Vegan Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream Frosting

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When you hear the word “vegan,” I am guessing you’re first thought is not rich, delicious, fluffy, desserts. I know a lot of people often just think of rabbits, lettuce, and all the cheese they can’t eat.

My boyfriend Brian and I are vegan for lent, which means vegan food for another five weeks.  During that time, I am going to throw a lot of vegan recipes your way, and I am really excited about it!  I want people to be able to appreciate how truly delicious and satisfying a vegan diet can be.

My first proof of this delicious and satisfying diet is these heavenly Lemon Cupcakes. Seriously, they’re divine. And if you’re worried about vegan baking, don’t be! Vegan baking is a breeze. There is a substitute for every dairy based ingredient- whether it simply is a vegan form of the same product, (such as vegan cream cheese or vegan butter), or an entirely new substitute (such as apple sauce and chia eggs)!

So, repeat after me: “rich, delicious, fluffy desserts.” Now get baking!

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Cupcake Ingredients:

  • 2 cups soy milk
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  • 3 teaspoons lemon juice/extract
  • 2 Tablespoons finely grated lemon zest

Lemon Buttercream Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup vegan margarine, softened
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon fresh grated lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Cupcake Directions:

  1. Preheat the over to 350˚F and fill two cupcake pans with paper liners.
  2. Combine the soy milk and vinegar, whisking together in a large bowl. Set this aside so that the soy has time to curdle.
  3. Mix together the dry ingredients- flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  4. Add the oil, sugar, vanilla, almond, and vanilla extract to the soy milk mixture, beating well.
  5. Combine the wet and dry ingredients, stirring until smooth.
  6. Fold in the lemon zest.
  7. Fill each cupcake liner with batter and bake for 20-22 minutes.
  8. Wait for the cupcakes to cool completely and ice.

Icing Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, cream the shortening and margarine with a handheld mixer until combined.
  2. Add the sugar in ½ cup increments, adding a splash of lemon juice after each addition. Beat with the mixer until smooth.
  3. Add the vanilla and beat for an additional 3-5 minutes, until smooth, creamy, and fluffy.

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Notes and Tips!:

  • Source: Bake and Destroy
  • I iced these cupcakes by using an icing kit, which consisted of an icing bag and a scalloped metal tip. If you have one of these icing kits, insert the metal tip into the plastic bag, cut the bag around the bottom of the tip, and fill the bag with icing. Then slowly and evenly, ice the cupcake, starting on the edge and working towards the center. If you do not have an icing bag with a metal tip, you could try using a thin knife to ice the cupcakes, or simply cut the tip off of a Ziploc bag, fill it with icing, and go from there!
  • Check out these other scrumptious desserts from ‘a rented kitchen’!: Vegan Strawberry Oat Bars, Chocolate Stout Cake, Caramel Apple Cake with Apple Cider Frosting, and this delicious Fresh Fruit Dessert Tart!

 

Iced Sugar Cookies

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Some things never change.

I drove up to St. Paul earlier this week to bring my brother home from his first semester of college, and within the first few days of being home, we found ourselves in the kitchen making sugar cookies. It is not that either of us particularly love the time involved in decorating two trays full of sugar cookies, or need any more tempting sugar in the house, but as I said, some things never change.

As young children every holiday season involved decorating home-made sugar cookies- a treat for Santa.  Although my brother and I are both in college now, and know better than to leave cookies on the hearth each Christmas Eve, we couldn’t let go of that tradition. We couldn’t let go of that tradition, because in many ways, that’s what the holidays are- a collection of traditions that bind us together and wrap us in memories. For that reason, some things never change. And sometimes, that’s exactly what I need.

Happy holidays from my family to yours.

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Cookie Ingredients:

  • ½ cup softened butter
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups flour- sifted
  • 2-3 Tablespoons of milk, as needed

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375˚ F and spray a light layer of non-stick spray on two baking sheets.
  2. Combine the wet ingredients in a small bowl and mix well.
  3. In a large bowl whisk together the dry ingredients.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, mixing well.
  5. Once all the flour has been added, kneed the dough until the ingredients are completely combined.
  6. Sprinkle a clean, smooth surface area and a rolling pin with flour.
  7. Roll ¼ of your dough into a smooth ball and drop into the center of your floured surface. Roll the dough out into a thing sheet- 1/8 an inch thick.
  8. Arrange your cookie cutter shapes on the dough without pressing down. Once you have the ideal arrangement of cookie cutter shapes arranged on the dough, press the cookie cutters down into the dough, carefully wiggling each cookie cutter to get a clean cut.
  9. Remove all the extra dough around the cookie cutters, and then remove the cookie cutters themselves. One by one, move the dough shapes from the counter to the baking pan using a metal spatula.
  10. Continue steps 4-6 until all of the dough has been used.
  11. Bake each cookie sheet individually for 8-10 minutes, or until the bottoms are a light brown and the centers are not too doughy. If you wait until the cookies are light brown on top, you may find them to be too hard. That’s up to personal opinion though!

10. Allow the cookies to cool completely before icing them.

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Icing Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons milk
  • Food coloring
  • Optional flavoring: vanilla, maple flavoring, mint extract, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon

Icing Directions:

  1. In a medium sized bowl, combine the sugar and milk, stirring until completely mixed.
  2. Divide the icing up into smaller bowls and add flavoring to each. (I am not a fan of the taste of confectioners sugar, so I always like to add a little pumpkin pie spice or a few drops of vanilla to help enhance the flavor. This is optional, however with trial and error pumpkin pie spice adjusts the flavor the best.)
  3. Add a drop of food coloring to each bowl as desired. We did yellow, red, green, blue, left one white, and mixed blue and red to make purple!
  4. Decorate your cookies, and have fun with it!

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Notes and Tips!: