I often dabble in a bit of acting, and last week in the U.K it was the Easter half term, meaning all the children were off school for two weeks and the time had come to open a production of George’s Marvellous Medicine to sell out audiences.
Now, as is tradition, baked goods were to be supplied for opening night… however this time there was a twist, one of the guys I was working with is vegan. I had never actually baked vegan cupcakes before. I made a vegan brownie once, my first foray into free-from cooking, but I kinda hated it. So, I looked up some recipes and found one that consisted mostly of things I had in the cupboard already, I just needed a couple of vegan alternatives, such as almond milk and a plant based butter, then I was ready to rock.
The recipe I followed was this one >> Vegan cupcakes << by cornfairy, which I found on the all recipes website. As I am a novice vegan cook, I followed the recipe to the letter at first, not knowing what the colour or consistency should be like. I baked two cupcakes to start, to see how it turned out, but they
were completely raw in the middle weren’t quite right, so I made a couple of adjustments. I also should note that these were almost more like vanilla and coconut cupcakes, due to the coconut oil used in them, however, that might just be the oil I have that gave it that coconutty flavour. It was delish anyway.
If these look like something you fancy having a whack at then give the recipe I used a try, as in the end they got two thumbs up from the entire cast and crew. For ease, I’ve listed the ingredients and method below and have put changes I made in brackets:
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 330ml almond milk
- 250g plain flour (+ an extra 20g to thicken the mixture slightly.)
- 200g caster sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda (I used Bicarbonate of soda.)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 120ml melted coconut oil (I melted it first, in the jar, and measured it in it’s liquid state, rather than measuring it solid and melting it after.)
- 1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract (+ extra 1 3/4 teaspoons.)
- Preheat oven to 180 C / Gas 4. Line two muffin tins with 18 paper cases. (I preheated my fan oven to 160 C)
- Pour the apple cider vinegar into a measuring jug. Fill with almond milk to make 350ml. Let stand until curdled, about 5 minutes. (I measured 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar into a bowl and then added 330ml of almond milk as per the ingredients list. All together it came to around 340ml, and I left it at that.)
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, bicarb and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the almond milk mixture, coconut oil and vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir just until blended. Spoon the mixture into the prepared cases, dividing evenly.
- Bake in the preheated oven until the tops spring back when lightly pressed, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool in the tin set over a wire rack. When cool, arrange the cupcakes on a serving platter. Ice with your favourite icing, if liked. (Originally, I baked them for 20 minutes at 180 C, as suggested, but the tops were brown and the middles raw. This is why I dropped the temperature to 160 C and baked them for around 30 – 40 minutes, checking them every so often. At first, I left them in the tins to cool and popped put them on a wire rack to finish them off.)
I have to say they still turned out the teeniest bit stodgy in the middle, but that texture was 👌. Overly wet or mushy foods make me gag (I mean soup is a nightmare) but these were on point. Not raw but not super firm, just moist and melty. Mmmm. I’m salivating writing this, not going to lie.
I topped them with a vegan buttercream, the recipe for which I have linked here >> Vegan Buttercream<<. I found this on Holly’s blog, ‘The Little Blog of Vegan’, after searching for a while for a recipe that wouldn’t melt, would pipe and didn’t have a million ingredients I would have to go out and buy. Common sense told me just to substitute the butter for vegan butter, but having a recipe was a little more reassuring the first time I had made it. I have to say I’m absolutely pants at making buttercream, I don’t think I have ever got it right… up until now. Honestly, this was the best buttercream I’ve ever made.
To make it an Oreo buttercream, I used a 154g pack of Original Oreos and scraped the cream from the middle of each biscuit into the buttercream, putting the biscuits to one side. Once the oreo cream was mixed in to the topping, I piped it onto each cake using a star nozzle. I crushed the oreo biscuits pieces in a bag and then sprinkled them on top. It added a lovely crunch to the end product… and Oreos are just yummy.
So there you have it Vanilla, Oreo and kind of coconut vegan cupcakes! Moist, sweet and totally moreish! I have definitely put these recipes in my makeshift cook book!
P.S. I have heard people question how vegan friendly Oreos really are, however the guys I was making these for are 100% OK with Oreos. If you are dubious, you can make them without… it’s only the topping after all!