I recently bought the book Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World, inspired by a friend Pamela who’s vegan and fuelled by curiosity of how can a vegan cupcake taste good enough to warrant and entire book about them.
The plan was to makes some carrot cake cupcakes, but then Nikki, Ben and the kids were coming over so I changed my mind and wanted to make some cupcakes that Elliot could enjoy as he’s not eating gluten or diary at the moment. The book happens to have a recipe for Vanilla Gluten Freedom Cupcakes that fit the bill, so that’s what I made.
Notes about substitutions are in the ingredients lists below. I couldn’t find quinoa anywhere, apparently it’s in short supply at the moment. I was and I’m sure you will be, amazed at how good these taste. Having had gluten free chocolate cake in the past I was expecting a heavy dry cake but was pleasantly surprised when they came out moist and delicious.
Ingredients for cupcakes
- 1 cup soy milk
- 1/3 cup canola oil
- ¾ cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon almond extract
- ¼ cup tapioca flour
- 2 tablespoons ground flax seed
I didn’t actually have any of this at home and used LSA (ground linseed, almond and sunflower seeds) as a near-match substitution
- 1/3 cup corn flour or ⅓ cup almond flour
I used corn flour
- ½ cup white rice flour
- ½ cup quinoa flour
I couldn’t find quinoa flour anywhere and buckwheat flour was advised as a possible substitution and was used
- 1 teaspoon backing powder
- ½ teaspoon backing soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
Directions for cupcakes
- Preheat oven to 180°C and line muffin tray with cupcake liners.
- In a large mixing bowl combine soy milk, canola oil, sugar and extracts. Mix with an electric mixer on medium speed just to combine. Add tapioca flour and flax seed and mix vigorously for about a minute, until the tapioca flour is dissolved and the mixture is well emulsified.
- Add the corn flour, white rice flour, quinoa flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix on medium-high for about 2 minutes. It’s important to mix really well and you don’t have to worry about over-mixing because there is no gluten.
- Fill cupcake lines a little over three-quarters full, these won’t rise as much as traditional cupcakes so you can fill them a little more than usual.
- Bake for 20 to 23 minutes, until a toothpick or knife inserted through the centre comes out clean. Transfer to cooling rack and let cool completely before frosting.
Ingredients for Orange Buttercream Frosting
Of course its name is a little disingenuous cause there isn’t actually any butter or cream in the mix. And it is very important to make sure you cupcakes are completely cooled before adding the frosting; else the frosting may melt.
- ¼ cup shortening
- ¼ cup margarine, softened
I changed this to Nuttelex as our margarine contains milk solids
- 2 cups confectioners’ sugar (icing sugar)
- 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
- 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Directions for frosting
- In a small bowl, cream the shortening and margarine until well combined.
- Add the confectioners’ sugar in roughly ½ cup additions, while mixing on a medium speed, adding a splash of orange juice after each.
- Add vanilla and beat for another 3 to 5 minutes until smooth, creamy and fluffy.
- Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.