Vegan peppermint "buttercream" frosting
¼ cup vegan cream cheese, such as Daiya Plain Cream Cheese Style Spread
3 Tbsp. vegetable shortening, such as Spectrum Organic All Vegetable Shortening
1 Tbsp. soy margarine, such as Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks
4 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
½ tsp. peppermint extract
1 Tbsp. plus 2 tsp. plain soy milk
10 pieces vegan hard peppermint candy, such as Brach’s Star Brites Peppermint Starlight Mints, wrappers discarded
• In a large bowl, use a hand mixer to cream together the cream cheese, shortening and soy margarine. With the mixer on low, add the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, blending after each addition. (The mixture will be very dry.) Add the vanilla extract, peppermint extract and soy milk. Mix on low until the texture resembles thick frosting.
• Scoop the frosting into a pastry bag fitted with a round tip. Pipe onto completely cooled cupcakes.
• Using a food processor, pulse the peppermint candies until they resemble coarse flakes. Sprinkle over the frosted cupcakes.