Thursday, April 2, 2009

Cupcakes Take Over the World

I have had a very intense sweet tooth since Lydia was born; I think it has something to do with breastfeeding. So far, I have been pretty happy with my postpartum weight loss, and I want to keep that on track, so I needed to find a way to eat sweets that weren't quite as naughty. My friend Anna gave me the cookbook Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World in October, and it seems to be the perfect solution!

Today I made "Golden Vanilla Cupcakes" with "Lemon Buttercream Icing." I have to admit that while the cupcakes are pretty healthy, the icing is not so much. Here are the recipes:

Golden Vanilla Cupcakes

1 cup soy milk
1 t apple cider vinegar
1 1/4 c all-purpose flour
2 T cornstarch
3/4 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/4 t salt (increase salt to 1/2 teaspoon if you're using oil instead of margarine)
1/2 c non-hydrogenated margarine, softened or 1/3 c canola oil
3/4 c granulated sugar
2 1/4 t vanilla extract

1.) Preheat oven to 350 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.) If using margarine: Sift 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 sugar for about 2 minutes until light and fluffy, but don't beat past two minutes. Beat in the vanilla and other extract, if using then alternate beating in the soy milk mixture and dry ingredients, stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl a few times.
5.) If using oil: Beat together the soy milk mixture, oil, sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl. Sift in the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and mix until no large lumps remain.
6.) Fill cupcake liners two-thirds ofthe way and bake for 20-22 minutes until done. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely before frosting.

**I used canola oil, and it was super easy!

Lemon Buttercream

1/4 c shortening
1/4 c margarine, softened
2 c confectioners' sugar
2 T fresh lemon juice
2 t finely grated lemon zest
1 t vanilla extract

1.) In a small bowl, cream the shortening and margarine until well combined. Add the confectioners' sugar in roughly 1/2-c 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. Wrap tightly with plastic and refrigerate until ready to use.

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