It’s Sir Paul McCartney’s birthday! And we’re gonna party with a truly one-of-a-kind vegan cupcake. This cupcake combines everyone’s favorite flavor, chocolate, with classic English flavors like lavender and lemon. Rich, moist, and decadent, you would never guess that these cupcakes are vegan. So grab some cupcake liners and warmup the oven ’cause we’re gonna have a good time.
Paul McCartney is one of the most famous and outspoken advocates of vegetarianism and animal rights. So naturally, any Paul-inspired cupcake has to be animal-friendly. I have to be honest: I was shocked by how well these cupcakes turned out. If someone gave me one without telling me it was vegan, I wouldn’t have a clue. They are so moist and rich, and the frosting is so creamy that I think most people would be fooled.
But what flavor to make them? A couple years ago I had the chance to tour Paul’s childhood home when I was in Liverpool. It was small, quaint, and very English. The National Trust tour guide told us that (supposedly) Paul’s father, Jim, planted the lavender bushes in front of the house. He used to dry the flowers buds and burn them in ashtrays throughout the house. So lavender was one of the first things that came to mind when I started thinking about what flavors to incorporate into a Paul McCartney-themed cupcake. That brought to mind other classic English flavors, and lemon seemed like an obvious pairing.
Now lemon and lavender are fine and dandy but chocolate? Well I wanted to incorporate a flavor that would appeal to a wide audience, kind of like Paul’s music. Lemon and lavender are a classic combination, and chocolate and lavender play well together. But throw them all together and you have something new and unique. That’s what I think Paul does with music. He takes sounds are that familiar and popular and mixes them together until he creates something that is brand-new and exciting.
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup vegan butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
- 1 cup original sweetened soy milk
- 1/2 cup vegan cream cheese, softened
- 1/3 cup vegan butter, softened
- 3 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
- 2 Tbsp dried lavender buds + extra for garnish
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- Zest of 1 lemon*
- Heat 3 tablespoons of the vegan butter and 2 tablespoons of lavender in a saucepan over low heat until the butter has melted.
- Strain the melted butter into a small bowl and discard the lavender.
- Allow the lavender infused butter to cool until it starts to harden again.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a standard muffin tin with cupcake liners.
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.
- In another bowl, mix together the melted vegan butter, vanilla extract, vinegar, and soy milk.
- Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients in 2-3 batches and mix until smooth.
- Fill the cupcake liners with batter until 1/2-2/3 of the way full.
- Bake cupcakes for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for 5 minutes before carefully removing them. Place them on a rack to cool completely.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, lavender infused butter, and the remaining butter for 3-5 minutes, or until completely smooth and fluffy.
- Add the lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla extract and mix to combine.
- Beat in the confectioner's sugar 1/2 cup at a time until the frosting is thick enough to spread or pipe. Add more confectioner's sugar if a thicker consistency is desired.
- Scoop the frosting into a piping bag and top the cooled cupcakes. Garnish with more dried lavender if desired.
- *Add less lemon zest if a subtler lemon flavor is desired.
Check out my other Beatles-inspired cupcakes:
- George Harrison: Vegan Chai Spice Cupcakes
- Ringo Starr: Tie-Dye Vanilla Cupcakes
- John Lennon: Scotcheroo Cupcakes
What’s your favorite Paul McCartney song? Let me know in the comments. If you liked this post, please share it on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.