These delicious fluffy vegan pecan pie cupcakes are full of festive flavor. Vegan caramel cupcakes stuffed with a gooey pecan pie filling and topped with eggless caramel Swiss meringue buttercream. They make the perfect vegan Thanksgiving dessert.
Preheat your oven to 180°C (356°F). Line a 12-hole cupcake tin with 12 cupcake liners.
To make the vegan "buttermilk" add the soy milk and apple cider vinegar to a small bowl, stir and allow to sit for 10 minutes.
Add the olive oil, caramel sauce, and vanilla extract to the vegan buttermilk mixture, stir and set aside. Add the flour, soft brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to a separate bowl and whisk to make sure everything is evenly mixed. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk together until combined - do not over-mix.
Distribute the batter amongst the cupcake liners and bake for 22-25 minutes. Check they are done by piercing them with a toothpick or a knife, the knife should come out clean. Allow the cupcakes to cool for about 10 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack to cool further for 30-40 minutes.
Pecan pie filling
Add the vegan butter to a saucepan and melt over medium heat. Add the brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, and evaporated coconut milk and bring to a simmer for 5 minutes, stirring often.
Add the pecans and salt and simmer for another 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for about 10 minutes before transferring to the fridge to chill for an hour.
Slowly add the vegan caramel sauce to the vegan Swiss meringue buttercream, in one tablespoon increments, whisking to incorporate the mixture in between each spoon. Once all of the caramel sauce has been added, whisk for another minute to combine.
Use a cupcake corer (or apple corer) to cut out the centres of the cooled cupcakes, and reserve the pieces that you remove. Fill each cupcake with pecan pie filling and place the reserved cuts back on top of each one.
Mix together the demerara and ground cinnamon to make cinnamon sugar for the garnish, if using.
Transfer the buttercream to a piping bag fitted with an open star nozzle. Pipe the buttercream on top of each cupcake, top with more caramel sauce, pecans and cinnamon sugar.
These cupcakes are best served at room temperature. If you're keeping them for more than a couple of days, refrigerate them in an airtight container for up to 5 days. I recommend taking them out of the fridge for at least 2-3 hours to bring them to room temperature before serving. Especially if you’re topping them with vegan buttercream which stiffens up when chilled.
Nutritional information is based on filled cupcakes without frosting.
Add 1-2 tablespoons of bourbon to the pecan pie filling for a boozy version of these cupcakes.