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Spooky Eyeball Mini Cupcakes

These delicious treats will be a graveyard smash this Halloween.

Makes 36 mini-cupcakes

What You Need:
For the cupcakes:
Non-stick cooking spray
1-1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cups non-dairy milk
1/2 cup canola oil
2 tablespoons white or apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons vanilla

For the frosting:
1 cup vegan shortening
3 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 to 5 tablespoons non-dairy milk
Blue, black, and red natural food coloring

What You Do:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two 24-cup mini-cupcake pans with 36 mini-cupcake liners and spray lightly with cooking spray.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together non-dairy milk, oil, vinegar, and vanilla. Pour wet mixture into dry mixture and whisk until just combined. Do not over-mix.

3. Fill cupcake liners about three-quarters full with batter. Bake for about 12 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center of cupcake comes out clean. Cool cupcakes completely. When cooled, run a sharp knife around each cupcake to loosen and use tip of knife to gently pry cupcake out of pan.

4. For the frosting, using a handheld or stand mixer, beat shortening until smooth. With mixer running on low, add powdered sugar, vanilla, and 1 tablespoon non-dairy milk at a time, as needed, until frosting reaches a spreadable consistency. You may not need to use all of the non-dairy milk. Beat mixture on high for 2 more minutes until light and fluffy.

5. To decorate the cupcakes, frost top of each cupcake with a thin layer of frosting. Divide remaining frosting into two bowls. In one bowl, mix in a few drops of blue food coloring. In other bowl, mix in a few drops of black food coloring. Fit two piping bags with two small round tips. Fill one piping bag with blue frosting and the other with black frosting. Pipe an eyeball design on each cupcake, as pictured. Then use a toothpick to paint on “bloodshot” red squiggly lines for full effect.

Chef’s Note: You can also make a gluten-free cupcake by substituting the flour with gluten-free all-purpose flour plus 1-1/2 teaspoons of xanthan gum.

Photo: Chloe Coscarelli

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