Tuesday, April 13, 2010


I made vegan cupcakes.

If you have known me for more than a week, you will know how funny that sounds. I mean, have you ever seen me make a dessert without mounds of butter, cream, and at least a few eggs?? Growing up, I always equated the words 'vegetarian' and 'vegan' with 'disgusting,' because, well, all the food I had like that when I was younger pretty much tasted like cardboard.

Maybe it's living in this eco-friendly slightly hippie town (it tries, for New England). Or my weekly trips to the local organic bakery to buy bread. Or the fact that I just signed up for a produce share from a local farm. Whatever it is, we have discovered some pretty delicious organic, vegetarian and vegan food in this town. Which is probably why I looked twice at this recipe.

And I am glad I did, because these were yummy vegan cupcakes.

And I used plenty of glorious butter in the frosting, so Mom, you can stop looking so shocked now ;)

Reason #2 that you should make these cupcakes, is that they are incredibly easy. Seriously, I could make them with my eyes closed. Your seven year-old could make them. Just measure half the ingredients, stir, measure the other half, stir, combine, and stir again. Then bake. That's it!

Chocolate Cupcakes with Rose Frosting
adapted ever so slightly from Joy the Baker
who made them from this cookbook (P.S. my birthday is coming up, btw)

Because these cupcakes have no butter or eggs, they have a slightly different consistency. Mine came out still very moist, and a little chewier than store-bought mixes. They were also very chocolatey (the dutch-processed cocoa powder probably helped with that), without being rich. The original recipe called for al organic ingredients. I'm not that far gone yet ;). But if completely organic and vegan is your persuasion, then add them back in!

Makes 12 cupcakes

Cupcake Ingredients
1 1/8 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup dutch-processed cocoa powder (the original recipe calls for regular, but I caved and bought the good stuff!)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/3 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 cup cold water

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake tin with paper liners.
2. Sift together dry ingredients in a large bowl.
3. Whisk together wet ingredients (vanilla, oil, vinegar, and water)
4. Add wet ingredients to dry, and stir until just combined.
5. Divide batter evenly among cupcake tins. Bake for 20-25 minutes until firm and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Cool completely before frosting:

Frosting ingredients
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/8 cup flour
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon rosewater
1/3 cup powdered sugar (optional)

1. Combine a few tablespoons milk with the flour in a small sauce pan. Stir until smooth, then add the remaining milk and the vanilla. Heat over medium heat, whisking the mixture constantly. When the mixture begins to thicken, remove from heat and keep stirring. When the mixture is thick, cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally to remove any lumps.
2. Beat butter on high speed until soft. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Slowly add milk mixture and beat until desired consistency. I still felt my frosting was a little soft, so I added the 1/3 cup of powdered sugar. Mix in rosewater toward the end.

Frost cupcakes as desired. I used a knife for a more rustic look.

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