Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! When you’re vegan and live far outside a major city, you are deprived of stores that sell vegan desserts. In my case, I’ve been craving cupcakes, bear claws, and croissants. Desperation motioned me to phone every bakery in town searching for specific dairy-free goods and yielded null. Unfortunately the only way to get what my body demands in vegan form is if I make them myself – thus the creation of these wonderful cupcakes. And these are far far better than the disappointing $4.99 cupcake purchased at Trader Joe’s in 2015 that tasted like fatty fatty lard. They are so good I ate two cupcakes in a row. No shame. No shame. Dare I say… they’re better than regular cupcakes with milk and eggs that are store bought! GASP! True… true…
Still, not too bad for my first cupcake baking experience, down to cooking, whisking, and decorating with icing. All from scratch and this was a big win for me. There is room for improvement with presentation and frosting embellishment, but that will come with time. The bonus is that I controlled the sugar since we are not big on super sweet pastries.
Preheat oven to 350º F and line a standard muffin holder with 12 paper liners.
Add the apple cider vinegar to the almond milk and mix. Set aside to curdle.
In a large mixing bowl or a stand mixer, whip the butter and then add the sugar and vanilla. Beat until combined and fluffy.
Add the dry ingredients little by little until all are incorporated well together.
Add in the milk and apple cider vinegar mixture little by little. Blend until no large clumps remain.
Pour 3/4 up in each cupcake holder.
Bake 20-25 minute or until slightly golden color. Let cool and set aside.
For the Frosting
In a medium saucepan, bring almond milk to a boil and then set on medium low.
Add the flour and whisk thoroughly until there are no clumps.
Whisk in the vanilla extract until the mixture begins to look like a thick cake batter.
Let cool completely. (For best results: place in a separate container and let cool in the refrigerator for 30-40 minutes)
In a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, beat 1 cup room temperature vegan butter and 1 cup granulated until fluffy and light in color. About 2 minutes.
Add the completely cooled almond milk/flour/vanilla extract mixture and beat for 1 minute until the mixture is fully mixed in together.
Stop the mix and scrape the sides of the bowl down. Whisk on high speed for another minute.
Add in 2-3 tbsp (or more) of strawberry preserve and whisk on high for 2 minutes. At this time, the frosting will get more fluffier.
Add in one drop at a time of the food coloring until the desired color is reached. Beat on high for another 2-3 minutes until your level of fluffiness is achieved and the granulated sugar is completely dissolved. This will be the consistency of whipped cream.
Decorate your cupcakes with frosting.
Cupcake Flags: Fold over washi tape over the dull end of a toothpick. Fold in half horizontally and cut an inverted triangle. Place on each cupcake.
Frosting: I only used half of the frosting batch on these cupcakes since, once again, I'm not big on icing. Saving the other half on another baking project. Stay tuned.
* I adapted these recipes from separate food bloggers and made it with less sugar with both cupcakes and frosting. It is perfect.
The above is stored inside our refrigerator. Every time I open the doors, it brings me so much joy to see these amazing cupcakes. So cute, beautiful, and yummy.