A few Valentine's Days ago, my lovely friend Kara and I decided to get each other the same cookbook that we both wanted, and that was probably the best Valentine's Day ever! I love baking vegan cupcakes. For some reason, I find them lighter, fluffier, moister, and delicious-er than cupcakes made with dairy products. Plus, they are really easy to make, and you've probably got most of the ingredients already! So next time you want to impress a vegan or want to make a lactose-intolerant person fall in love with you, this is a great place to start!
Two tips for vegan baking. The biggest problem with vegan baked goods is that they very easily become too dense. Here are two ways to avoid this problem:
- Sift, sift, sift!! I know it's kind of annoying. But you won't regret sifting your dry ingredients, because it helps in this second piece of advice.
- Whatever you do, DO NOT overstir! When you stir too much, all the air leaves your batter, and you get dense and chewy cupcakes. Only stir until just mixed - and by sifting, you avoid being left with large lumps of flour.
Don't let the vegan label frighten you. You don't even have to tell anyone that they don't have dairy or eggs - you'd never know if you didn't make them yourself!
Red Velvet (Vegan) Cupcakes
(from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World)
Line 12 muffin tins with cupcake liners. Preheat oven to 350.
1 cup soy milk
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
Whisk together in a bowl or large measuring cup and set aside for a few minutes to curdle.
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Sift together into a large bowl and mix.
1/3 cup canola oil
2 tablespoons red food coloring
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Add oil, food coloring, and vanilla & almond extracts to curdled soy milk. Whisk well to combine. Gently fold wet ingredients into dry, mixing until large lumps disappear.
Fill cupcake liners about 2/3 full - these cupcakes will rise fairly high. Place in hot oven and bake 18-20 minutes until done, but do not overbake. Let cool for a few minutes and transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Vegan Buttercream Frosting
Vegan frosting tends to be a little finicky. My best advice is to make sure all ingredients are at room temperature before making the frosting. Set them out when you bring the cupcakes out of the oven, and the temperature should be good by the time the cupcakes are cool enough to frost.
1/4 cup shortening
1/4 cup vegan margarine (like Earth Balance)
1 3/4 cup powdered sugar
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 cup soy milk or creamer
Beat together shortening and margarine until well combined and fluffy. Add sugar and beat about 3 more minutes. Add vanilla and soy milk, beat for another 5-7 minutes until fluffy.
Once cupcakes are completely cool, top with buttercream frosting.
You won't miss the eggs and butter one bit!