So yeah... remember in my last post, how I promised to share some recipes from my Halloween dessert table in "a few days"? Do 90-something days count as "a few"? Probably not. What can I say? I've been busy. More on that later.
For now, let's talk cake. Completely easy, yummy, and yes - VEGAN - cake. "But Dawn (I can hear you thinking)... why would I bother making a vegan cake when I'm not vegan?"
Well, there are countless reasons. I was first drawn to this recipe for the same reasons I try any other recipe: it was something different, and it looked good. Plus, I like a challenge, and vegan baking seemed like a challenge to me. Or it did, until I actually tried it. Here's the thing, dear readers. This recipe? Dead simple. And like the title (and the recipe's original author) says, it's totally vegan and totally delicious.
Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes with Cinnamon-Almond Latte Frosting
Adapted from Chef Chloe's award-winning recipe.
Yes, I know the photos show a "cake" and not cupcakes. I couldn't find any of my cupcake photos! (Don't judge me.) If you'd like to make a cake instead of cupcakes, divide the batter between two greased and floured 6-inch cake pans, and bake 22-25 minutes. For the middle, chocolate layer, make a half-recipe of a vegan chocolate cupcake recipe (like this one), baked 22-25 minutes in a 6-inch cake pan.
Use organic whenever possible.
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt (or scant 1 teaspoon Kosher salt)
3/4 cup soy, almond or rice milk
1/2 cup canola oil
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons white or apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons instant espresso powder or coffee powder
2 teaspoons almond extract
3 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening
3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
Make the cupcakes:
1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Line a 12-cup cupcake pan with 12 cupcake liners.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt). In a separate bowl, whisk together wet ingredients (nondairy milk, oil, vinegar, vanilla).
3. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and whisk until just combined. Do not over-mix.
4. Fill the cupcake liners about 2/3 full with batter. Bake for 16-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean with just a few crumbs clinging to it. Cool the cupcakes completely before frosting.
Make the frosting:
1. Combine espresso powder, almond extract, water, vanilla and cinnamon in a small bowl. Stir until espresso powder has dissolved (about a minute).
2. Using a handheld or stand mixer, beat the shortening until smooth.
3. With the mixer on low speed, add powdered sugar and beat to incorporate.
4. Add 1 tablespoon of espresso liquid at a time, as needed, until it reaches desired frosting consistency and flavor.
5. Increase speed to high and beat frosting for 2 more minutes until light and fluffy.
6. Pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes. Enjoy!
Yield: 12 cupcakes ~or~ one 2-layer, 6-inch cake
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