The World’s Friendliest Cupcake

6th August, 2008 - Posted by admin - Comments Off

Vegan cupcakes

Let’s get one thing out on the table right now: I am not vegan. I’m not even vegetarian, although I have been in the past. I love butter, eggs, cheese and all the other good melt-in-your-mouth dairy products.

That said, I have a fascination with vegan pastry and baked goods. For many years vegans didn’t have a lot of options in this area. They either gave up bread and pastry entirely or suffered along with a product that fell somewhere between a doorstop and wheat flavored gum.

In recent years, many alternative sources of dairy-free dairy products have started to appear on the market. Soy milk has stopped being an exotic foodstuff and can now be found in mainstream grocery stores. Margarine has been with us for a while, but the flavor quality has improved quite a bit. Non-hydrogenated shortenings and egg replacers are also readily available. If you ever wanted to cut back on your animal fats, now is a pretty good time to take the plunge.

Baking is a mysterious combination of chemistry and ratios. Combine wet, dry, an acid and heat and in theory you should have cake. In reality, if one of those is off you have a damp sponge.

Before tweaking your favorite cake recipes, take a look at what the ingredients are and what they do. The recipe below includes vegan sour cream, which provides both an acid and moisture to help make up for the fact that soy milk is very low in fat. Another factor to keep in mind is time: Once your baking soda gets wet, you have about 15 minutes to get it in the oven before it depletes itself. Don’t leave your unbaked cake sitting on the counter while you check your email.

Also, while this recipe is dairy free and very tasty, it is in no way low calorie. All the sugar is right where it’s supposed to be. It is possible to be vegetarian and still have a lousy diet. On the other hand, this is dessert – enjoy it with a few friends and eat more fruit tomorrow

Since everything is better with frosting and I have a lot of vegan, vegetarian and dairy-free friends who like to celebrate their birthdays, I decided to take a shot at vegan cupcakes. One big advantage over the usual recipes: There are no raw eggs in the batter, so if you like to lick the bowl – dive right in.

Basic Vegan Cupcakes (all ingredients were purchased locally)
1 cup soy milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 Tbsp. pure vanilla extract
Egg replacer equivalent to 3 eggs (try Ener-G brand)
3/4 cup vegan sour cream (try Tofutti brand)
2 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda

For chocolate cake add 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, combine the soy milk, vegetable oil, and vanilla. Beat in the egg replacer and then mix in the vegan sour cream.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, and baking soda. Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the wet mixture.
Grease 24 muffin tins (or line with cupcake liners) and divide the batter among the muffin tins.
Bake for 25 minutes, or until done.
Cool completely before decorating.

Vegan “Butter” cream frosting
Recipe from “Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World” by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero

1/2 cup non-hydrogenated shorting
1/2 cup non-hydrogenated margarine
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup plain soy millk

Beat the shortening and margarine together until well combined and fluffy. Add the sugar and beat for about 3 more minutes. Add vanilla and soy milk, beat for another 5 to 7 minutes until fluffy. Smear on cake, enjoy.


Posted on: August 6, 2008

Filed under: Dessert, Vegetarian

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