For any child or adult with food allergies or for vegan friends these are a great find. But they really are delicious enough for anyone. In other words, a parent of an allergic child could happily bring these in to a classroom of kids (and adults!) The cupcakes themselves come from our standard for egg-free cooking: Bakin' Without Eggs by Rosemarie Emro (and which you will need to buy to get the recipe lest I upset the copyright lawyers. And, no: I really don't work for her publishing company!) Emro uses applesauce, yogurt and seltzer to add moistness without using eggs.
The reality is that you now can buy egg-free cupcakes at some supermarkets, but they are typically quite expensive and are dry. These cupcakes can be whipped up in minutes, and I have made it even easier by setting aside the dry ingredients the night ahead. They are best the day they are cooked, but they usually don't last very long. Finally, I found a delicious and easy frosting in the Joy of Cooking, but at Whole Food's Supermarket we sampled another vegan frosting-made from blending avocados with powdered sugar. I can't say the taste was as good as buttercream, but it is a nice alternative for a non-dairy frosting.
However, in the meantime, here is another great vegan recipe (good for when kids haven't yet had dairy, for people with food allergies, etc.). Created by a mom of a food-allergic son, it isn't quite as rich (no sour cream!), but you are more likely to have all the ingredients in the house.
From Divvies Bakery in Connecticut
Makes 1 dozen
- 1 1/2 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 5 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cups water
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners; set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together oil, vinegar, vanilla, and water until well combined. Add flour mixture to the mixer and mix until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as necessary. Batter should look and feel more watery than normal cake batters.
- Pour batter into prepared muffin tin, filling each cup 1/2 to 3/4 full. Transfer to oven and bake, rotating pan halfway through cooking, until a cake tester inserted into the center of one of the cupcakes comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.
- Immediately remove cupcakes from muffin tin and transfer to a wire rack. Let cool completely before frosting.