Friday, October 15, 2010

Super Fantastic Vegan Cupcakes...Or Are They???

Yes, they are vegan but they taste like they're not. 

In fact, I have made this recipe several times, as both a cake and cupcakes, and no one was the wiser.  Not even the meatiest of eaters!

Buggie eating her pre-birthday party birthday cake.  This is her actual 1st birthday day.  Since we had festivities planned for the whole family on the weekend, complete with several store bought cakes, I wanted her to at least have something on her actual birth day.  She got a super yummy, round, single layer, vegan birthday cake.  She ate it like it was the very best thing she had ever had.  (I'm sure it was since she had never had anything sweet, except apple juice, before this day)

I made this recipe a couple of weeks ago for my step-sons 10th birthday party.  They were a very big hit - and no one knew they were vegan! 

Even better, the chocolate version (the only version I ever make cuz I'm addicted) tastes like those Hostess Cupcake things you get at the convenient store.  So moist and chocolatey.  But not so good for you.  Make this recipe with chocolate and you can indulge with a little less still has lots of sugar but no preservatives, no dairy (safe for lactose intolerant or egg allergic friends & family) and tastes real!  I am no fan of chemicals and preservatives and feel like lots of foods, especially sweet treats, taste all fake-ish.  Not this bad boy!  It's totally yummy!!!

Disclaimer: I have found that this recipe tastes the best if you make it about 24 hours before you are going to serve it.  The taste is just richer and smoother the next dayFrom there, eat it in about 2 days (so it's not too great after day 3). 

Ingredients  (why do I want to spell that with an 'a'??? ingrediants, NOT, der)

1-1/2 cups flour
1 cup baking chocolate (powdered, like Hershey's or Nestle)

1 cup sugar (or whatever sweetener you choose - Stevia, etc.)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt (if baking with chocolate use about 1/2 teaspoon)
1-1/2 cup water
1/3 cup oil
1 tablespoon vanila
1 tablespoon white vinegar (needs to be mild - not like balsamic or red wine)

This version will make an 8x8 or slim 9x9 cake or 1 good size round cake.  If you plan to make a round layer cake you might want to experiment with this.  Using the recipe as is will yield a short layer cake with 2 thin layers, each about 1 to 1-1/2" thick).  If you double the recipe you will get 2 pretty good size layers, about 3" thick each.  It will all depend on how you want your cake to look and how many you need to feed. 

This recipe will also yield 18 to 24 cupcakes depending on how big your cupcakes are.  I use a traditional cupcake tin and get 18 every time but I fill my cups a little more than half full. 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  If you are making a cake and plan to take the cake out of the pan go ahead and grease and flour your pan(s) now.  If it's cupcakes than you know what to do (put the cupcake liners in your cupcake pan). =)
  2. Now mix all of your dry ingredients together only.  It does help a little bit to sift the flour but really isn't necessary (I don't think I've done it once).  If you are not making the chocolate version just omit the powdered baking chocolate.
  3. Next, mix in all of your wet ingredients, right into the same bowl as your dry ingrediants - LEAVING THE VINEGAR OUT RIGHT NOW.  I repeat, do not mix in the tablespoon of vinegar yet.
  4. Once everything is blended well and there are no lumps you will be ready to add the vinegar and then put into the oven immediately.  The reaction of the vinegar with the baking soda is what helps take the place of eggs in a traditional cake recipe.  But this reaction is best caught "in the act" so to speak, so you will want to be ready to put your cake/cupcakes right into the oven immediately after you have mixed the vinegar in well.
  5. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until tooth pick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool in pan.

***If you find this cake to be too chocolatey for you (is there such a thing???) then back off the powdered chocolate by a 1/2 cup.
***If you like the flavor of almond you can add 1/4 teaspoon of almond extract.  I'm not a big fan of the flavor of almond (like almonds just not the extract) but I've heard that it's a good flavor mix with this recipe.

I have a vanilla frosting that I make for these which is also vegan.  I really just kind of eye ball it and play right off of a traditional butter cream frosting.  Here is my best attempt at estimating the measurements.


1 stick softened Willow Run margarine (or other non-butter butter stick)
5 cups powdered sugar
1/2 to 1 cup room temp water (just not very cold)
1 tablespoon vanilla

This is best done with a hand mixer or the oh so coveted (by me) KitchenAid Stand Mixer...I dream of it's black and chrome awesomeness ;) 

  1. Soften your stick of butter.  It's best to take it out of the refrigerator when you start the baking process.  That way it can be softening up the whole time you are mixing and baking and such.  If it's not ready when you are just pop it in the microwave at like 7 second intervals until it is soft, just not quite melted.  Smoosh it in your bowl with your mixer.  Just jab it a few times with the blades you don't have to actually turn it on yet.
  2. Add in 2 cups of powdered sugar.  I would put 2 cups in at a time because there tends to be a powdered sugar poof ball party in the kitchen if you put more than that in.  If you have a stand mixer than you can put it all in.
  3. Add about a half a cup of water and your vanilla.
  4. Mix very well.  Start at a lower speed and increase as your sugar becomes moistened and is no longer dry.
  5. Add in 2 more cups of powdered sugar and about 1/4 cup of water.  Mix well again.
  6. Now is the time to eye ball it.  Does it look like you have enough frosting?  I know for a fact that 5 cups of powdered sugar is enough to frost both 18 cupcakes and a thin layer cake with just a bit left over.  You might be doing fine now.  Just make sure that your frosting tends to form some peaks when your blending it.  If it doesn't want to do that and appears too runny than you are going to have to add the last cup of powdered sugar.  You might not need that last 1/4 cup of water but, again, get those peaks and if not play with your powdered sugar and water ratio.  Keep blending at a medium to medium-high speed until your frosting forms peaks and is a consistency you like.
***You will want to refrigerate this for about an hour so that it sets up a little bit.  I usually make this right after I put the cake or cupcakes in the oven and then put it in the refrigerator and by the time the baking and cooling is done it's about ready to go. 

Frost and ENJOY!!!

I hope you get a chance to try out this recipe and let me know what you think.  I would love to know what variations you made and what fun things you might have added or how you used it.

Please let me know if you have any questions or need any help.  I would love to hear from you!!!


1 comment:

I would totally love to hear from you!