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Pina Colada Cupcakes from Betty Goes Vegan

I was pretty inspired when I spoke with Dan Shannon about Betty Goes Vegan, the book he and his wife Annie created. So when Amy's Table producer (and popular blogger) Joe Bellante requested vegan cupcakes I went right to Betty and decided to make him Pina Colada Cupcakes.

Honestly, while I'm interested in expanding my vegetarian and vegan recipe options, I think I'll stick to my butter, egg and milk style of baking. But if you've chosen to follow a vegan diet, these will certainly do the trick!

Pina Colada Cupcakes 2 1/3 Cups Flour 1 1/2 Cups Sugar 1/2 Cup Margarine 3 1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder 1 teaspoon Salt 1 1/4 teaspoon Rum Extract 3 Tablespoons Applesauce 1 Cup Crushed Pineapple in Juice 1 teaspoon Coconut Milk

Pina Colada/Coconut Frosting 2 1/2 Cups Powder Sugar 1/2 Cup Margarine 2 teaspoons Rum Extract (you can substitute with Coconut Extract if you want a strong coconut flavor) 2 teaspoons Coconut Milk 4 Cups Coconut (shredded)

Cupcakes: Heat oven to 350.

Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl with a hand held electric mixer for 5 minutes on a medium speed. You want it be smooth and fluffy. Turn your bowl at a slight angle to make your batter a little fluffier.

Put your paper liners in your cupcake pan and fill the cups 3/4 of the way and bake for around 10 - 15 minutes. Remove from the oven when you can stick a toothpick in the center and remove it cleanly.

Pina Colada/Coconut Frosting Blend all the ingredients in a large bowl with a hand held electric mixer on a medium speed for 5 minutes using the beater attachments first and then when the margarine is soft - switch to the whisk attachments and blend for another 5 minutes. You want to stop when it gets fluffy.

If you want your frosting to be thicker add more Powdered Sugar - a tablespoon at a time or if you want it softer add more Coconut Milk a teaspoon at a time. Put your Shredded Coconut in a bowl. Once you have have frosted your cupcakes - gently dip the frosted top into the bowl and very gently press down. You'll want to roll your cupcake top in the Coconut a little to make sure it gets a lot. You're pressing the Coconut into the frosting so make sure you don't press so hard the frosting comes off into the bowl.

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