Oops, I did it again. I successfully tricked people into eating vegan cupcakes & they were none the wiser! Of course, there were a *few* tells: the texture of the cupcake, and the frosting texture of course. However taste-wise, there were no complaints!
I used that triple berry maple bourbon jam (from last month) in them, and wow. The moistness of the cupcake was just heightened with that addition. Yes, they are indeed messy though. That’s the price you pay for this kind of moist cupcake with jammy goodness.
What is “vegan” you ask? I can’t imagine many folks nowadays that don’t know, but here you are:
Veganism /ˈviːɡənɪzəm/ is the practice of abstaining from the use of animal products, particularly in diet, as well as following an associated philosophy that rejects the commodity status of sentient animals. A follower of veganism is known as a vegan.
Distinctions are sometimes made between different categories of veganism. Dietary vegans (or strict vegetarians) refrain from consuming animal products, not only meat but, in contrast to ovo-lacto vegetarians, also eggs, dairy products and other animal-derived substances. The term ethical vegan is often applied to those who not only follow a vegan diet, but extend the vegan philosophy into other areas of their lives, and oppose the use of animals or animal products for any purpose. Another term used is environmental veganism, which refers to the avoidance of animal products on the premise that the harvesting or industrial farming of animals is environmentally damaging and unsustainable.
Listen. I love meat. I love chicken. I love cupcakes. I love eggs, butter & all things dairy. Butter is literally my go-to condiment. And cheese is my BFF. I have no desire to become vegan, but just like I love salads & often find myself choosing them over other meals, it’s nice to have an option like this. Sometimes it’s nice to take a break from a lot of butter or cheese. Have something lighter. Or … just do it to save the few eggs you have left in the fridge for egg salad. Whatever.
SIDE NOTE: Notice Indy camouflaging himself in the above photo? Over to the right, trying to blend in with the oak floor? He’s so funny. Always underfoot when something is being baked.
Veganism, for a LOT of people, is just another trend (like going “gluten-free” because Dr. Oz said so). And while I’m hesitant to market anyone’s lifestyle as such, I tend to agree with this statement from Lottie + Doof: “Sometimes we need a break, from the culture at large and from ourselves. A few weeks ago I reached a “foodie” boiling point when I was at some restaurant and had to hear about the house-churned butter and the sourcing of their micro greens—I truly did not give a fuck. It made me want to go to Taco Bell real bad. Because, frankly, it gets exhausting. It gets boring. Something about the quick dissemination of culture and the streams that we are constantly watching ends up leaving me feeling empty and disconnected. Want is the only thing we’re sold and it is directed in a million different directions at once. I am critical of everything presented to me as being too this or too that. Every one of my choices shapes who I am. I am so special! You would not get me. I don’t want to think about my choices. I don’t care. Let’s eat a Chalupa.”
It’s enough to make a girl not want to associate with food bloggers or go to restaurants, really. I hate naming the way I eat (which would be flexitarian, by the way). But thats just me– I hate fitting into boxes or having a label- and it’s a decision that’s based on no health, religious or moral issues whatsoever. People make food choices based on more than just what the closest fast food restaurant is, and I don’t judge. But there are a few that make them because of what’s in style, and that doesn’t jive with me. DO WHAT YOU WANT & FEEL GOOD ABOUT DOING & SHUT UP. Fuck a label.
If you’re vegan or gluten-free, awesome. If you’re vegan or gluten-free because of a celebrity or a trend or for “quick & easy weight loss”, you’re a jackass & a sheep. But let’s move on & lemme get off my soapbox, ’cause look: CUPCAKES.
TRIPLE BERRY VEGAN CUPCAKES (adapted from A Beautiful Mess)
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 cups water
- 2/3 cup vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup triple berry jam
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- In a bowl whisk together the dry ingredients. In another bowl mix together the wet ingredients.
- Combine these and stir just until no lumps are left.
- Pour the batter into a lined cupcake pan, and swirl in teaspoons of the jam with a toothpick or butter knife.
- Bake 22-25 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for 15 minutes, then remove and finish cooling on wire rack.
Vegan cupcake batter is very loose & wet, because there’s no egg. But once it’s baked it’s amazing- it comes together perfectly.
Note: Cabin Fever whiskey might NOT be vegan. Therefore, if you’re vegan, you might want to use a definitely vegan jam instead of the one I used. Store-bought works just fine too. Just use a really good quality one. Other than that, you can totally make these cupcakes with things you probably already have in the house; whether you’re vegan or not. Shortening, apple cider vinegar, baking soda, lemon juice…
VEGAN BERRY CREAM CHEESE FROSTING (adapted from veganbaking.net)
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup vegan shortening, cold*
- 2 tablespoons coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons triple berry jam
- Place all ingredients (EXCEPT JAM) in a food processor and process for about 1 minute.
- Scrape down the sides and process for another minute. The mixture should be smooth and creamy. Add the jam & stir to combine.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or in the freezer for up to 6 months.
*Crisco is in fact 100% vegan, although Earth Balance & Spectrum have vegan shortening options as well.
They’re not the prettiest girls at the dance, but they’re worth the effort to give them a spin around the dance floor. You can practically see how moist they are! You’ve gotta eat ’em with a fork, actually.
It’s worth it.