Baking is my favorite holiday pastime, and it has only become more enjoyable since I made the decision to go vegan. With so many clever ingredient substitutions at my disposal, I feel like a magician in the kitchen.
I've made vegan cookies, brownies, and pies, but had yet to try my hand the crown jewel of vegan baked goods: the cupcake. So when I decided to veganize VT's recipe for Bite-Sized Ginger Cupcakes, I consulted with VT food editor Mary Margaret Chappell for some expert advice.
I used Earth Balance margarine instead of butter, and raw turbinado sugar instead of white sugar, which isn't always vegan (you can read more about that here). In place of the egg, I opted for 1/4 cup of pureed tofu, and Mary Margaret recommended I also add a pinch of baking powder for extra leavening power. For the buttermilk, I used 1/2 cup soymilk plus a tablespoon of vinegar. I used vegan cream cheese instead of regular cream cheese, maple syrup instead of honey, and decided to make my own candied ginger using some fresh ginger I had on hand.
The end result was such a success! The cupcake itself was moist and decadent without being too sweet, and the citrus-infused frosting was a welcome contrast. The ginger topping brings out the flavor even more, so, even though it is optional, I suggest using it to make these cupcakes truly exceptional.
These tiny treats are perfectly sized for holiday indulgence without the guilt. Plus, veganizing them was a breeze with Mary Margaret's help! I'll definitely be making them again.
Veganized Bite-Sized Ginger Cupcakes
Makes 24 mini cupcakes
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup unsulphured molasses
5 Tbs. vegan margarine
1/2 cup soymilk 1 Tbs lemon juice or vinegar
1/4 cup pureed silken tofu
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. unsweetened cocoa
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
4 oz. vegan cream cheese
2 Tbs. maple syrup or agave nectar
1/2 tsp. grated orange zest
2 tsp. finely chopped crystallized ginger, optional
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat 2 12-cup mini-muffin pans with cooking spray.
2. To make Cupcakes: Combine sugar, molasses, and margarine in saucepan. Heat over medium-low heat 3 to 4 minutes, or until margarine is melted and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat, and cool 15 minutes.
3. Whisk together soymilkm lemon juice, and tofu in bowl. Whisk in molasses mixture.
4. Whisk together flour, cinnamon, ginger, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in separate bowl. Whisk buttermilk mixture into flour mixture.
5. Fill muffin cups to within 1/8 inch of rims. Bake 12 minutes, or until Cupcakes are puffed and set. Cool in pan 10 minutes, then turn out onto wire rack.
6. To make Topping: Whip cream cheese, maple syrup, and orange zest with fork in bowl until smooth. Dollop 1 tsp. Topping onto each Cupcake, and sprinkle with crystallized ginger, if using.