Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting

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I've been experimenting with vegan recipes lately, including vegan baking. I'm a huge fan of any cookbook that has Isa Chandra Moskowitz's name on it. My go-to cupcake cookbook is 'Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World' and the following recipe is adapted from the book's Golden Vanilla Cupcakes recipe.

For the cupcakes you will need: 1 cup of non-dairy milk, 2 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, 1 1/4 cups of the flour of your choice, 1 tablespoon of cornstarch, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda, a pinch of salt, 1/2 cup of vegan margarine, 1/4 cup of coconut sugar (adds a great depth of falvour to the cupcakes), 1 vanilla bean (totally optional), 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract, and 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract. Preheat your oven to 350F. In a liquid measuring cup, measure out your non-dairy milk and stir the apple cider into it. Set aside. Into a bowl sift the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. In another bowl (or the bowl of your stand mixer) beat the margarine and coconut sugar until smooth and fluffy (a couple of minutes). Scrape the vanilla goodness out of the bean and add it and the extract and beat until combined. Now you're going to alternate adding the flour mixture and the milk mixture, finishing with the flour mixture. Don't over-mix and make sure to scrape down the sides of your bowl as you go. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners and spray lightly with cooking spray. Fill each cup about 2/3 full with the batter. I like to tap the tray on the counter a few times to disperse the batter evenly in the cups. Bake for 20 minutes or until you can insert a toothpick and it comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting them.

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The frosting for these cupcakes is also adapted from 'Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World'. Can you tell I love this cookbook yet??

For the frosting you will need: 1/2 cup of vegetable shortening, 1/2 cup of vegan margarine (I'm not a fan of the taste of Earth Balance but Becel now has a vegan margarine I like), 3 1/2 cups of sifted vegan confectioner's sugar, 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract, 1/4 cup of non-dairy milk. Food colouring is optional but I prefer the gel variety. You'll need a stand-mixer or a hand-mixer for this frosting (unless you have arms of steel). Beat the shortening and margarine together for about a minute. Add the confectioners sugar and beat for another 3 minutes (scraping the bowl down as you go), add the non-dairy milk, vanilla, and food colouring if using. Beat for another 5 minutes. I recommend refrigerating the frosting for 30 minutes before frosting your cupcakes. I used a 1M tip to frost these beauties.

This recipe makes 12 cupcakes. Enjoy!

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