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Friday, December 16, 2011

eggless vanilla cupcakes.

I've not quite found my go-to vanilla cake recipe yet, but I made one very near perfection before. What I'm looking for is a recipe that has a clear vanilla flavour. To achieve that, there must be no egg yolks or butter. The cake must not be yellow, in a sense. Because if it is, it's a yellow cake, not a vanilla cake. Ha ha.

This recipe being vegan, naturally has no eggs nor butter in it. It fits my criteria for what I think would be the ultimate vanilla cake, so I gave it a go.

I divided the recipe by 4, since I only wanted to try it out. That left me with 20ml of oil to add in. When I first saw the recipe, I thought of substituting half of it with applesauce but because 20ml is such a small amount, I subbed in the full amount with applesauce instead. There was a faint apple-y hint which I didn't quite mind since the vanilla scent was way stronger than that but I was more concerned that my substitution could have altered the structure of the cake.

See, my cupcakes rose beautifully in the oven, spreading out instead of up which would give me a nice wide surface to pile on the frosting(!). But when I took them out, they sank. Not much, but noticeable. My heart on the other hand, sank like the titanic. It wasn't just because the cupcakes turned out somewhat deflated, but also because I could tell the insides were a bit gummy when I inserted a skewer.

Usually, I like a little gumminess, especially in muffins but this was way too much. It was very gummy and dense. The worst part is, I could hardly taste the vanilla. I could smell it, but my tastebuds couldn't detect it. Which is such a pity because there was tons of vanilla in there. The good news is it wasn't too sweet and thank god for that because the frosting definitely fulfilled that department! The frosting was much sweeter than I could handle, and I have a pretty high tolerance of sugar. Maybe it's because I've not made the classic icing-sugar-and-butter buttercream in a while.

I was really hoping that this cupcake would be the one but I guess not.

Eggless Vanilla Cupcakes
makes 12
slightly adapted from Love and Olive Oil

Perhaps doubling the amount of baking powder would yield better results?

1 1/4 cups plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup oil
2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare a 12-hole muffin tin or two 6-hole ones. Line with paper liners for easy removal.

Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk the buttermilk, sugar, oil and vanilla extract in another bowl. Add the wet mixture into the dry and mix until just combined. Divide among the paper liners. Bake for 20-22 min or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.

Whipped Rum Frosting
adapted from Sweetapolita

1 stick + 2 tsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sifted icing sugar
1 tbsp milk
2 tsp rum

Using an electric mixer, whip the butter for 8 minutes on medium speed using the paddle attachment. It will become very pale and creamy. Add the rest of the ingredients and cream on low speed for 1 minute before increasing the speed to medium, beating for 6 minutes. The frosting will become very light, creamy and fluffy. The frosting is best used right away.