Vegan Cupcake Challenge: The Sequel

A reader’s helpful comment led to an afternoon fit of more baking before my meeting with the restaurant owner. I tried two new vegan cupcake recipes, both from Chef Chloe: Fluffy Coconut Cupcakes and Raspberry Tiramisu Cupcakes. I only made the cupcake part — no coconut icing, no soaking in espresso. Most importantly, I studiously made a list (I can’t help it) comparing the dry and wet ingredients of both, hoping it would help me discern some method to the madness. I also halved each recipe and made just 6 of each.

Basically, the wet ingredients are the same, but the first recipe has more vanilla while the second has more vinegar. The only difference in dry ingredients is baking powder and a bit of flour. The cryptic arrow means “mix the wet into the dry.” The process is incredibly easy, hardly requiring words, as you can see. Here we go:

Vanilla Cupcake: Recipe One

Dry:
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup sugar

Wet:
1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup soymilk
2 tbsp. vanilla extract
1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar

Preheat oven to 350°F. Whisk the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Mix the wet ingredients in a smaller bowl. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir together. The batter is quite light and creamy:

Fill cupcake liners three-quarters full of batter and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until tops are set and begin to brown. Cool.

Results: quite fluffy! It tastes like a sugar cookie.


Vanilla Cupcake: Recipe Two

Dry:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup sugar

Wet:
1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup soymilk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar

Preheat oven to 350°F. Whisk the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Mix the wet ingredients in a smaller bowl. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir together. Fill cupcake liners three-quarters full of batter and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until tops are set and begin to brown. Cool.

For some reason, as sometimes happens in the kitchen (and elsewhere), I did not pull this one off. In a word: Fail! The center of the cupcake essentially collapsed in on itself — quite the opposite of fluffy.

Vanilla Cupcake: Recipe One wins! The owner was happy with the extra fluffiness. I will report to my first day of work (before you get too excited, it’s just a 6-hour-a-week gig) as vegan baker on Thursday afternoon and spend 3 hours baking 3 dozen vanilla cupcakes (and one cake). She gave me a bag of gluten-free flour and asked if I could make this recipe gluten-free, too, because the customers often ask for gluten-free, sugar-free desserts. Eventually she will teach me her gluten-free, sugar-free cupcake recipe. Stay tuned for another post about gluten-free vegan cupcakes! In the meantime, I would love any thoughts or tips on baking with gluten-free flour.

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