These Vegan Chocolate Fig Cupcakes feature the delicious pairing of California Dried Figs and chocolate. These rich and decadent cupcakes are made with homemade Fig Whiskey Jam and are topped with Vegan Irish Cream Frosting. These cupcakes are perfect for any celebration!
This post is sponsored by Valley Fig Growers; all thoughts and opinions are my own. I only partner with brands that I believe in and use in my kitchen. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Resplendent Kitchen possible.
- Notes on ingredients
- 🍽 Equipment
- Step by step instructions
- 🥣 How to make the Fig Whiskey Jam
- How to make the cupcakes
- How to make the Vegan Irish Cream Frosting
- How to frost the cupcakes
- 💭 Top tips
- Can these cupcakes be made in advance?
- Can these cupcakes be frozen?
- How to use the remaining Fig Whiskey Jam
- Related recipes
- 📖 Recipe
- 💬 Comments
I'm excited to partner with Valley Fig Growers to bring you this Vegan Chocolate Fig Cupcakes recipe featuring Orchard Choice and Sun-Maid California Dried Mission Figs. The pairing of figs and chocolate is a divine combination!
I loved incorporating Orchard Choice and Sun-Maid California Dried Figs into this plant-based cupcake recipe; these figs are so moist, delicious, and good for you. I chose California Dried Mission Figs for this Vegan Chocolate Fig Cupcakes recipe because their color and deep sweetness complement the chocolate perfectly.
Let me tell you about these California Dried Mission Figs! The figs add moisture and contribute to the texture of the cupcakes. They are also a great source of health-promoting dietary fiber, adding a healthy twist to these indulgent cupcakes. Figs contain many essential minerals such as calcium, iron, and potassium, not to mention they are rich in antioxidants and complex carbohydrates. You are going to love them in this Vegan Chocolate Fig Cupcakes with Irish Cream Frosting recipe!
Notes on ingredients
- You can use dark brown sugar in place of light brown sugar.
- Instead of coffee extract mixed with 1 cup water, you can use one tablespoon of instant coffee or 1 cup of fresh coffee, cooled.
- Instead of vegan mini chocolate chips, you can use regular-sized vegan chocolate chips or chop up an equivalent amount of quality vegan dark chocolate.
- Do not use self-rising flour in this recipe. If you do not have cake flour, you can make your own by measuring a half cup of all-purpose flour, removing a tablespoon, and replacing it with cornstarch. You can use only all-purpose flour in this recipe, but the crumb will not be as fine. You can also use pastry flour.
- I recommend shortening for a silky smooth texture to the frosting; plus, it makes the frosting more stable in heat and humidity. If you prefer, you can use vegan buttery sticks only. Do not use vegan butter in a tub; the water content is too high. Since these are usually salted, I don't add salt to the frosting. However, if your vegan buttery sticks are unsalted, taste your frosting and adjust to taste, starting at ¼ teaspoon sea salt.
Here is the equipment you will need to make these Vegan Chocolate Fig Cupcakes:
- small saucepan
- citrus juicer
- large and small mixing bowls
- food processor
- two 12-well muffin tins or 24-well muffin tin - If you use only one muffin tin and fill the batter to the top instead of ⅔ full, your cupcakes will likely spread at the top, making them look more like muffins. They'll still taste incredible!
- 15 muffin/cupcake liners - I prefer environmentally responsible unbleached liners that don't stick to the cupcakes.
- stand mixer to make the frosting
- wire rack to cool the cupcakes
- pastry bag and 1M tip for decorating the cupcakes, or you can use a butter knife or icing spatula. This decorating kit is handy, and it includes the 1M tip. You can experiment with other tips as well.
Step by step instructions
- First, you'll need Vegan Irish Cream, which I have a recipe for.
- Make the Fig Whiskey Jam (recipe below), start the day before baking, at a minimum.
- Bake the cupcakes.
- Make the Irish Cream Frosting while the cupcakes are cooling. You can make the Irish Cream frosting in advance if you wish. You can refrigerate it until you need it. I make the frosting while the cupcakes are cooling. I've outlined the steps in greater detail below.
🥣 How to make the Fig Whiskey Jam
- I typically start this the night before baking day. You can start soaking the dried figs the night before and make the Fig Whiskey Jam in the morning before you start making the cupcakes.
- Soak the figs overnight in boiling water and Irish whiskey. Let them cool before covering them in an airtight container and place them in the fridge overnight.
- The next day, you will make the jam. Start by cooking the mixture of water, whiskey, and figs on the stovetop with light brown sugar, lemon juice, and a little salt. Then gently simmer for approximately eight to ten minutes, until the figs are soft, being careful not to have a rolling boil, or too much liquid will boil away.
- Check for softness by pressing your spatula into the figs now and then. They should start yielding to pressure. Take the saucepan off the heat and let it cool.
- Add the mixture to a food processor and puree for up to 30 to 60 seconds, until smooth. If your mixture is too thick, you can add a teaspoon of water at a time until it's less thick, but I haven't had to do this. Place the jam in a glass container. Once the jam has cooled, place it in the fridge for up to ten days.
- You will need half a cup of jam to make the cupcakes. You can use the rest of the jam in the frosting if you wish or reserve it for another use. Suggestions on how to use the fig jam are below.
How to make the cupcakes
- Start by preheating the oven to 350°F and place 15 liners in the muffin tin or tins. If you don't have two tins or a large muffin tin with 24 wells, you can use one. However, the batter will rise to the top and mound, making the cupcakes look more like muffins. They'll still taste great!
- Sift the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine, making a well in the center.
- In a bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients with the Whiskey Fig Jam.
- Add the wet ingredients into the middle of the dry ingredients and gently mix with a spatula until smooth. Gently fold in the chocolate chips.
- Pour the batter into the cupcake liners and fill to about ⅔ full, and bake for 22-25 minutes. Be careful not to overbake to avoid dry cupcakes. Cupcakes should spring back when you gently press the centers.
- Cool completely before frosting the cupcakes for at least an hour.
- Make the Vegan Irish Cream Frosting while the cupcakes are cooling.
How to make the Vegan Irish Cream Frosting
- It is optional to add chocolate and the remaining Whiskey Fig Jam to the icing. If you're going to do this, whisk the cocoa powder and hot water in a small bowl until smooth, and let cool to room temperature before you start making the frosting. Make sure the remaining Whiskey Fig Jam is out of the fridge if you plan on adding it to the frosting at the end.
- It is not essential to have the butter at room temperature first because beating it will warm it up quickly. Cut the butter into slices and place it in the mixing bowl of the stand mixer.
- In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and shortening at medium to high speed for three minutes.
- Scrape the sides and the bottom of the bowl with a spatula. Add the sifted confectioner's sugar. If you're adding the cocoa powder and water mixture, add it along with the vanilla. Start by mixing it on low speed at first, then beat on high speed for 5 minutes.
- Add ½ cup Vegan Irish cream. It is optional to add the remaining Fig Whiskey Jam and stir on low until it is mixed in. The jam is delicious and adds texture and a color change (not pictured).
How to frost the cupcakes
- You can frost the cupcakes with a butter knife or an icing spatula if you don't wish to get fancy.
- This decorating kit is handy, and it includes the 1M tip. You can experiment with other tips as well!
- If you like the swirled frosting, here's what to do: transfer the frosting to a piping bag with a 1M tip. It's easiest to do this by placing the empty piping bag with the tip in a tall plastic or stainless steel drinking glass. Fold the edges over the rim of the glass, and spoon the frosting in, stopping a few inches short of the top of the bag. Twist the top of the bag and press your hand into the pastry bag, getting the air out of the frosting as it's pushed down toward the 1M tip.
- You can practice your frosting skills on a plate before you try it on your cupcake!
- Place a dollop of frosting in the center of the top of the cupcake, then start frosting at the edge of the cupcake, circling your way to the center, lifting the piping tip slightly.
💭 Top tips
- Make the Fig Whiskey Jam a day or two before, along with the Vegan Irish Cream. This will make the day of baking and decorating go smoother.
- Let your cupcakes cool for at least an hour on a wire rack before you frost them.
- I recommend frosting the cupcakes the same day you bake them since they are best enjoyed the same day. Storage tips are below.
Can these cupcakes be made in advance?
Yes! You can make the cupcakes ahead of time and store them at room temperature in an airtight container for a couple of days. Let them cool completely before storing them in the container to avoid condensation. If you need to store them longer than that, freeze them.
You can make the frosting ahead of time and store it in the fridge or freezer.
- You can keep these cupcakes at room temperature for up to two days. After that you can refrigerate them or freeze them. If they're not going to be eaten within a few days, I recommend freezing them. Take them out of the fridge for at least 30 to 60 minutes before eating them to let the frosting warm up.
- You can refrigerate them for up to 7 days in an airtight container. The longer they stay in the fridge, the greater the chance of drying them out.
Can these cupcakes be frozen?
Yes, you can freeze these cupcakes either frosted or unfrosted for up to four to six months. If they are frosted, partially freeze them until they get firm in the freezer, then wrap them with plastic wrap or foil and place them in an airtight container. The better wrapped they are, the better they will keep in the freezer.
When you are ready to eat them, take the cupcakes out of the freezer, unwrap them and let them sit at room temperature for an hour.
How to use the remaining Fig Whiskey Jam
- You can add it to the frosting if you like, it's delicious! Add it with the Vegan Irish Cream for an unexpected and fun twist to the frosting. The little bits of fig resemble bits of chocolate or chocolate jimmies.
- Serve the jam with crackers and a vegan cheese plate; make an easy dinner with salad and bread, or you can stir the jam into a vinaigrette for your salad. Or you can toss it with roasted Brussels sprouts.
- Add it to your next cake batter, muffin batter, or banana bread before you bake.
- Use it as a topping for pancakes and French toast instead of syrup. Mix it with vegan cream cheese for a crepe filling. Add the jam to overnight oats.
- Fold it into vegan yogurt, make a parfait, spread it on top of toast or English muffins.
- You can add the Fig Whiskey Jam to puff pastry squares; add vegan cream cheese, chopped nuts, and bake. Substitute the Fig Whiskey Jam for cranberry jam in my Vegan Cranberry Cream Cheese Bites.
I hope you make these cupcakes soon; I know you will LOVE them! Visit Valley Fig Growers Online Store to order their delicious Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Dried Figs or find them in your favorite retail store!
If you make these Vegan Chocolate Fig Cupcakes, let me know what you think by ★ star rating it and leave a comment below. You can follow me on Instagram and share your creation with me! Just tag me @resplendentkitchen and hashtag #resplendentkitchenrecipes.
Vegan Chocolate Fig Cupcakes
- large and small mixing bowls
- two 12-well muffin tins or a 24-well muffin tin
- stand mixer
For the Fig Whiskey Jam
- 1 cup Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Dried Mission Figs
- ½ cup boiling water
- 2 tablespoons Irish whiskey
- 2 tablespoons organic light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- ⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt
For the Vegan Chocolate Fig Cupcakes
- 1 cup organic unbleached all-purpose flour
- ½ cup cake flour
- 1 cup organic cane sugar
- ½ cup organic Dutch process cocoa powder or natural-process cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 cup water or room temperature coffee, see below
- ⅓ cup grapeseed oil
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon coffee extract or 1 cup coffee instead of water
- ½ cup Fig Whiskey Jam
- ½ cup vegan semisweet mini chocolate chips
For the Vegan Irish Cream Frosting
- ¾ cup vegan buttery sticks 1 ½ sticks, do not use vegan buttery spread or the type that comes in a tub
- ¾ cup shortening
- 3 cups organic confectioner's sugar sifted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup Vegan Irish Cream recipe on site
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder optional, sifted, and recommended
- ¼ cup hot water optional, to mix with cocoa powder
- ⅓ cup Fig Whiskey Jam optional (remaining portion of jam) and recommended
To make the Fig Whiskey Jam
- Place the Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Dried Mission Figs in a small glass bowl. Cover with the boiling water and add whiskey. Let cool. Cover and place in fridge overnight.
- The next day, pour the mixture into a small saucepan with high sides. Add light brown sugar, lemon, and salt. Mix and bring to a boil over medium heat, reducing heat to low to medium.
- Simmer at low to medium heat (not a rolling boil) for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Gently press edge of spatula into figs to check for softness.
- Let cool and puree in food processor for 30 to 60 seconds until smooth. Place in glass container. Store in fridge for up to 10 days. You will need ½ cup for the cupcake recipe; reserve the rest for another use or add it to the frosting.
To make the Vegan Chocolate Fig Cupcakes
- Preheat oven to 350°F and place 15 cupcake liners in the muffin tin.
- Sift the flours, cane sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt into a large mixing bowl. Stir to combine. Make a well in the center.
- Whisk together the water, oil, apple cider vinegar, vanilla and coffee extracts, and Whiskey Fig Jam in a bowl.
- Pour the wet ingredients in the middle of the dry ingredients and gently mix until smooth. Gently fold in the chocolate chips., being careful not to overmix.
- Pour the batter into the cupcake liners, fill to about ⅔ full, and bake for 22-25 minutes. Fill any empty wells with a couple tablespoons of water. Cupcakes should spring back when you gently press the centers.
- Cool completely on a wire rack before frosting them. While the cupcakes are cooling, make the Vegan Irish Cream Frosting. Make sure they are completely cool before frosting (one hour).
To make the Vegan Irish Cream Frosting
- Optional: To add chocolate to the icing, mix cocoa powder with hot water in a small bowl. Whisk until smooth, and let cool to room temperature.
- In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and shortening on medium to high speed for three minutes.
- Scrape the sides and the bottom of the bowl with a spatula. Add sifted confectioner's sugar and cocoa powder with water (optional), and vanilla to the mixture, mixing on low speed at first, then beat on high for 5 minutes.
- Add ½ cup Vegan Irish cream and remaining Fig Whiskey Jam (if using) and stir on low until just mixed in, for approximately 30 seconds.
- Transfer the frosting to a piping bag with a 1M tip and frost. Place a dollop in the center, then start at the edge of the cooled cupcake, circling your way to the center, lifting the tip at the middle when you are done.
- Enjoy your cupcakes the same day, or refrigerate up to 7 days in an airtight container. See notes for details on storage.
- Store leftover frosting in a bowl with a tight-fitting lid. Store in the fridge for up to a month or in the freezer for 6 months. Let thaw and stir before using it again.
- Cupcakes are best enjoyed the day they are made and up to 3 to 4 days after that. They can be kept in the fridge for up to 7 days in an airtight container or frozen up to 4 to 6 months in an airtight container.
- Adding the cocoa and the remaining portion of the Fig Whiskey Jam to the frosting is a delicious option and an unexpected twist. The frosting with the fig jam will look like it has little chocolate sprinkles or jimmies in it.
- How to use leftover Fig Whiskey Jam: Spread on toast or French toast, serve it with crackers or bread and a vegan cheese plate, pair with salad for an easy dinner, put it on pancakes instead of syrup, stir it into vegan yogurt and add granola, make a fig cocktail, add it to a vegan grilled cheese sandwich, mix it with vegan cream cheese for a crepe filling, or use it as an ice cream topping!