Science is Fun (Cupcakes)…

As a blogger, you take pictures of food and stuff all the time… just in case you decide to talk about it. I have tons of pictures of various items I’ve made but never got around to blogging about. Then there are the items that I intend to make, but then take forever to get around to making. Sometimes, I just don’t ever make the item. So the next few posts I will probably, no promises – after all I am a creature of chaos, be covering some of those items…

Speaking of forgotten pictures… on my run Friday I saw a squirrel! 🙂

I didn’t mean to leave you hanging on the meyer lemon challange… I just didn’t feel like baking… and from past experience, if you don’t feel like making it you shouldn’t… or else it may not turn out well. So I listened to my body, so to speak, and I finally felt like baking yesterday… luckily the meyer lemon was still patiently waiting to be used – whew! That was the last meyer lemon, so I will not be able to make the other items on my challenge list… maybe some other time?

I used a recipe out of Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World by Isa Moskowitz & Terry Romero. For the cupcakes I added lemon extract and lemon zest. For the frosting, I substituted coconut oil for the vegetable shortening and got very good results. It wasn’t as ‘fuffy’ as the frosting I’ve made in the past with shortening, but I, for one, prefer the ‘healthier’ fat in my frosting. One caveat though, you can taste the coconut, which was fine for this recipe… it actually tastes kinda like a piña colada, which is pretty tasty. I bet if you use coconut oil in the chocolate buttercream frosting (p.144) it would be mounds-like.

Before using the coconut oil in the frosting, I was going to make a blueberry compote as well, but to be quite honest, there seems to be more than enough sugar going on here… so I decided to just leave it as is. Did I just get old? I actually had the phrase ‘ridiculous amounts of sugar’ in my head. 😛

Anyway, these cupcakes employ my favorite way to make baked goods, science! Baking soda and vinegar, to be exact. I love the interesting ways we vegans can make our baked goods using fairly ‘normal’ ingredients… as usual, I’m blown away by the innovation of Isa and Terry. 🙂

Piña Colada Lemony Cupcakes
ever so slightly adapted from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World
by Isa Moskowitz & Terry Romero (Blueberry Lemon Creme Cupcakes, p.136)

Rating: Awesome

Yields: 12 cupcakes

  • 1 cup soy milk
  • 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup non-hydrogenated margarine (I used earth balance)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tsp. lemon extract
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon zest
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line muffin pan with cupcake liners.
  2. Whisk the soy milk and vinegar in a measuring cup and set aside a few minutes to get good and curdled.
  3. Sift the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl and mix.
  4. In a separate large bowl, use a handheld mixer at medium speed to cream the margarine and the sugar for about 2 minutes until light and fluffy, but don’t beat past two minutes. Beat in vanilla and lemon extract and lemon zest. Then alternate beating in the soy milk mixture and dry ingredients, stopping to scrap the sides of the bowl a few times.
  5. Fill cupcake liners two-thirds of the way and bake for 20-22 minutes until done. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely before frosting.

Lemon Buttercream Frosting

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup margarine
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  1. In a small bowl, cream the coconut oil and margarine until well combined.
  2. Add the confectioners’ sugar in roughly 1/2-cup additions. After each addition of sugar add a splash of lemon juice and beat well with a handheld mixer. Add vanilla and beat for another 3-5 minutes until smooth, creamy, and fluffy.
  3. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.

Even though these were serious sugar bombs, we enjoyed several last night. I put two in my taste-tester’s lunch today. While I really enjoy reckless abandon desserts, it is nice to splurge occasionally. Everything in moderation.

Until next time…
~nic

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