinnamon (if using), baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix to combine.
In a large bowl, combine the sugar, oil, rum, and vanilla. Stir in the reserved eggnog mixture. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until smooth.
Pour the batter evenly into the prepared tin and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean, about 20 to 25 minutes. Cool completely before frosting.
Frosting: While the cupcakes are cooling, make the frosting. In a large bowl, cream the Earth Balance with an electric mixer on high speed until light and fluffy. Alternatively, process it in a food processor. Add the sugar, rum, and nutmeg and mix until thoroughly combined. Continue mixing for about 2 minutes until the frosting is smooth and stiff. Refrigerate until needed.
To assemble: When the cupcakes are completed cooled, frost them with the prepared frosting.
I couldn’t help myself! I had to make another batch of these cupcakes using the last-minute emergency cupcake trick from my carrot cupcakes.
For these, I combined a box of yellow cake mix (check the label to make sure it’s vegan) with 1 3/4 cup Silk Nog and 1/4 cup Myers Dark Rum and 1 teaspoon nutmeg. The frosting recipe stayed the same. The results were out-of-this-world delicious.
Disclaimer: I do not recommend using the boxed cake mix as a general practice, simply because many brands (while still vegan) contain unhealthy ingredients. I just want to share this a once-in-awhile trick to use for those times when you need to whip up a quick dessert at the last minute.