Thursday, May 14, 2009

Fabulous Cupcakes for Everyone

When I tell people that the cupcakes they are about to eat are egg-free, the reaction is usually one of skepticism. However, once they are devoured, the most common comment has been that the cupcakes are so moist and, in fact, without the egg, are much lighter than other cupcakes. As my son has an egg-allergy, we find ourselves making these often to eat at home and to bring to other birthday parties. One of the best parts of cooking without eggs, is the fact that licking the beaters and spoon is completely safe, and of course, fun!

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


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners; set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Immediately remove cupcakes from muffin tin and transfer to a wire rack. Let cool completely before frosting.


  1. do you have a cupcake recipe like this one in vanilla? My daughter has an egg allergy as well! I tried making box brownies with the egg substitute...that didn't go so well.

  2. I don't have an exact recipe, but I suspect that if you simply eliminate the cocoa and increase the cake flour by a few tablespoons it should work. I have also discovered that replacing eggs with about 1/4 cup of buttermilk and baking powder can be a great substitute in many recipes. I'd also recommend getting Bakin' Without Eggs. The pancake recipe is perfect-even for egg eaters! Let me know and best of luck.

  3. Hi :) I tried this recipe as soon as I saw it for my 4yr old son. (He's allergic to eggs & milk). The cupcakes tasted better than some previous ones, in which I had used applesauce & baking powder. Though not as fluffy as ones with eggs, they were soft and fluffy to an extent. Only thing is: I felt they did not rise much at all. I filled each cup upto 1/2 or 3/4 full as suggested. What could I have missed? I don't bake much ,so a novice at this. I really appreciate your post:)

  4. I have the Bakin' Without Eggs book and can't tell which cupcake recipe you used? Was it the cream cheese one or the perfect chocolate?