Sunday, September 14, 2008
Baking cupcakes that are moist, light, eggless and dairyless seemed like an almost insurmountable challenge to me when I first went vegan. Brainwashed as I had been through years of baking about the importance of butter and eggs to the process of cakemaking, I believed that a good cake was impossible to make without these ingredients.
I admit I lived through a few mistakes: cupcakes that weren't fluffy, cupcakes that were too tough, and cupcakes that just weren't, well, what cupcakes ought to be. Until, inspired by some cake veganizing tricks from the fabulous book Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, I improvised this recipe. And then, I felt like a Cake Einstein.
My Lemony Vegan Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting are, to me, a small triumph for veganism. They taste so good, I bet they'd convert any sceptic. Desi is a regular cupcake gourmet and even he agrees these are among the best he's tasted.
So go on, I dare you. Put on your baking gloves and take a stab at these. I know you'll be back for more!
I am sending on this recipe to Fanny at Foodbeam who is hosting the September edition of Sugar High Fridays.
Lemony Vegan Cupcakes
1 1/3 cups cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup turbinado sugar (you can use regular)
1 cup almond milk + 1 tsp vinegar, mixed and set aside to curdle for a few minutes
1/2 cup vegan butter like Earth Balance at room temperature
1 tsp pure lemon extract
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and mix well. Set aside.
In another bowl, with a hand mixer or a stand mixer set to medium speed, cream the vegan butter and the sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
Add the two extracts.
Add the flour mixture in three batches alternating with the almond milk, beating in well after each addition so there are no lumps. Scrape down the bowl after each addition.
Line a 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake liners. Divide the batter equally among the cups, filling each cup about 2/3rds.
Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven about 22 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Set aside on a rack to cool completely before frosting.
Faux Cream Cheese Frosting
1 8-oz package of vegan cream cheese like Tofutti, left out of the refrigerator for at least an hour to soften.
1/4 cup sugar, powdered
1/2 tsp powdered cardamom (optional)
A couple of drops of yellow food coloring
1/2 tsp pure lemon extract
Put all ingredients in a bowl and beat with a hand mixer for a minute or two until light and fluffy. Using a spatula or, if you have one, a pastry bag, decorate each cupcake any way you wish. I go for the abstract art, as you can see!