Sugar Fix

Today, I'm getting back to my health kick that I was on before Paris. This last week and a bit has been lots of fun and full of indulgence (not to mention some truly romantic and cheesy moments!) but I'm feeling so sluggish this Monday morning. Time to do something about it - but before that happens, let's rewind to yesterday when Phil and I made cupcakes. It's been a while since we've done some cupcake baking, but I got a FANTASTIC new cookbook over the weekend. In my opinion, the allergen-free baker's handbook by Cybele Pascal is so far the best one of it's kind. She points out specific brands, methods of using certain alternatives, the pitfalls of substitutions, and a whole book-full of sweet and savory treats that don't contain ANY of the common allergens at all. I can't wait to try some more (and then immediately give the results away to friends...) - she breaks everything down in a really simple way.

Another bonus from yesterday's baking fiesta was that I finally got a powdered egg replacer to WORK. I've tried orgran's "no-egg" powder before but with little success. But Pascal mentioned you need to take your time whisking the powder with the liquid before adding it - and she's right. The longer you keep at it, the more it resembles the consistency of a beaten egg. I guess what I've learned here (and it wouldn't be the first time) is: I need to be more patient. I hope there are more of you out there with this same problem!

This recipe is 100% vegan and can easily be made gluten-free.

Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes

Based on the recipe from The Allergen-Free Baker's Handbook

The particulars:

  • 2 cups spelt flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup rice milk
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening or magarine
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp egg replacer mixed with 1/4 cup rice milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Frosting: 1 cup margarine, pinch of salt, 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, 3 tbsp rice milk, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a cupcake tin with 12 paper cups.
  2. Whisk together the flour mix, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Combine the rice milk and cider vinegar in a small cup, set aside.
  4. In a bowl, combine the shortening/margarine, sugar, egg replacer, and vanilla. Beat with a fork or a whisk until light and fluffy. Sift in the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with the rice milk, and beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Beat until smooth.
  5. Fill the liners 3/4 full with batter. Smooth the tops with a spatula or knife.
  6. Bake for about 22 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. Bake until golden.
  7. Frost the cupcakes once completely cooled - cream the shortening/margarine with the salt and sugar until smooth and fluffy. Then add the rice milk and vanilla and beat once again until the desired consistency. Pipe the frosting or spread it with a butter knife. We added sprinkles on top :)

Lesson learned: My sweet tooth was overloaded and it was worth it. Back to a life less sugary!!