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Vegan lemon cupcakes with lemon “buttercream” October 2, 2011

Filed under: Food,Jeremy Post,New Projects! — Jeremy! @ 8:01 pm
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Per my promise late last night, and because I’m very good at getting amped up about projects only to abandon them soon after, here’s a recipe! Penelope and I decided to start writing about food on here more, because that’s basically all that happens in our lives.

Also, as an additional bonus, I was going to add some Amazon Affiliate links to this page, but apparently, Arkansas residents aren’t eligible for the program. You’ll have to click the links that I put down there, buy things for your own personal gratification, and know that I’m not getting a dime for it.

Anyway, I finally managed to make a vegan cupcake which has a satisfying texture. The recipe is adapted from a website that adapted it from the book  Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. The recipe makes 2 dozen cupcakes.

  • 2 cups soymilk
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch (~1/2 tsp) salt
  • 2/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 tablespoon lemon extract
  • zest of 4 lemons

Preheat oven to 350 and put cute cupcake liners in the pan (prettier the better). Mix the soymilk and vinegar together and set aside while you get the rest of the ingredients ready; this is going to curdle like faux buttermilk. Assemble everything but the lemon zest via the muffin method: mix the wet ingredients (remember, sugar is a wet ingredient!) together, sift all of the dry ingredients together, then pour wet over dry and mix just until all the big lumps are gone. The less mixing, the better, less gluten, etc. Then stir in the lemon zest, fill the cups 2/3rd-3/4th full and bake for 18-20 minutes, using the toothpick test as necessary. The original recipe said 20-22 minutes, but my uneven oven had one pan done in 18 and the other needed a full 5 minutes extra. Just keep an eye on them.

Remove the pans to cool – when they are completely cool, here’s the frosting:

  • 1 lb box confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter-flavored shortening (check the ingredients; the Crisco I found didn’t have any animal products, just terrible chemicals)
  • Juice and zest from 2 lemons (about 4 tablespoons worth of juice)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon extract
  • Soymilk, if necessary

Beat the shortening until fluffy or hopelessly smeared all about the bowl. Add powdered sugar, extracts, zest and about half of the juice and try to mix into a vaguely homogenous paste. Add the rest of the lemon juice little by little and beat until it’s the texture that you want. The frosting assumes that you have a stand or hand mixer, if not, you’re on your own. Frost, and delicately sprinkle some lemon zest over the top if you’re feeling fancy.

Notes: using cake flour and sifting actually make a big difference in this recipe – having made it with all-purpose and cake flour, this way comes out much lighter and airier. And second, I don’t know how y’all are zesting lemons, but here in the 21st century, we use any one of a plethora of Microplane graters… I’d provide Amazon links, but the work computers don’t like Amazon today. The coolest one is the box grater, it’s kind of a pain in the ass to clean; there’s a large handheld model, and a seemingly uselessly small handheld model. Any of them will be infinitely easier than dealing with a regular box grater for this kind of thing, though.

Hooray! I wrote a food-related post! In the future, I’ll have to remember to not upload iPhone pictures at an angle that’s vomit-inducing.