Lasts year Bil requested I provide the cake for Jerame's birthday party - seeing as my partner, David, and I are the complicated vegans, and he knows I can cook. After navigating around a certain someone's picky tastes, I settled on Strawberry Cupcakes and Chocolate Cookies and Cream Cupcakes. The Strawberry turned out okay, but the chocolate were the real hit - even if I burned out my electric mixer and could not whip the butter cream frosting.
When Bil's birthday rolled around, the chocolate cupcakes were again requested, and this time the frosting was amazing. Requests for the recipe came in, and from what I have heard, these versions have not always been a success.
Baking in general is like a chemistry lesson - if one ingredient is off, the whole thing is usually unsalvageable. But with vegan baking, there are new challenges - specifically what to use as an egg replacer to provide moisture and binding - if necessary.
For this recipe, no egg replacer is necessary, but the thing to remember is that since there is no egg for binding, the cake can fall very easily. If you grew up around a family that bakes, you probably heard the warning not to jump around in the kitchen - that is a firm rule here.
One of the other necessary decisions is the apropriate vegan butter substitute. After much experementing, for baking I find Earth Balance Buttery Sticks to be the most effective in baking - the tub butters have a higher water content that just doesn't work here, especially in the frosting.
Check out the recipe after the jump. Let me know how they turn out or any suggestions you have. Enjoy.
Vegan Cookies & Cream Cupcakes
- 1 cup soy milk
- 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
- 3/4 c. granulated sugar
- 1/3 c. canola oil
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp. almond extract, chocolate extract, or more vanilla extract(I used vanilla almond milk, so I omitted this)
- 1 c. all-purpose flour
- 1/3 c. cocoa powder, Dutch-processed or regular
- 3/4 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 c. coarsely chopped chocolate cream-filled sandwich cookies(I used Oreos - yes - they are vegan)
- Vegan Fluffy Buttercream Frosting(recipe below)
Preheat oven to 350°F and line a muffin pan with paper or foil liners. Whisk together the soy milk and vinegar in a large bowl, and set aside for a few minutes to curdle. Add the sugar, oil, vanilla extract, and other extract, if using, to the soy milk mixture and beat until foamy. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add in two batches to wet ingredients and beat until no large lumps remain (a few tiny lumps are OK). Mix in the sandwich cookies. Pour into liners, filling 3/4 of the way. Bake 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely.
Vegan Fluffy Buttercream Frosting
- 1/2 c. nonhydrogenated shortening(plain Crisco works, or Earth Balance produces a baking stick)
- 1/2 c. nonhydrogenated margarine
- 3 1/2 c. powdered sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/4 c. plain soy milk(I used vanilla almond milk)
Beat the shortening and margarine together until well-combined and fluffy. Add the sugar and beat for about 3 more minutes. Add the vanilla and the soy milk, and beat for another 5 to 7 minutes until light and fluffy. Just fold in chocolate sandwich cookie crumbs to make it match the cupcakes.