After several requests I had a try at baking vegan. I had doubts about it… I mean, how can you bake without two of four key ingredients? The answer: you can…but you shouldn’t expect too much.
I especially worried about the cakes not rising without any eggs. But they do! You just use more rising agents. The cupcakes turned out fluffy but not as airy as conventional ones. They stayed relatively moist (which is not necessarily a bad thing). But concerning texture, those vegan cupcakes don’t have to hide behind their buttery relatives.
Concerning the taste, I am still not completely convinces. There is not much in there to give taste. The only two ingredients possibly contributing to taste are vanilla and soya yoghurt. The latter turned out to be the crucial point. I used a soya yoghurt from the supermarket and it looked and smelled horribly. It was lumpy and grey and just confirmed every prejudice I have towards soya. I used it anyway (I didn’t have much of a choice since the shops are closed on Sundays) and hoped for the soya yoghurt to be overpowered by vanilla. Sadly, it was the other way around and those cupcakes smell like a vanilla version of the yoghurt. I strongly (!) recommend using a soya yoghurt you know and like….
The “buttercream” tastes pretty good, there is no significant difference to the regular one.
I also filled the cupcakes with strawberry jam. There usually is no animal product in jam but particularly strict vegans check how the fruit is harvested.
I did not use any sprinkles because most of them are not vegan. Many are made with gelatin or beeswax or use colors that somehow are not vegan. Colors are a difficult topic anyway. My pink color happened to be synthetic, which usually is something people don’t like, but since many red colors are produced by crushing beetles, in this case, being synthetic is an advantage. Alternatively you could make your own food colors with beet root for example…if you like your buttercream to slightly taste like beet root….
How to make your own food coloring: http://eatplaylovemore.com/2013/11/10/diy-natural-food-coloring/
Vegan Vanilla Cupcake
1 cup soya yogurt
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
150g raw cane sugar
1/3 cup sunflower oil
1 vanilla pod
½ tsp salt
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp baking powder
Preheat the fan oven to 170°C. Mix together yoghurt and vinegar let it sit for a few minutes. Put the sugar, oil, vanilla pod, salt and yoghurt together in a bowl and mix together. Sift the flour, soda and baking powder and add gradually to the mixture. Line your cupcake tin with papers and fill them 2/3 up. Bake for 22 minutes.
100g Soya/Sunflower Spread
330g icing sugar
1 vanilla pod
2 tsp. water
Mix the vegetable spread until pale. Add the sifted icing sugar, vanilla pod and 2 tsp of water and mix for 10 minutes. Fill the cooled cupcakes with strawberry jam and top them with buttercream.
I’ll definitely make them again with another yoghurt…Do you have any recommendations? :)