Vegan Cupcake Par-tay!

Today’s run: 3 miles, mostly while listening to Bach.

On a complete side note, I had a good, good day at work today. I managed to shave some years off of a client’s sentence, and had lunch with some friends (who happen to be fellow female criminal defense attorneys, woot!) I hadn’t seen in a long time. Good stuff.

I made these cupcakes for an event we were helping with this weekend. (I also made the cookies and strawberry-almond bars, which are also pictured; my husband made awesome salsa). I thought they came out really, really cute. All the food was gone in a matter of minutes – I was amazed!

These are such a standard recipe, for both vegans and non-vegans, that I’m sort of embarrased to even post it. This is the chocolate cake recipe my mom has used for years, and you can find it in many cookbooks, blogs, etc. It is a good, steady recipe, though. It always turns out well, it’s easy, and the ingredients are simple.

I really, really like how the swirly-frosting cupcake turned out. I used an old-fashioned pastry-decorating bag to apply the frosting, and when I switched from vanille to chocolate, there was still a bit of vanilla frosting left in the tip; it ended up mixing with the chocolate in a most aesthetically-pleasing way. I kept trying to get a good picture of it, but alas, my clunky lil’ point-and-shoot does not allow me to get fabulous pictures. Sigh. I also couldn’t figure out how to edit the photos to just show the adorable cupcake. Oh well.

1 1/2 cup flour

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup cocoa powder (I sometimes use less)

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup oil (I sometimes use slightly less)

1 cup water, or coffee for mocha

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon white vinegar

Preheat oven to 350; have ready a cupcake pan, several mini cupcake pans, or 9 x 9 pan. Use paper liners/wax paper if you want the cake to come out the pan cleanly. My mom usually just serves it in the pan. She’s so bad-ass.

Mix dry ingredients really well, to make sure there are no lumps. I usually use a whisk. Add in the oil, water, and vanilla; mix quickly but do not mix too much. Add the vingar and fold the batter into itself several times (I usually use a spatula for this) to incorporate the vinegar. It will bubble and foam; if you mix too vigorously, the vinegar will deactivate and you will have a sad cake (and a sad you!). Pour into desired pan(s). For a 9 x 9, bake for 25-30 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean/dry. The cupcakes take slightly less time.

The frosting is also a standard recipe for vegans and non-vegans: Smush up some margarine. Work in some confectioners’ sugar, a touch of salt. Add some vanilla and a splash of soy milk; keep adding confectioners’ sugar until it is of desired spreading consistency. Add cocoa powder if desired. Easy.

The vanilla cake is a recipe I found here:

I have made it many times and have always been happy with it. I have tried making the baking-soda/vinegar cake just plain vanilla instead of chocolate, and I’ve seen recipes for such, but I just have not ever liked the results. It is too spongy/moist/oily/whatever. It would be good as a sponge cake substitute, but I think it’s pretty unpleasant as a regular cake or cupcakes. This recipe is almost as easy, and the ingredients are just as basic. I usually leave out the almond extract, and just use vanilla, not both. It is totally yum.

Here’s the rest of the food we made, minus the hummus:

I have A LOT of upcoming recipes to post!:

1. strawberry almond bars (pictured above)

2. kale pesto

3. Vegan peanut butter cups/eggs





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