vegan chocolate less-mess cake

Vegan Chocolate Less-Mess Cake
Makes one 9-inch cake or 14 cupcakes

Adapted from American Girl, April 1995

1 1/2 cup flour
1 cup sugar
3 heaping tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup cold water

Preheat your oven to 350. If making cupcakes, prep a tin with liners. If making a cake, grease the pan and dust with a bit of cocoa. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Make three holes in the dry mixture and pour the oil in one, the vinegar in another, and the vanilla in the last hole. Add the water and mix until combined (or you can combine all the wet ingredients in a measuring cup and add to the dry in one addition). Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 35-40 or until a tester comes out clean.

Salted Caramel Frosting 
Makes about a cup, enough for 12 cupcakes

4 tablespoons butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons salted caramel
1/4 cup of cream, more as needed to thin

Cream butter and 1/2 cup of powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Pour in half the cream, add in the rest of the sugar and the caramel and continue mixing until light and fluffy. Add the remaining cream as needed to make the frosting spreadable. Transfer to a pastry bag with a large star tip and pipe frosting on to cupcakes. Garnish with sprinkles.