Thursday, January 1, 2009

Vegan Champagne Cupcakes

For New Year's Eve, I wanted some light, airy champagne cupcakes. The recipes I found online either called for several egg whites or relied on cake mixes, so I fiddled around a bit with the Fluffy White Cupcakeson schmooedfood, replacing half the soy milk with cheap champagne ($4.99-- classy!). It was a freshly opened bottle, so the batter was quite bubbly. The finished cupcakes weren't especially puffy, so I doubt the carbonation made any difference-- you could use leftover flat champagne as well.

Once the cupcakes were baked, the champagne flavor was barely detectable. I'd like to try making these again, omitting the vanilla and coconut extracts, to see if the champagne flavor is stronger. I might also increase the baking soda for more air pockets. I'll do that just as soon as the 19 cupcakes on my counter are gone.

I wanted the frosting to be pink without using food coloring, so I thawed some frozen strawberries and added the juice. The champagne and strawberry flavors were yummy together.

We enjoyed these before heading down to West Market Square in downtown Bangor to see the beachball drop. Happy 2009!

Vegan Champagne Cupcakes

1 TB apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup plain soymilk
3/4 cup champagne
2 1/8 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 cups sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/4 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
1/2 tsp coconut extract (optional)

Preheat oven to 350F and put cupcake liners in a muffin pan.

In a small bowl, stir together the vinegar and soy milk. Set them aside to curdle for a few minutes. In a large mixing bowl, sift together dry ingredients. In a medium bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients, including the vinegar and soy milk and the champagne. Beat or stir vigorously until well mixed.

Fill each cupcake liner with 1/4 cup of batter. Bake 20 minutes, or until a tester (I use a knife) inserted in the middle of the cupcake comes out clean.

Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then place cupcakes on a wire rack to cool before frosting.

The original recipe says it will make 22 cupcakes, but I got 16. If you put less batter in your cupcake liners, begin checking them after 15 minutes in the oven.

Champagne Strawberry Buttercream Frosting

1/2 cup non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening (like Spectrum Organic)
1/2 cup vegan margarine (I use Earth Balance sticks)
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup champagne
1-2 TB strawberry juice (from thawed strawberries)

Using an electric mixer, blend shortening and margarine together until smooth. Add sugar one cup at a time with a little bit of the champagne and blend for a minute. When all the sugar and champagne have been added, add 1 TB of strawberry juice and blend on high for 4-5 minutes until light and fluffy. Taste, and add more juice if you want a stronger strawberry flavor or color.

After modestly frosting my sixteen cupcakes, I had about a cup of frosting leftover. If you get more cupcakes out of this recipe, or pile on the frosting, you'll use all of it.

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