Vanilla-Rose Cupcakes

Ok, so you’re just going to have to trust me when I say these cupcakes are stunningly beautiful and impossibly delicious, because I don’t have any pictures. I don’t believe I’ve led you wrong thus far. I don’t have any pictures because I didn’t take any. I didn’t take any pictures because I didn’t want to. I didn’t want to because it’s nighttime and the lighting is bad and I kind of screwed up my piping.

The cupcakes themselves are a basic vanilla, and the addition of aquafaba makes them moist and fluffy. I just couldn’t find a vegan vanilla cupcake recipe with which I was satisfied (I definitely didn’t want to use cornstarch), so I had to create my own and it was a great success! The frosting is a classic American buttercream, but a mere teaspoon of rose water elevates the experience, creating a delicate floral fragrance and a unique taste.

To paint a picture for you I will say these cupcakes are daintily pretty and look even more so with a pink-tinged rosette of fluffy buttercream piped on top. They are perfect for a baby shower or a birthday party or a Valentine’s Day treat. Sprinkle a dusting of gold and silver sugar crystals atop the icing and you have yourself a delightful, delectable, painfully girly dessert.

The Recipe

  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup aquafaba (water from a can of chickpeas)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract or more vanilla
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup non-dairy milk
  • 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar

Buttercream Frosting

  • 1/3 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1/3 cup vegan margarine
  • 3 cups icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tsp rose water (can be found in the middle eastern section of the grocery)
  • 3 tbsp non-dairy milk
  • 3 drops red food colouring
  1. Whisk together the non-dairy milk and apple cider vinegar in a measuring cup. Set aside to curdle.
  2. Line a cupcake tin with 12 liners (can also make 24 mini cupcakes plus 3 regular cupcakes). Preheat oven to 350 F
  3. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
  4. Use a hand/stand mixer with a whisk attachment to, in a large bowl, whisk the aquafaba on high speed until frothy, about one minute.
  5. Add the sugar while the mixer is still on, and continue to whisk until thick and frothy, about one more minute.
  6. Add the extracts and the oil, still whisking on high speed for about 3 minutes.
  7. Switch to the beater attachment and add the flour mixture and the non-dairy milk mixture in small increments. Beat on medium speed until well combined, being careful not to overmix.
  8. Fill cupcake liners about 2/3 of the way (these sucker rise a hell of a lot, so if you overfill, be prepared for your cupcakes to have wonky domed tops that are a bitch to frost) and bake for 19-22 minutes (9-11 minutes for mini cupcakes). Cupcakes are ready when a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  9. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  10. While the cupcakes are cooling, make the frosting. Cream together the shortening and margarine on medium speed.
  11. Add the icing sugar in small increments, being careful not to choke on the sugar dust cloud that will inevitably form. Mix until the consistency is dry and crumbly.
  12. Add the vanilla extract, rose water, and non-dairy milk, and mix until well  combined before adding the food colouring.
  13. Beat on medium speed, for about 3 minutes, until icing is light and fluffy. If it seems too thick, add more milk, and if it seems too thin, add a bit more icing sugar.
  14. Transfer to a piping bag and frost to your heart’s content. Ensure cupcakes are stored in the fridge until right beforehand they are served or the frosting will get too soft.

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