Baking vegan cupcakes is as simple as simple can be! These handy vegan cupcake tips will get you on the road to baking bliss.
1. Experiment with plant-based ingredients to find the ones you prefer.
Soya milk or rice milk are excellent replacements for dairy milk. Coconut and nut milks are great too, but they will add additional flavour to your bakes.
2. Vegan cupcakes are easier made using flavourless oils
Vegan cupcakes are easier made using flavourless oils rather than margarine to replace the butter, because margarines have added water.
Using vegetable, sunflower or light rapeseed oil in a cupcake will produce a moist bake with a delicate crumb.
3. Eggs can be replaced with fruit or vegetable purées
You can also use soya yoghurt, ground flaxseed, curdled soya milk or a commercially made egg replacement product.
4. Don’t over-stir your batter!
Only ever stir wet and dry ingredients until they are just combined. Avoid using an electric mixer or going heavy on the hand-mixing because you will end up with a dense, thick cake.
Ignore what you know about ‘whipping air into the batter to make it light and fluffy’, this does not work with vegan baking!
5. Use good quality ingredients
Using good quality ingredients can make a big difference to your cupcakes. Always opt for flavour extracts rather than using synthetic flavourings, which can give your cupcakes a nasty artificial taste.
6. Mix all of your dry ingredients first and then add your liquid ingredients
Mix all of your dry ingredients first and then add your liquid ingredients in at the last second. Without eggs in the bake, you are relying entirely on your baking powder and bicarbonate of soda to do the leavening, so don’t let them start doing their business until it is just about time to pop them in the oven.
7. Don’t over or under fill your cupcake cases
You should fill the cases half to two-thirds full. Any more and they will rise above the top and look messy, any less and they won’t reach the top and look too small.
8. Don’t decorate or eat it straight away – let it rest
After you make your cupcakes, they will often have a thin ‘crusty’ layer along the top.
You can eliminate this crispness by placing your completely cooled cupcakes into an airtight plastic container for a couple of hours or overnight. The moisture of the cake is then allowed to work its way through and you will be left with a very soft sponge.
9. Bake in the centre of your oven
Always bake cupcakes one tray at a time in the centre of your oven. This will ensure good airflow and even heat distribution, preventing overcooking on one side.
If your oven cooks unevenly from front to back, (this can often be the case with gas ovens) rotate the tray of cupcakes two-thirds of the way through baking.
10. Know your own oven
All ovens work slightly differently and most people get to know the quirks of their own. So if you know that when you’re cooking dinner you usually have to set the temperature slightly higher or leave it in for slightly longer than it tells you to on the packet, make the same amendments to your cupcake recipe instructions.
11. Don’t leave baked cupcakes in the tray
Cupcakes should always be removed from the baking tray and transferred to a wire rack immediately after they come out of the oven. The heat from the still-hot tray can cause the cupcakes to overcook, and can also make the cases peel.
Now you’ve perfected the art of cupcake making with these vegan cupcake tips, it’s time to put your skills to the test with some vegan cupcake recipes!
Melissa Morgan is often better known as Ms Cupcake, one of the UK’s leading vegan cupcake makers and author of Ms. Cupcake: The Naughtiest Vegan Cakes in Town. Melissa also opened London’s first entirely vegan retail bakery in Brixton. Find out more by visiting www.mscupcake.co.uk.