I haven’t labelled these cupcakes “vegan” because I don’t really prescribe to that philosophy. In my ongoing search for the ultimate cake recipe I thought these eggless ones might tick some of the boxes. I had in mind the dark cakeyness of a Betty Crocker’s Devil’s Food cake, and to my delight these were pretty close.
They don’t really taste vegan; after a day in the cake tin they turn deliciously sticky, like gingerbread. So often my baking efforts result in less than satisfactory results. I was quite pleased with the texture of these. Unlike some of my cakes they didn’t develop that hard, dry crust upon cooling. You could experiment by chucking in a few chocolate chips; white, for black and white cupcakes, or milk or plain. Now you can buy packs of chocolate and fudge chunks, which would also make a delicious addition.
Makes 6 large cupcakes
2 tbsp sunflower oil
1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
2 tsp cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
85g plain flour
½–¾ oz cocoa powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
Pinch of salt
115g caster sugar
150ml of soya milk (or normal milk)
Preheat oven to 180-185°F. Line a deep, muffin tray with 6 paper cases.
Whisk together the oil, milk and vanilla in a measuring jug.
Sift the dry ingredients into a bowl and add the salt and sugar. Stir with a wooden spoon to combine thoroughly.
Make a well in the centre and gradually add the vinegar milk mixture.
Combine very gently with a spatula. Mix the BARE MINIMUM (lumps in muffin batter is very good = light and fluffy muffins; well-mixed batter will produce hard, dry cakes).
Divide mixture between paper cases.
Bake on centre rack for 12–15 minutes (a piece of dry spaghetti should come up clean).
Cool on a wire rack before eating (better stored in a tin for a day).