Tag Archives: eggless cakes

Velvety and red: Eggless red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting

I’ve been away for a long time – both from my oven and from my blog. Let’s see… what’s happened over the last few months. One, I have a new nephew who makes me laugh and smile and that I can’t wait enough for him to grow up so I can bake for PTA meetings, birthday parties, cupcake day at school and the like. Two, work has kicked into high gear. Yes, I do have a day job and it does not involve me whipping sweet delicacies in the kitchen. Three, I’ve been traveling… a LOT… from the sunny beaches and boogie boarding in Hawaii, to kayaking near the mavericks in Half Moon Bay, to rich and spicy food expeditions at a big fat Indian wedding and vegan Koren fare in K-Town New York. 

I recently moved apartments and to my delight, have a kitchen that’s twice as large with a brand new cooking range and oven. And, my apartment managers have been super nice to me and patient with all my maintenance requests. So, when it came down to it, I HAD to bake them some cupcakes. The question was, which one?

I remember the first time I had a red velvet cake. It was my friend’s birthday and we actually got it from Carlo’s in Hoboken, NJ – almost chocolatey, but not quite, heavy, rich…decadent. But I couldn’t have more than half a piece. This is what I don’t understand about the typical American cake – how heavy it is and how the sweetness and fat overwhelms the flavor of the ingredients. It’s why I iterate with every recipe I find on the web – to make it less sweet, to bring out the flavors and cut down on the fat.

So, here’s eggless red velvet cupcakes – iterated so that you can taste the blend of almond and chocolate melded with the delicious salty-sweetness of cream cheese frosting.

Red-velvet1

Ingredients

Makes 12 cupcakes
1 cup milk (2% fat or more)
1 cup minus 1 tbsp sugar
11/4 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup vegetable or canola oil
2 tbsp cocoa
1 tbsp liquid red food color
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond essence
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar (white will also do)
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

Cream cheese frosting

11/2 cups or enough for 12 cupcakes
7tbsp unsalted butter, softened not melted
8 oz cream cheese (full fat or 1/3rd less fat), softened
11/4 sifted powdered sugar
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
a pinch of salt 

Directions

Make the cupcakes 

Red-velvet-cupcakes

  1. Mix the milk and vinegar and set aside for 5 minutes to thicken.
  2. Sift the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  3. Add oil, vanilla, almond essence to the milk and vinegar mix.
  4. Gently fold the liquid mix into the flour mix. Make sure you don’t beat it too much. 
  5. Add red food color and continue to mix.
  6. Pour into a lined cupcake tin and bake at 350degrees for 20 minutes or till a knife comes out clean.
  7. Set cupcakes aside to cool before frosting.


Whip the frosting

  1. Cream the butter, cream cheese and vanilla with a beater until smooth.
  2. On a low setting, add the sugar till incorporated. I usually add a little at a time and do a taste check to see how sweet I like it. I often don’t end up using all of the sifted sugar.
  3. Add the salt.
  4. On a high setting, beat for a few seconds until light and fluffy.

Quick tip: If you’re in a rush, simply put the butter in warm water to soften it.


Make it work

Frost the cupcake with your deliciously whipped frosting. You can also take a knife and scoop out the center and fill it with the cream cheese filling to get more frosting in every bite.

Red-velvet-frosting

Pineapple-Berry: Eggless Upside Down Pineapple & Strawberry Cake

Pineapples

When I moved to the US three years back, I was most excited about two things:
a) Fruit flavored yogurt
b) Strawberries available all around the year

I first had a pineapple upside down cake almost a decade ago, while visiting a friend. I still remember liking it, but wishing it had a little kick to it. So, when I found a box of frozen strawberry sauce while cleaning my freezer the other day, I was immediately inspired to combine the sweetness of tinned pineapples with the slightly sour kick of strawberries in this Pineapple Berry Upside Down Cake.

This cake was a big hit over dinner today. My cousin couldn’t believe it was made without eggs, and while she had initially planned to go for a small bite, she ended up saving a lot of the cake for the next day as well. 

Yummy_pineapple_cake

This is a moist and flavorful cake that works equally well as a tea-time cake as it does as a fruity dessert, served by itself or with a dollop of icecream. 

Ingredients

1.5 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup canola/vegetable oil
1 strawberry sauce (recipe below) 
1 tin pineapple rings
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 tsp lemon essence
1 tsp apple cider vinegar

For the Strawberry Sauce

Strawberry_sauce

Disclaimer: I made this sauce a couple of months back and did not save the exact measurement of ingredients. Hence I will use approximations in this recipe. I recommend that you trust your tastebuds on this one – the sauce should be sweet, but sour.

2 – 3 cups chopped strawberries
1/2 cup powdered sugar
Juice of 1 lemon

Directions

Strawberry Sauce

In a heavy bottom pan, mix all ingredients and heat on low – medium settings until the mix thickens. If required, blend using a hand mixer. Cool. Adjust sweetness or sourness based on your taste preferences. For the pineapple berry cake, keep it slightly lemony.

Pineapple Berry Upside Down Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line an 6″ pan with parchment paper.
  3. Arrange pineapple rings on the bottom of the pan. Cut some of the rings in half and arrange along the sides of the pan.
  4. Spoon in strawberry sauce in the center of each of the pineapple rings on the bottom of the pan.
  5. In a big bowl, sift together flour, salt and baking soda
  6. In another bowl, mix the sugar with 1/2 cup oil, 3/4 cup of the strawberry sauce, 1/2 cup of pineapple juice from the tin, apple cider vinegar and the vanilla and lemon extracts. 
  7. Fold in the liquid mix into the flour mix gently in thirds. Do not overmix as this will cause the cake to crack.
  8. Pour your mix into the pan and bake for 30 minutes. If a knife then inserted doesn’t come out clean, lower oven temperature to 300 degrees F and bake for another 10 minutes.
  9. Cool in the oven for about 5 – 7 minutes afterwards. Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes in the baking pan. Then invert pan onto a cake rack and peel off the parchment paper. If the strawberry sauce has stuck to the parchment paper, spoon it out and replace in the center of the pineapple rings.

Pineapple_upside_down_cake

This cake is a pleasant mix of pineapple and strawberries. If you’d like a stronger pineapple flavor, chop in a few pineapple pieces and add to your mix. If you don’t have lemon extract, replace with 1/2 tsp vanilla extract + 1/2 tsp raspberry or strawberry extract, or 1 tsp vanilla extract.

 

Recipe: Light Eggless (or Vegan) Vanilla Cupcakes with Decadent Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Vanillacupcake

A friend once asked me what I would take with me if I were faced with the acopolypse. I answered,

1. My Mom, because to me she is the epitome of all the goodness and strength in the world
2. My iPad with its accessories, because I couldn’t live without books, movies and some pre-loaded games
3. Some sugar

The last one intrigued him the most. “Why sugar?” Simply because if my world were coming to an end, I’d like a little sweetness to end it with.

The first time I fell in love with cupcakes, it was BEFORE I’d actually eaten one. They just looked beautiful with the colorful frosting holding the promise of bliss, tempered only with a light cake. Needless to say, I had to bake them. But of course, as is ALWAYS the struggle for me, it was hard to find vegetarian recipes that would make the cake light.I scourged the internet for recipes and found a lot of interesting facts about baking vegan/eggless cakes. Facts like eggless or vegan chocolate cakes actually became popular during the war when milk goods were expensive, and vinegar, despite its popular use as a sour and strong addition to salads, is used as a leavening agent in cakes instead of eggs (and it works like a charm!)

But the most fruitful discovery after days and hours of searching was, Chef Chloe (http://chefchloe.com).Chef Chloe’s all of 23 and her vegan cupcake was the first vegan winner of Cupcake Wars! I used her recipe (with very minor tweaks) as the base for all my cupcakes. Upon stumbling (really, check of StumbleUpon’s food inventory!) through some recipes for buttercream frosting, I found a great decadent buttercream frosting recipe from Savory Sweet Life (http://savorysweetlife.com) that I tweaked for my own cupcakes.

As much as I love sugar, I do believe that sugar tastes best when used in moderation. I like how, for example, using lesser sugar than the recipe called for, really brought out the taste of the cocoa powder and made the buttercream frosting extremely rich in flavor without being too sweet. For the cupcakes, too, I used a little less sugar than the original recipe called for, ensuring that the vanilla wasn’t overridden by sweetness.

Ingredients:

For the cupcake (makes 6)
3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk (Chef Chloe recommended soy or rice milk or water, if you want to make this cake vegan)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar (If you do not have any, you can use regular vinegar. I’d all a little more sugar and if required, essence, to compensate though)

For the buttercream frosting (makes 3 cups)
1 cup or 1/2 pound unsalted butter, softened, but not melted
3 cups sifted confectioner’s (icing) sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla or 1tsp vanilla + 1tsp almond essence
4 tbsp heavy whipping cream

Directions:

Cupcakes:
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees (Farenheit) and line a cup-cake tin
2. Sift together flour, baking soda, salt, sugar in a bowl
3. In a separate bowl, whisk milk, vinegar, oil and essence
4. Gently fold in the wet mixture into the dry mixture
5. Whisk the mixture and pour into the cupcake liners, 2/3rd of the way
6. Place it in oven and bake for 15 – 20 minutes, or until a knife or toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean

Frosting:
1. Gently cream the butter with a beater
2. Add the sifted sugar and cocoa and beat on a low speed till mixed
3. On a medium speed, add the salt, essences and whipping cream
4. Beat on a high speed till stiff peaks form

Frost the cupcakes with the buttercream and store in the fridge.

The result of this baking was far better than anything I had imagined. The cupcakes are extremely moist, light and fluffy (and they stay that way 2 days later too!) and the buttercream frosting has been a great hit at both parties I’ve served these cupcakes at. Rest assured, I will keep experimenting with this recipe with hopefully equally good results for strawberry cupcakes, peach and vanilla cupcakes, and since the Santa Rosa plums from the farmer’s market are simply to die for, maybe some chocolate-plum cupcakes 🙂

Hope you enjoy baking these as much as I enjoyed eating them 🙂