24 July 2014

Pretty in Pink Cupcakes

aka my "not-so-vegan cupcakes"

I love inviting my friends over, dimming the lights, laying out candles, cranking up the Buena Vista Social Club and serving them so much food that they have no choice but to roll out the front door. I got especially excited at the prospect of having my vegan friend over for dinner cause I love a challenge and meatless, dairyless food is not in my locker. I found these spectacular looking vegan vanilla fudge cupcakes for dessert and cracked on with baking them. Normally all my baking endeavours result in sunken, wet monstrosities but these came out perfect - peaked, bouncy and pale. Proud of my success, I sent a photo to my friend who it turns out, is not only vegan but IS ALSO GLUTEN INTOLERANT. I mean really. 

As it happens, I couldn't lay my hands on the 200g dairy-free soya spread (!?) required for the icing, so I whipped up a batch of baby pink buttercream icing and lathered it on!

This isn't my recipe (click here for Jamie's) but it was so delicious that I knew I really must share! I used half quantities of his recipe and made 15 cupcakes (for 5 of us........ just about enough).

Preheat the oven to 170c.

In a mixer, combine 150g caster sugar and 75ml sunflower oil for a couple of minutes. My measurements were rough estimates cause my mum broke the weighing scales and this is what I had to contend with...

Next, mix 250ml dairy-free soya yogurt (e.g. this one, which is packed with protein, calcium and essential vitamins plus it's animal friendly) with 1 teaspoon cider vinegar. Add the yogurt-cider to the sugar-oil and mix for another couple of minutes.

Finally, add 175g plain flower along with half a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda, 1 teaspoon of baking power and a teaspoon of salt and mix until combined.

Et voilĂ ! You have a butter-less, egg-less batter that actually tastes of cake. Mind. Blown.

Put them into cupcakes cases 3/4 of the way up...

... and shove them in the oven for 20 minutes.

While they were cooking I did some hefty cleaning up and when they were ready, I left them out to cool. Look at these pretties. I mean honestly I have never achieved such beautiful bouncy little castles of yummy ever. So long bad-at-baking-Bella.

Now for my favourite part... THE ICING

Mix together 250g icing sugar, 90g unsalted butter, 25ml milk and 2 drops of vanilla extract and keep adding red food colouring until you find the pink you like!

I think this may be the first time in my life I have produced baked goods that actually resemble what they are supposed to and I am pretttty proud. But it was also nice to take an unusual route to a genuinely tasty little cupcake! Of course sunflower oil isn't exactly healthy and cutting out eggs and butter isn't going to make cupcakes any better for you but if you're feeling at all animal-conscious or just plain inquisitive - I would really recommend giving these a try! 

Plus, you can lick the bowl with no fear of salmonella cause there ain't no eggs.... If that isn't a deal breaker, I don't know what is.



  • 150g caster sugar
  • 75ml sunflower oil
  • 250ml dairy-free soya yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
  • 175g plain flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 250g icing sugar
  • 90g unsalted butter
  • 25ml milk
  • a couple of drops of vanilla extract
  • red food colouring

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