I want to tell you all about a project that a family member of mine is undertaking and is putting all of her passion into. It’s called The Bare Basics and the plan is to publish a cookbook that focuses on moving away from pre-packaged food to easy, nutritious recipes that can be tackled by even the greenest cooks. The brainchild and author is Kelly, a trained nutritionist who just wants people to eat real food without missing out on flavour. Why should you be interested? Well, the recipes are modelled by a group of lovely, oiled up men wearing only the food they’re making. Check out some of the boys here. To get updates and peeks behind the scenes like The Bare Basics on Facebook and if you want to pledge money to get the cookbook published (and get a little somethin’ somethin’ in return) head to their Kickstarter. Kickstarter works by accepting a pledge of money and in return you will be given certain items if the Kickstarter is successful. No money is taken out of your account until the campaign is successfully concluded, if the target goal of money isn’t reached then no one is charged anything. Ever had a dream? Well this is Kelly’s and you can help her out. Give a girl a chance.
On to the recipe! This is my favourite vanilla cupcake recipe, not just my favourite vegan vanilla cupcake recipe. You want to know why you should try it? No dairy or eggs means that you can make it without having to run to the shops because you’re out of milk or you ate your last egg for breakfast. The original recipe used soy milk but I don’t usually have it in the house so water it is. These cakes are fluffy and moist, something that seems rare in a vanilla cupcake these days. I need moisture, people! The recipe achieves this with a very wet batter so don’t freak when the mixture looks really runny, just mix it really well and scoop away. They rise and form domes just like cupcakes that are full of dairy and eggs, you wouldn’t know the difference by eating them. The best fun is feeding them to people then yelling “THEY’RE VEGAN!’ and disappearing in a puff of smoke.
I always use a medium ice-cream scoop to evenly distribute the cake batter but this mixture is so runny that you could even use a 1/4 cup measure for the same purpose. If Buddercream isn’t to your liking then make a glaze by combining 3/4 cup icing sugar with 2 tbsp lime juice, stir well and drizzle over the completely cooled cupcakes. If you do choose to go the Buddercream route just check the ingredients of the margarine to make sure that there are no dairy products in it. Otherwise you will be guilty of the terrible sin that is secretly feeding animal products to a vegan (so secret that you didn’t even know you were doing it!).
Lime and Vanilla Cupcakes with Buddercream Icing (Vegan)
Cupcakes adapted from Golden Vanilla Cupcakes and Icing adapted from Vegan Fluffy Buttercream Frosting, both from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World.
Lime and Vanilla Cupcakes
1 cup water
1 tsp white vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup caster sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups plain flour
2 tbsp corn flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
Preheat oven to 175 C and line a 12 hole muffin tin with paper liners.
In a bowl large enough to hold the finished batter, whisk together the water, vinegar, salt, oil, sugar and vanilla extract.
Sift in the plain flour, corn flour, baking powder and baking soda and whisk well to combine.
Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl to make sure that the mixture is well combined (it will be wet, don’t worry it’s meant to be like that).
Divide the mixture evenly between the 12 paper liners and bake for 20 minutes (if you are using small paper liners then only fill them up 2/3).
Allow the cupcakes to cool in the tin for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Lime and Vanilla Buddercream Icing
1 cup margarine (check to make sure it’s vegan)
2 cups icing sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
juice of 1 lime
Beat the margarine with a handheld mixer until fluffy then mix in the sugar and beat for 3 minutes.
Add in the vanilla extract and lime juice then beat for another 5-7 minutes.
Transfer the icing to a piping bag and pipe on to the completely cooled cupcakes.