Sunday, February 13, 2011

vegan funfetti cupcakes

i have an awesome boss. part of her awesomeness stems from what a great gift-giver she is. for the holidays i got a gigantic set of sharpies, a three pack of the best-smelling antibacterial gel ever, and vegan cupcakes take over the world. oh i know, she rocks.

before receiving said gifts i had spoken at length with her in our tiny office about how i wanted to get into vegan baking, but was apprehensive about it as unknown baking territory. i've been taking baby steps via breads & cookies to build my confidence, but this weekend i decided that i was ready for the big leagues - cupcakes! - and armed myself with almond milk, vinegar, and earth balance.

i won't lie to you, i was nervous from the get-go, especially since the word "curdle" was in the first step. but, i took a deep breath and trusted the process and curdled it up. 

the batter was way more like a science fair project than a cupcake base. it was bubbly and reacting to itself and i'm pretty sure i could have made it explode if i had tossed a mentos in it. i started with my paddle attachment, but that was far too messy. i switched over to a whisk and it was way smoother sailing.

additional anxiety kicked in when i realized that the batter was an unpleasant khaki color instead of the golden-y goodness that i know and love, but through magic or science or oven gnomes that issue was resolved.

and i got beautiful, springy, perfectly-domed cupcakes! amazing.

by the way, if you bake at all and have limited counter space i highly, highly recommend investing in stackable cooling racks. hell, even if you have a giant kitchen there's no reason to waste space by having racks side-by-side. plus, then you can call each rack a "floor" and pretend that your cupcakes are in a fancy hotel. or not. cause that would be weird. anyway..

while the cupcakes cooled and i prepped the frosting everyone in my house decided it was nap time, including flapjack. he's 18 pounds. seriously. (not pictured: his sister, waffles).

in the end, the frosting is what got me. i'm pretty particular about my frostings and don't really have recipes, per se, but i have a general idea of what i want it to taste like and i adjust as i go. working with shortening and earth balance was a bit of a challenge for me and i think i need to do a little more research into how to achieve the perfect vegan buttercream.

i will say that it piped on pretty nicely and tasted a lot better once i let it set up in the fridge. i'm interested in if it will continue to improve with time, so i guess i'll have to force myself to eat one tomorrow. bummer.

overall, i'm pretty happy with how these came out, especially considering i'm a complete rookie. i would not have guessed they were vegan, which is my goal for animal-free baking, and was surprised at how delicious the batter was after it hung out in the oven for a while.

vegan funfetti cupcakes

adapted from vegan cupcakes take over the world
yields 28


2 cups almond milk (you could use soy, i've just been on an almond kick!)
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 teaspoons almond extract

1. whisk milk & vinegar in a measuring cup and set aside so it gets nice & curdle-y

2. preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit & line muffin pan

3. sift together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt

4. with a whisk attachment or by hand, beat together soy milk mixture, oil, sugar, vanilla & almond extracts

5. add dry mixture to wet mixture and mix until no large clumps remain

6. carefully fold in 3-4 tablespoons sprinkles, medium-sized to large work best

7. fill up your lined pans two-thirds of the way (this is where an ice cream scoop comes in handy!) and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean

8. let cool for 5-10 minutes in pan and then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely

vegan buttercream frosting

(note: this is not a perfected recipe, so make sure to test your icing out as you go and adjust!)


1/3 cup non-hydrogenated shortening
1/3 non-hydrogenated margarine (i used earth balance)
3 cups sifted confectioner's sugar
up to 3 tablespoons almond milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons almond extract
1/8-1/4 teaspoon salt (this sounds weird, i know, but i think it's essential in buttercreams)

1. beat together shortening & margarine until combined and fluffy

2. add sugar 1/2 cup at a time and mix

3. add extracts to taste

4. add salt to taste

5. if you need the icing to be less stiff, add milk a teaspoon at a time until it reaches the right consistency

6. decorate away!

nutritional information:

calories: 219, fat: 9.6g, cholesterol: 1mg, sodium: 162mg, carbs: 31.24g, sugars: 21g, protein: 1g.

as always, thank you for reading & happy baking!


ps: first of all, thank you for reading this far! secondly, if you end up making anything you've read here or have any suggestions i would love to hear from you! seriously, let's talk!


  1. maybe i am misreading the recipe, but does the funfetti (vs. regular cupcake batter) come in?

    anyway: oven gnomes & floors of cupcakes, i love.
    seeing pictures of flapjack & waffles, and remembering them be so miniature, i love.

    i way prefer almond milk over soy! (i wonder if they are different enough to effect taste/texture/consistency?)

    i think one of my goals in venturing into building more serious vegan meals will not being the sense of not knowing it's vegan...but not even feeling like you're missing out.

  2. that was all sorts of unfinished sentence structure and lack of conjugating verbs!

    saw the part about the sprinkles! i am awful about skimmy recipes! anyway, stoked you posted this, i was just wishing for a vegan recipe for them the other day!

  3. I have those exact cooling racks and I LOVE them, especially at Christmas when I'm a cookie and cupcake baking machine. Your blog is so fun. I'm a new reader, but I have loved going back through your archives. Thanks for posting!

  4. making these cupcakes right now. my daughter is in love with the batter. hope she likes them when they're done!

  5. I made this as a b'day cake for my 1yr old daughter and she enjoyed it. It was super moist and tasted much better than the cake box mixes.

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