I have never made a cupcake. I've made muffins many a time (like THIS one and THIS one) because I prefer them over cupcakes. Muffins are hearty, somewhat known for being "healthy" (though this is debatable), and don't have frosting that needs to be protected. Muffins are also easily made vegan.
Cupcakes, in my mind, are known for being unfilling, overpriced, dairy-laden, and not really a good substitute for cake. I know this shocks most folks who jumped on that "cupcake revolution," but sorry, I can't change my basic beliefs. ;)
But I decided to expand my baking horizons and try out a recipe at last -- chocolate chai cupcakes sounded good enough to me! Plus, I wanted to try stuff out to see if I could possibly bring this to my sisters' upcoming tea party, where perhaps muffins would be a little out of place.
This vegan recipe is from HERE.
Top: cupcake ingredients. Below: frosting ingredients. The recipe called for soy milk, but I used coconut. This could have been one thing that went wrong...
Also, in the bottom picture are two bags of chai tea that I "borrowed" from work. The Earth Balance was actually already something "The Ukrainian" had. He claims that he likes these vegan spreads over traditional spreads -- go figure.
The recipe calls for making "buttermilk" out of non-dairy milk by adding apple cideer vinegar and letting it sit for a while. If you look closely, you can see curdle-ish things in the milk. Also, I had to sift the dry ingredients using this freaking large strainer, since "The Ukrainian" had nothing smaller at the time. I ended up buying a smaller one for him a few days later!
Adding wet ingredients to the dry... I was short about 1/4 or so of a cup of sugar, but I prefer not to make things too sweet, anyway.
Batter in the oven. Second mistake was that instead of following instructions and making 10 cupcakes, greedy me tried to make them into 11. (Side note: whenever I see those oven coils, I get nervous.)
While these were baking, I tried to whip up the frosting. Due to a lack of a hand mixer -- gotta get one for him -- I worked my arms off just to get this all incorporated.
I was also short about a cup of powdered sugar (guess we are not good with keeping sugar in stock), though the recipe called from "3-4 cups." I got 3 cups out, but I guess it needed 4.
P.S. I realize I have a somewhat of a "bobble head." :(
Here are the "after" shots. Yes, there are some shorties in there....
I didn't get a picture of my lame attempt at piping this frosting out of a ziploc-baggie, but that's because it got messy. I'm guessing that the frosting needed more powdered sugar and machine-whipping, though it tasted amazing. :) As a chai fan, I found it to be not too sweet (although compared to the cupcake, I guess it could be perceived as that way). Just wish it was fluffy instead of runny...
After dinner, I cracked one open. For a cupcake, it was good. It could have been a little more moist and a touch sweeter, but using vanilla soy milk next time might alleviate both of those issues.
"The Ukrainian" says that it could use something inside, like injected frosting or (ick) raisins.
My little sister agreed with my moistness comment (also remarked at how short they were) and my overall feelings about the frosting.
Since I was so busy making these (I work long days during the summer, leaving much less time to cook nowadays), "The Ukrainian" made dinner. Good trade-off!