Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 12-well muffin pan with paper cups or lightly oil.
Measure milk in a 2-cup liquid measuring cup. Whisk in oil, vinegar, and vanilla using a fork. Set aside.
Whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, espresso powder (if using), baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.
Add milk mixture and beat using a wooden spoon until the batter is smooth. Spoon batter into prepared muffin pan, filling the wells almost to the top. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a cupcake comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes and transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Grasp a cupcake by the bottom, turn upside down, dip into the icing, and twist to coat the top. Place on a plate and repeat for remaining cupcakes.
Cupcakes keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Makes 1 Dozen Cupcakes
1 cup unflavored, unsweetened almond milk or other nondairy milk
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1½ cups all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour blend
1 cup coconut sugar
¼ cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon espresso powder (optional)
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon sea salt
¾ cup vegan chocolate icing
From “The Reducetarian Cookbook: 125 Easy, Healthy, and Delicious Plant-Based Recipes for Omnivores, Vegans, and Everyone In-Between” by Reducetarian Foundation (Center Street, $21.99). Recipe developed by Pat Crocker. Photo by Ashleigh Amoroso.