There are no rules when it comes to our imagination, and for me, this is how a cauldron cake would look like. These cute little cakes are coated in chocolate, filled with luscious pudding, and topped off with a bit of buttercream and golden sprinkles. These cakes do take a bit of extra love to make, but in the end, they are worth it.
Tip! These cauldron cakes take a bit of time to make, so if you’re planning to make this for an event or special occasion, make these a day ahead. Or if you’re planning to make it on the day of, start very early.
- 1 cup – soy milk
- 1 tablespoon + 1/2 teaspoon – cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon – dutch processed cocoa powder https://amzn.to/3bSUIl4
- 1/2 teaspoon – instant espresso, optional https://amzn.to/3sva4m8
- 1/4 cup – granulated sugar, add more if you want it sweeter
- 1/2 teaspoon – vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon – salt
- ¾ cup (177g) – non-dairy milk, lukewarm
- ½ teaspoon – vinegar
- 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons – vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon (15g) – maple syrup
- 1 cup (128g) – flour
- 1/2 cup (100g) – granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons – dutch processed cocoa powder, see notes https://amzn.to/3bSUIl4
- 1 teaspoon – instant espresso, optional https://amzn.to/3sva4m8
- ½ teaspoon – baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon – baking soda
- ½ teaspoon – salt
Chocolate coating and decorations:
- 1 cup – semi-sweet Baker’s chocolate, roughly chopped https://amzn.to/3dU55aF
- 1 teaspoon – organic refined coconut oil https://amzn.to/3rfZwHi
- 5 tablespoons (70g) – vegan butter, softened
- 2 cups (250g) – powdered sugar, sifted, plus more if needed
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon – non-dairy milk, only if needed
- Gold sprinkles, optional https://amzn.to/2PlXOX5
- Mixing bowls
- Plastic wrap
- Silicone pan or liners https://amzn.to/3uCJ1r4 or https://amzn.to/2NM0nRL
- Rubber spatula
- Electric hand mixer or stand mixer https://amzn.to/3dTMg7y
- Baking sheet pan
- Parchment paper
- Food-safe gloves, optional
- Piping bags https://amzn.to/3dVVZtV
- Medium round piping tip https://amzn.to/3bR6fB4
- In a small mixing bowl, combine non-dairy milk, cornstarch, cocoa powder, espresso powder (if using), maple syrup, vanilla extract, and salt. Mix until the cornstarch and cocoa powder has fully dissolved.
- Transfer the mixture to a saucepan, and place over medium heat.
- Cook, while constantly stirring, until the mixture is thick. If it starts to bubble, remove it from the heat.
- Transfer to a bowl, and place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the top of the pudding. This will prevent skin from developing. Allow it cool at room temperature, and set aside until ready to use.
- Preheat the oven to 350° Fahrenheit. Lightly grease a silicone muffin pan or silicone liners. (You can also use paper liners, but they will make the cakes look different)
- Combine the lukewarm non-dairy milk and vinegar. Mix and set aside for 5 minutes, this will be your buttermilk, it will curdle and thicken.
- In a large bowl, sift your flour, sugar, instant espresso/coffee (if using), dutch-processed cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk together to combine.
- To your buttermilk, add vanilla extract, oil, maple syrup, and whisk until fully emulsified.
- Combine wet ingredients with the dry ingredients, and with a spatula gently fold them together. Careful not to over mix, some clumps are okay. You should have a slightly thick batter.
- Fill your silicone pan or liners 3/4 of the way full. Smooth the tops and tap the pan on a work surface to release some air bubbles, and carefully place them in the oven. Bake for 18-20 minutes.
- To check if your cupcakes are done, use a toothpick or a wooden skewer and poke the center of the cupcake. It should come out clean with a couple of crumbs. If there is still wet batter, bake it for 2-minute increments until it is ready.
- Remove cupcakes from the oven, and let them cool in the pan for 5 minutes. After, remove from the pan and let them fully cool on a cooling rack.
- With an electric hand mixer or stand mixer, whip the softened vegan butter on medium-high speed for 2-5 minutes until creamy.
- Add the vanilla extract and sifted powdered sugar in batches until fully incorporated. Scrape down the bowl with a spatula if needed.
- Beat on high for about 1-2 minutes until you get a nice smooth and fluffy consistency. It should be stiff enough to hold its shape but soft enough to pipe through a piping bag. If it’s too stiff, add a tablespoon of non-dairy milk at a time to loosen it. If it’s too soft and too greasy, add more powdered sugar.
- Fit a piping bag with a medium round tip and fill up half the bag with buttercream. Try to massage the bag to remove any air bubbles. Set aside until ready to use.
- First, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and clear a space in the fridge large enough to fit the baking sheet.
- Next, this is the time to remove the cupcakes from any paper or silicone cupcake liners. Trim the rounded tops of the cupcakes so that they’re flat. I like to get on eye-level so I can see if it’s leveled evenly. You’ll be flipping them over because this will be the base of the cauldron.
- In a microwavable safe bowl, melt the chocolate and coconut oil together. Whisk until smooth and well combined.
- This part will get messy. Working with one cupcake at a time, use your non-dominant hand to hold the top and bottom of the cupcake. With your dominant hand, spoon the melted chocolate all-around the sides of the cupcake, avoiding the top and bottom. Shake off any excess chocolate and place them on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat for the rest. See notes
- Transfer the chocolate-covered cupcakes to the fridge to allow the chocolate to harden and set.
- Meanwhile, fill a small piping bag with the leftover chocolate. On another piece of parchment paper, draw twelve ½-inch circles, these will be the handles. Place this in the fridge as well to set. Leave the leftover chocolate out at room temperature, we will need this later.
- Once the chocolate has been set, remove the cupcakes from the fridge. Use a small sharp knife to carve a hole, reaching half-way inside of each cupcake. Fill each one with the chocolate pudding.
- With the last remaining bit of melted chocolate (if it has solidified, melt them again in the microwave). Use a bit of melted chocolate to stick the round handles onto the sides of the cupcakes.
- Pipe dollops of buttercream over the top of each cupcake and finish it off with some gold sprinkles. Serve and enjoy!
- Dutch-Process Cocoa Powder. This recipe specifically was made for this type of cocoa powder. If you use a different type, it might turn out different. Please check out this page where I talk about the differences between Dutch-Process Cocoa Powder vs. Natural Cocoa powder and how to use them properly in baking.
- Schedule your day accordingly. These cauldron cakes do take a bit of time to make, so if you’re making these for an event, I highly suggest making these a day ahead, or clear your schedule and start early.
- Follow the recipe accordingly. The recipe is divided up into sections, and for good reason. I’ve written this recipe so that while you’re waiting for something to bake or cool, you can be prepping something else. It makes assembly easier.
- Use a silicone pan or silicone cupcake liners. Using silicone cupcake pans/liners are not only reusable but since the batter doesn’t stick to silicone as they bake. As a result, they come out having a smooth exterior. Unlike paper liners, the batter will bake onto them and they also will have ridges, which don’t look as nice for a final product. However, you don’t need to go out and buy a silicone cupcake pan or liners, but if you do use the paper liners, just keep in mind that they will look a bit different.
- Make space for a baking pan in your fridge. We will need the chocolate coating to set in the fridge, and the way to do this is to carefully transfer the cakes is to put them on a parchment-lined baking pan. So do this before you start assembling your cauldron cakes.
- Use your hands to hold the cupcakes as you coat them with chocolate. This will undoubtedly get messy. I’ve tried using a fork and a chopstick to hold the cakes as I did this, but I found that it kept sliding off. I also find it a little difficult to roll the cupcakes in the melted chocolate because it gets hards to handle once it’s in there. So I just used my hands for more stability. You can wear food-safe gloves if you prefer.
- Pudding. You’ll have a lot of pudding leftover, but honestly, you can save the rest as a snack. I could not stop eating it!
- Drag your friends or family to help! Since this recipe takes a bit of time, it’s nice to have a couple of your friends or family help you out. Create an assembly line, one can coat the cakes with chocolate, while another can fill it up with pudding, etc. Make it fun!
- Storing. Keep these cakes in the fridge and in a large air-tight container. They will last for about a week.
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