Tag Archives: eggless cupcakes

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

Kid Yummy: Eggless Oreo Cookie Cupcakes!

Oreocupcake1

My pre-teen neice came to spend the weekend with me and her only request was that we bake something together. I rememebered a cake I used to make years ago with Oreos and chocolate and thought it was time to try a new version. And so it came about, a batch of Oreo cookie cupcakes AND a 6″ Oreo cookie cake. 

I experimented with my basic cupcake recipe and found that the chocolate cake was significantly more moist. I’m looking forward to adapting this to other cakes and flavors.

Ingredients
Makes 24 cupcakes

For the cupcakes
1 + 1/4 c all purpose flour
1 c sugar
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 c cocoa
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 c canola or vegetable oil
1 c buttermilk
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 c water 
8 Oreo cookies, crushed

For the frosting

2 sticks or 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
20 – 30 Oreo cookies, finely ground
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 tbsp cold heavy whipping cream

A few mini Oreos for the garnish

Directions

Make the cupcakes!

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a bowl, sift and mix the flour, cocoa, salt and baking soda.
  3. In a separate bowl, add the vinegar to the buttermilk and let stand for a few minutes. Add to it the vanila, oil and sugar. Beat thoroughly.
  4. Put the Oreo cookies in a Ziploc bag and beat or club it with a rolling pin. The cookies should not be finely crumbled. You want to be able to bite into them when you eat the cake 😉
  5. Fold the Oreo cookies in the flour mix and then fold the dry ingredients into the liquid mix. Do not overmix.
  6. Pour into a lined cupcake pan and bake for 15 minutes or until a knife through the cupcake comes out clean.

Make the cookie frosting!

  1. Finely ground the Oreo cookies. Make sure there are no cookie chunks left in (chunks will make frosting the cake a nightmare!).
  2. On a low speed, beat the softened butter.
  3. Add the sifted powdered sugar a bit at a time and increase the speed to make a fluffy frosting.
  4. Add the vanilla, heavy whipping cream and ground cookies and beat at a medium – high speed. I’d add the sugar and the cookies a bit at a time till you find the right sweetness for yourself.
  5. Chill for about 10-15 minutes before piping onto your cupcakes. Top with a mini Oreo. 

Oreocupcake2

This cake is perfect for kids. I did have a hard time with the frosting though, because I didn’t mind the size of the oreo crumbs and even a few slightly big chunks clogged up the icing tip :(. It was the hardest and messiest part of this cake but the moment I took some of those chunks out and used a bigger decorating tip, the frosting became a lot easier. 

Oreocake4

I made about 12 cupcakes and baked a 6″ cake with the remaining batter. For the cake, increase the baking time to about 25 minutes. I also scoured through my cake supplies and found a bag of mini Twix bars that we used to decorate the cake. We took the cake to my sister’s for dinner and I loved looking at my 2.5 year old neice first eat the cookies, then lick the frosting and dive into the Twix bars before she stuff a lot of cake in her mouth. She decided it was yummy enough for me to deserve a hug 🙂 If I ever needed a reason to bake, hugs from a super adorable 2 year old would be it!

And my preteen neice has spent a lot of time on video chat showing off the efforts of her labor, and making her friends feel perfectly jealous. So all in all, this weekend was as much fun as eating Oreos and milk!

Vegan Orange Cupcakes with Orange Creamcheese frosting

Orange_cupcakes

Growing up, I used to love running home from the playground to freshly squeezed orange juice, lovingly served by my Mom. Even today, take me to Jamba Juice and my first instinct will be to reach out for that medium sized fresh orange juice glass!

I love the flavor of oranges. It’s instantly refreshing and yet exotic when paired with ingredients like coffee or chocolate. I’ve spent a fair amount of time making orange flavored coffee for friends and even orange chocolate cakes.

This past week though, I decided to make a batch of cupcakes that are through and through, orange flavored. No whiff of chocolate, no after effects from caffeine. What I pleasantly discovered, was that this was a batch of absolutely no-fuss cupcakes! Super easy to make, and citrus on the tongue.

Ingredients:

Makes 12 cupcakes

1.5 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup fresh orange juice
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vailla extract
1 tsp orange extract
2.5 tbsp grated orange rind
1/2 cup canola/vegetable oil

For the frosting:

8 oz cream cheese
1 stick (8 tbsp butter)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup sifted powdered sugar (more if you like your creamcheese sweet)
1 tbsp grated orange rind

Directions:
1. Pre-heat your oven to 350 F. Line 12 cup muffin pan with cupcake liners.
2. In a bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt.
3. Add in the extracts, oil, orange juice and mix until no lumps remain, no more than 1 minute. Do not whisk.
4. Pour into cup cake liners, 2/3rds of the way and bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until a knife through the center of the cake comes out clean.
5. Turn off the oven and let the cupcakes cool in there for 5 – 10 minutes.
6. Take the tray out and let the cupcakes cool in the tray for 10 minutes. Then transfer on to a cake rack and cool for at least 30 minutes before frosting.

Dsc00348

 

The Frosting

1. Beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla until smooth.
2. Add sugar on low speed, beat until incorporated.
3. Add in the grated orange rind, increase the beater speed to high and mix until light and fluffy.
4. Pipe onto your cupcakes. Garnish with twisted orange rind or orange slices. 

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 🙂