Thursday, May 31, 2007

Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World

No, this isn’t the title for the latest sci-fi flick, but rather the name of a sweet little cookbook that I’ve been excited about lately. As the name says, it’s all about vegan cupcakes. Seventy-five of them, to be exact. I’ve already attempted 3, and I’m happily baking and eating my way through the remaining 72 recipes! The vegan chocolate cupcakes from a previous post were such a chocolaty hit that I was compelled to bake some more from this book. And bake, I did. Last weekend I tried out the Mucho Margarita Cupcake (pictured on the left), and the Lychee Cupcake (pictured on the right).
The margarita cupcake was deliciously moist and light without being overly sweet. I particularly liked the tanginess that came from the lime juice and zest. I didn’t detect the tequila in the cupcake or in the frosting however, so if that’s something you think you’d miss, then try adding a bit more to the recipe. Since I didn’t have any green food coloring on hand, I added a half-teaspoon of lime jello powder into the frosting which worked out perfectly. And one more thing, I know that Margarita drinks don’t usually include a maraschino cherry in the concoction, but doesn't it look cute with a bright red cherry on top?
Mucho Margarita Cupcakes (makes 12 cupcakes):
ingredients for cupcake-
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1 and 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lime zest
1 cup soy or rice milk (I used soy)
1/4 cup canola oil
2 tablespoons tequila
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 and 1/3 cups AP flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
directions-
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin pan with cupcake liners
2. In a large bowl, beat together lime juice, zest, soy milk, canola oil, tequila, vanilla and sugar. 3. Sift in flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Mix until batter is smooth. Fill liners 3/4 of the way full and bake 20-22 minutes until a toothpick inserted through the center of one comes out clean.
4. Transfer cupcakes to a cooling rack and let cool completely before frosting (allowing the cupcakes to set for 1-2 hours helps the flavors develop fully).
ingredients for icing-
1/4 cup margarine, softened
1 tablespoon soy milk or rice milk
3 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon tequila
tiniest drop of green food coloring (this is optional and I used green jello powder)
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted (I didn't sift)
directions-
1. Blend margarine with a fork until soft and fluffy. Stir in soy milk, lime juice, tequila and food coloring if using (the effect is just to give the icing a very pale green tint).
2. Sift in 2 cups powdered sugar and blend until creamy and smooth (best to use an electric mixer set on low). If still too liquidy then add a little more powdered sugar until a somewhat thick and spreadable consistency is achieved. Refrigerate until ready to use.
To Assemble Cupcakes-
Spread the icing on the (cooled) cupcakes, spreading all the way to the edges
Put 1 maraschino cherry on top

My next cupcake, with lychee and coconut milk, sounded exotic and rich, and I couldn’t wait to see how this would turn out. Well, I was slightly disappointed. The texture, consistency, and appearance of the end product was more like a muffin rather than a cupcake. The cupcake was heavy and I couldn't really detect the flavor of the coconut milk or the unique taste of lychee. My boyfriend probably expressed it most accurately when he said he was "confused" by the taste. Not a terrible taste, mind you, but maybe more on the bland side. There is definitely a subtle sweetness to the cupcake, and I particularly liked the chunks of lychee strewn throughout but I felt like something was missing. Maybe some shredded coconut thrown into the batter would have given it a little more zing, and I probably would have left out the ground flaxseed since this likely contributed to the heaviness of the cupcake.
Lychee Cupcakes (makes 12 cupcakes)
ingredients-
2 cups unbleached, AP flour
1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 and 1/3 cups granulated sugar
5 tablespoons ground flaxseeds
1/3 cup oil
1/4 cup coconut milk
1 can (4 ounces) lychee fruit, drained and chopped, syrup reserved
1/4 cup lychee syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
directions-
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners.
2. In a large bowl sift together flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.
3. In a separate medium bowl, beat ground flaxseeds and 6 tablespoons water with a fork until gelatinous. Add oil, coconut milk, chopped lychees, and lychee syrup to the flaxseeds and mix to combine.
4. Add wet mixture to the dry ingredients, mix to combine. Fill cupcake liners full.
5. Bake 22-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Coconut glaze (optional)-
2 cups sifted powdered sugar
1/4 cup coconut milk
directions for glaze-
Mix powdered sugar and coconut milk until smooth. Drizzle over completely cooled cupcakes.

39 comments:

Cheryl said...

Hi there! I'm having problems with the book's recipes! My cupcakes ALWAYS sink! So I was just wondering if you'd be able to share more information about your cupcakes. Have they sunk before? Have you tried the Golden Vanilla Cupcake recipe? Thanks!

Augustina said...

Hi Cheryl,
I haven't tried the Golden Vanilla Cupcakes yet. Is that the one that sank? I'll give them a try and let you know how they turn out.
Other than that, I sent you an e-mail about your question. Let me know if it's helpful or not!

Sukkimi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sukkimi said...

Hi, I think i know why the cupcakes heavy. i read from this website (http://www.vegfamily.com/vegan-children/flax.htm)
ground flaxseed are egg replacer
1 Tbs flaxseed + 3 Tbs liquid = 1 egg

Since i do not have ground flaxseed, i think i will use egg for this lychee cupcakes. will let you know how they out when i bake them

Anonymous said...

I've tried several of the vegan recipes from that book and have loved all of them! If your cupcakes are sinking, your oven temperature may be off or, very likely, you may be overfilling the cupcake paper. Try filling it only 1/2 to 2/3 full.

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