My younger daughter has a way of roping me into stuff without me realizing what is happening. Like earlier this year, she made the suggestion that I sit and watch an episode of Cake Boss with her on Netflix. I’d never seen it before and didn’t really know what to expect, but a baker from Jersey sounded fine so I said sure. What I didn’t realize is that Cake Boss is the TV equivalent of crack, and that one episode would lead to another, and another, until we’d polished off not only the entire series, but swallowed a full two seasons of Next Great Baker too.
It was during this affair with Carlo’s Bakery that my daughter started asking me about baking, specifically about cake decorating. I told her about the training I’d had at Fante’s in Philly, leading up to entering my first (and only) competitive gingerbread contest. She begged to see all of my tools – the piping bags with their thimble-like tips, the vials of food dye, the turntable and spatulas, and only after I’d agreed to let her bake something did she stop fondling the lot. My only stipulation? Whatever she made had to be vegan. Because after umpteen episodes of Cake Boss I needed a FIX. Baaad.
My daughter was absolutely enchanted with her first solo-baked cake. And we were too! From its 100% original gray-green frosting with red, white, and yellow stripes to its moist, tender, and delicious crumb, it was a winner. But what struck me most about the cake was the cake itself. I know frosting always wins the prize, but the cake was really, really good. I quickly jotted down the recipe to the best of my recollection. But was it right?? In order to ensure it wasn’t some one-off fluke, my daughter decided to bake another cake. And then another. Three cakes in as many days is a cross to bear in the name of science, but we were willing to persevere!
This recipe is delicious and deliciously easy. If you have doubts about the tastiness of vegan cupcakes, then I double dog dare you to try these. You will be sold. These cupcakes have the same taste, texture, and rise of “regular,” but without the added fat, and with ZERO cholesterol. You won’t miss it! As written the recipe yields 12 cupcakes. If you’d prefer a layer cake, simply double the recipe, separate the batter into two oiled 8-9 inch pans, and bake for 37 minutes. So easy and SO DARN GOOD. Enjoy!
Yields 12 cupcakes
SODIUM CONTENT: 8 mg per cupcake
1 1/2 c. flour
3/4 c. sugar
2 t. sodium-free baking powder
1 c. nondairy milk
6 T. canola oil
1 T. apple cider vinegar
1 T. pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-muffin tin with paper cups and set aside.
Measure the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl and whisk well to combine. Add the wet ingredients and stir until combined. Evenly divide the batter between the muffin cups.
Place tin on middle rack in oven and bake 18 minutes. Remove pan from oven and place on a wire rack to cool for a minute before removing cupcakes and placing directly on rack to cool. Cool fully before frosting. Store leftovers in an airtight container.