I'm a longtime vegetarian who married into food allergies, & without being too boring about it, the end result is that the majority of my cooking & just about all of my baking is vegan. As my formal title is longtime vegetarian with ferocious sweet tooth, imagine my delight when Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World finally hit the shelves. Great title, beautiful book, plus, cupcakes. I have baked many a vegan cake over the past decade, & even my best efforts often have a slightly gummy texture (referred to around here as "the squidge") & too-sweet edge (this is particularly a problem with vanilla-type cake). Don't get me wrong, there are some recipes out there that I think are truly fantastic (the carrot cake recipe from Real Food Daily being one, & also I have this really great gingersnap recipe), but I often just get a box of mini vegan cupcakes from PCC & call it a day.
But this, this is exciting. I think I'm going to bake every cupcake in this book. Well, maybe not the gluten-free ones. And I'm not that interested in the low-fat ones, either. But I think I'm going to bake all the rest.
Seriously, this book is beautiful. That's the glamour version of my inaugural cupcake (Cupcake 01), Golden Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting (I wanted to do white cake/white frosting first, because that's a hard one to pull off well veganstyle & therefore a great test of this book's cupcake superpowers. Instead, I let the kids choose).
My version is somewhat less gorgeous (seasonal style points for the little pumpkins, though, yes?). I'm not sure if it's because I made the frosting & then kept it in the fridge overnight before using it, or if it's because I just didn't spend enough time fluffing it up, but it stayed much darker & denser than the book picture shows. Happily, "darker" & "denser" is not generally a problem when we're talking about chocolate, & I have zero flavor complaints.
The missing picture here is the one where the cupcakes came out of the oven perfectly domed, but you can see how nicely structural they are here (this is a big deal in vegan baking, I promise). The crumb is less fine than you'd find in a conventional cupcake, but I really mean "fine" only in the coarse/fine sense, since the texture is very cakey &, most importantly, squidge-free. The taste is easily as good as the vanilla cupcakes I get from the store*, so while this batch didn't rock my socks off (see: regular consumption of similar cupcakes), it's not that it couldn't have, it's just that I'm jaded.
I think these might be the best vanilla vegan cupcakes I've ever made, & I have high hopes for the rest of the book. Up next: chocolate with vanilla frosting (note clever reversal).
*To be fair: if you're looking for a fool-the-omnivore cupcake, I don't think this is it, but these are great in their own right.