Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes

Golden vanilla cake and colorful creamy icing combine to create a whimsical vegan version of this childhood favorite.

Makes 24 cupcakes

What You Need for the Batter:

  • 4 cups whole wheat pastry flour 
  • 2 cups unbleached cane sugar 
  • 4-1⁄2 teaspoons baking soda 
  • 3⁄4 teaspoon sea salt 
  • 1-2⁄3 cups filtered water 
  • 1⁄3 cup fresh lemon juice 
  • 1⁄3 cup vegetable oil 
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar 
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla


What You Need for the Frosting:

  • 3⁄4 cup non-hydrogenated margarine 
  • 5 cups (approximately 1 1⁄2 pounds) organic vegan powdered sugar 
  • 1⁄4 cup non-dairy milk of choice 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla 
  • Tints (turmeric, beet powder, spirulina, blueberries, strawberries, etc.)
  • Garnishes such as toasted coconut, sprinkles, dark chocolate shavings, vegan candies, chopped nuts or fruit zest


What You Do:

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together pastry flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, place water, lemon juice, oil, vinegar and vanilla, and whisk to combine. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir well to combine.
  2. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with paper liners. Pour batter into a pitcher or spouted liquid measuring cup for easy filling. Carefully fill each one nearly full, leaving just a little rim of paper showing. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Remove cupcakes from oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes in the tins before transferring to a rack to cool completely before frosting.
  3. To prepare the frosting, in a large bowl, beat margarine for 1 minute using a mixer. Add sugar, non-dairy milk and vanilla, and beat 3-5 minutes or until very light and creamy. If you wish to tint the frosting different colors, divide accordingly, then add a small amount of tint and stir well to thoroughly blend color. Use a small spatula or knife to spread the frosting over the tops of the cupcakes. Leave them simply frosted, or top with your choice of suggested garnishes.


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