Baking cupcakes that are moist, light, eggless and dairyless seemed like an almost insurmountable challenge to me when I first went vegan.
Brainwashed as I had been through years of baking about the importance of butter and eggs to the process of cakemaking, I believed that a good cake was impossible to make without these ingredients.
I admit I lived through a few mistakes: cupcakes that weren't fluffy, cupcakes that were too tough, and cupcakes that just weren't, well, what cupcakes ought to be. Until, inspired by some cake veganizing tricks from other bakers, I scored a winner.
My Lemony Vegan Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting are, to me, a small triumph for veganism. They taste so good, I bet they'd convert any sceptic. Desi is a regular cupcake gourmet and even he agrees these are among the best he's tasted.
So go on, I dare you. Put on your baking gloves and take a stab at these. I know you'll be back for more!
Try these vegan cakes next:
- Vegan Carrot Cupcakes
- Vegan Brown Sugar Pound Cake
- Vegan Banana Coffee Cake with Chocolate Streusel
- The Best Vegan Chocolate Cake
- Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes
Vegan Lemon Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
For the lemon cupcakes
- 1 ⅓ cups cake flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ¾ cup turbinado sugar (you can use regular)
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1 tsp vinegar
- ½ cup vegan butter (at room temperature)
- 1 tsp lemon extract
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
For the cream cheese frosting
- 8 oz vegan cream cheese (left out of the refrigerator for at least an hour to soften.)
- ¼ cup sugar (powdered)
- ½ tsp ground cardamom (optional)
- ½ tsp pure lemon extract
Make lemon cupcakes
- In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and mix well. Set aside.
- Mix the milk and vinegar and set aside.
- In another bowl, with a hand mixer or a stand mixer set to medium speed, cream the vegan butter and the sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
- Add the two extracts.
- Add the flour mixture in three batches alternating with the almond milk, beating in well after each addition so there are no lumps. Scrape down the bowl after each addition.
- Line a 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake liners. Divide the batter equally among the cups, filling each cup about ⅔rds.
- Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven about 22 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Set aside on a rack to cool completely before frosting.
Make cream cheese frosting
- Put all ingredients in a bowl and beat with a hand mixer for a minute or two until light and fluffy. Using a spatula or, if you have one, a pastry bag, decorate each cupcake any way you wish. I go for abstract art, as you can see!