Vanilla Almond Vegan Cupcakes

I don't often turn on my oven in the summer in NYC. There are plenty of ways to indulge without the added heat: New Jersey blueberries with whipped cream, icy cocktails involving gin and fresh thyme, ridiculous amounts of watermelon on a daily basis… 

Still, there are times when you need a little baked goodness. That's where these beauties come in. 

Full disclosure: Before I tried making (and eating) vegan cupcakes, I kind of thought, what’s the point? I advocate a plant-based diet, with exceptions as appropriate, and I thought you HAD to use a (pasture-raised, please) egg to make a cake or cupcakes. Wrong! Try these. They are so delicious, light, moist, and satisfying, you won’t even think about what’s not in there.
 


Vanilla Almond Vegan Cupcakes

Recipe by Cara Anselmo, MS, RDN

Makes 12 generous cupcakes

Cupcake Ingredients
¼ cup Earth Balance butter replacement
¾ cup sugar
1 Tbs vanilla
1 cup plain soymilk
1 tsp white vinegar
1 ½ c all-purpose flour
¼ tsp baking soda
¾ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line standard-size cupcake tin with paper liners.
  2. Combine soymilk and vinegar in small bowl; stir then set aside and allow curdle.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine Earth Balance, sugar, and vanilla until creamy.
  4. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add to butter-sugar mixture and mix until just incorporated.
  5. Add soymilk “buttermilk” and mix until just incorporated.
  6. Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until cupcakes are firm and a knife inserted to the center comes out clean. These will continue to “bake” for a short while after you remove them from the oven, so err on the side of taking them out early, when they JUST start to brown on top.
  7. When cupcakes are cooled enough to handle, remove carefully from baking tin and set on wire rack to completely cool.

Frosting Ingredients
½ cup Earth Balance butter replacement
1½ cups powdered sugar
1 tsp almond extract
2 Tbs (more if needed for desired consistency) plain soy milk

Preparation

  1. Place all ingredients in mixer (or use large bowl with electric hand-mixer).  Start combining slowly, and increase speed as ingredients meld.
  2. Frost cupcakes when they have completely cooled.

Note: If it’s a particularly warm or humid day, make this frosting right before serving , not too far in advance. It can get quite “melty” in a small NYC apartment during the summer. *For chocolate frosting, add 1 oz melted chocolate, ¼ cup cocoa powder, and top frosted cupcakes with shaved chocolate (I use a carrot peeler and a big, excellent-quality chocolate bar that has been kept cool) after frosting.

Cara Anselmo on Twitter
Cara Anselmo
Cara Anselmo, MS, RDN, is a nutritionist and certified yoga instructor in New York City. Follow Cara on Twitter.