I am not a vegan. I don’t have anything against vegans, but I myself am too much of a carnivore and a cheese-o-phile to even consider giving veganism a try.
That’s why it’s surprising that my absolute favourite cupcake recipe is vegan. That’s right. Delicious, moist cupcakes without eggs, butter or milk! Sounds impossible, doesn’t it? I love this recipe because it’s so easy and simple. This weekend, I whipped up a dozen of these cupcakes as an afterthought. We were having a couple of friends over for a casual dinner, and it dawned on me that we didn’t have a dessert to serve. With about 45 minutes before they were scheduled to arrive, I decided to make cupcakes, and they were done (and even frosted) by the time they walked in the door.
Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes
(based on this recipe
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp distilled white vinegar
1 cup lukewarm water
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly mist a 12-cup regular muffin pan with vegetable oil spray, place paper cupcake liners in each well, and spray lightly again. (This makes for easy cleanup.)
Sift together all the dry ingredients and mix well. Add all the wet ingredients and mix with a whisk until smooth.
Pour into lined muffin pan. Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees F for exactly 20 minutes. Yield: 12 cupcakes.
These cupcakes are delicious on their own, but I always decorate them. Probably because it’s fun to do so. I’ve used cream cheese frosting in the past (thus rendering them non-vegan), but I have found that while they look very pretty, most people find the copious amounts of frosting too rich to eat, and there is inevitably a mound of uneaten frosting left on their plate.
In keeping with their vegan-ness, I usually make a simple icing out of margarine and sugar and pipe a very small amount onto each cupcake. I have also melted milk chocolate and drizzled it randomly on top, which look quite pretty.
Here’s how I make a simple (vegan) icing for piping onto cupcakes (I wouldn’t even call it a recipe):
First I take a heaping tablespoon of margarine and mix it with some icing sugar, probably about 1/2 a cup. I don’t even bother sifting the sugar. I add a teaspoon of vanilla, a few drops of food colouring if desired, and about a tablespoon of corn syrup. Sometimes I add a little warm water, maybe about 2 tablespoons. I keep adding more sugar, pretty randomly, until the icing reaches a good piping consistency. I add more corn syrup or water if it gets too dry. That’s it! You could substitute softened butter for the margarine, of course.
I use a little Ziploc bag with a corner cut off to pipe hearts or lettering, etc., or add a star tip to the inside of the bag to pipe cupcake swirls. Note that an easy way to fill your Ziploc bag with icing is to place it in a sturdy glass with the “tip” end at the bottom of the glass and the open end of the bag inverted over the mouth of the glass.
Sorry there’s only one photo! It’s a wonky cupcake at that. All the prettier cupcakes have already been eaten. Perhaps the next time I make cupcakes I will take pictures.