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Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Cream Cheese Icing

June 6th, 2011 § 6 comments

‘Tis the wedding season.  My friend Eleanor is getting married in June, and I am THRILLED that she has asked me to make her wedding cake!  The response I have had from the buzz of vegan wedding cake has been phenomenal, and I’m pleased to say that I am now open for wedding (or other special occasion) cake business!  If you are interested in having a custom cake built, please email me at melissa@swapmeat.ca for a quote.

Cake.  Everybody loves cake.  Just saying the word cake makes me salivate instantly.  I’m drooling on my keyboard as I write this, thinking of lemony moistness and cream cheese sweetness.  Sigh……

Now, I don’t normally eat cake – in fact I NEVER eat cake, although I bake them, decorate them and admire them from afar.  I removed refined sugar and flours from my diet several years ago now because once I start I can’t stop…. but for the celebration of wedding, I’m going to make this cake a vegan one so that I can test it and deliver a product that will be part of a very special celebration.

I decided to test my recipe first in cupcake form and I think nailed it from the beginning – bride approved.  This is a vanilla cake recipe to which I have added lemon extract and lemon zest.  I’ve topped it with a vegan cream cheese frosting, also flavoured with lemon.  Sweet, tart, and cream-cheesy rich, this cake is sure to please at a spring wedding.

This recipe comes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World and I have modified it slightly to add lemon flavouring.  For anyone that doesn’t know it, this is a great little recipe book.  I’ve tried several of the recipes and they ALWAYS turn out perfectly.  Nicely done ladies!!

Yield:  10 cupcakes
Prep Time:  10 minutes
Bake Time:  25 minutes

Preheat oven to 350F

Line a muffin tray with 10 cupcake papers

1 cup non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened almond)
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tbsp cornstarch
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup light mazola oil
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp lemon extract
zest of one lemon

In a a mixing bowl, combine the milk and the apple cider vinegar and let stand for a few minutes until the milk has curdled.

In a separate bowl, sift the dry ingredients (flour to soda) until well combined.

Add the oil, sugar and extracts to the wet mixture.  Add the lemon zest and turn on the mixer to the slowest speed.  Slowly add the dry mixture to the wet until just combined.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix one more time.

Divide the batter into the cupcake liners and bake at 350F for 25 minutes, or until you insert a toothpick into the center of the cake and it comes out clean.

Let cool before frosting.


For the Lemon, Cream Cheese Frosting:

1/2 cup earth balance shortening
1/2 cup vegan cream cheese
3 cups vegan confection sugar
1 tsp lemon extract
approximately 3 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice

Make sure your shortening and cream cheese is at room temperature before you begin.  In a mixer with the whisk attachment, cream the shortening and the cream cheese.  I have used shortening in this recipe because it is more stable than margarine.  If your cupcakes will be out in the sun or if you are serving in warm weather, shortening is less likely to “melt” than butter or margarine.  If this is not a concern, of course you can substitute shortening for margarine here.  Add the lemon extract.

With the mixer on LOW, start to add your icing sugar, one spoon at a time (otherwise your kitchen will be covered in powdered sugar).  If the mix gets too stiff for the whisk, add a little bit of lemon juice until it loosens up a bit.  You want your icing to still be quite stiff, but it shouldn’t be so stiff that you won’t be able to pipe it or spread it easily.  Add just enough lemon juice until the frosting still forms a nice peak when you pull the whisk from the icing.

Fill a piping bag with a nib of your choice and pipe the tops of the cupcakes.  Garnish with a lemon wedge if you choose.

*please note:  this recipe contains both soy and wheat.


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