• Ashley Margaret Waterman

Weekend Cake Tasting

A few months back, one of my friends reached out to me about baking for her friend's wedding. I couldn't believe it. I immediately wanted in. She's a bridesmaid in a wedding this August and thought I'd be interested in baking an allergy-aware cake.

The bride reached out and I sent her some flavor options for a cake tasting. I can't imagine baking for someone's wedding if they didn't have the opportunity to taste the cake first. She and her fiancé asked to try lemon poppy seed, chocolate, and red velvet. The only allergy restriction was dairy (milk and butter). Easy peasy. I emailed her back and told her I'd have those three flavors, all dairy-free with dairy-free frosting, in cupcake form for the tasting.

I made half batches of my lemon cake (with poppy seeds added) and chocolate cupcakes. I made a full batch of red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting because I wanted red velvet cupcakes for myself.

Lemon Poppy Seed

2 cups all purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp baking pwd

1/2 tsp baking soda

3/4 tsp salt

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 Tbsp poppy seeds

zest of 2 lemons

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

12 Tbsp room temperature earth balance butter

3 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1 cup apple sauce

In a large bowl, whisk flour, baking pwd, baking soda, salt, granulated sugar, and poppy seeds together.

Add the lemon zest.

Add the brown sugar.

Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and add butter, eggs, vanilla, lemon juice, and apple sauce.

Stir until combined.

Bake 17–22 minutes, rotating at the half-way mark.

Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes Although they didn't ask for vegan, I used my best chocolate cake recipe. Originally a gluten-free recipe, to make with regular flour, simply substitute the gluten-free flour for all-purpose flour and omit the xanthan gum.

Red Velvet

1/2 cup butter, at room temperature

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

2 eggs, at room temperature

2 tsp vanilla

2 Tbsp red food coloring

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted

3 Tbsp cocoa pwd

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup dairy-free buttermilk (almond milk and apple cider vinegar)

1 Tbsp white vinegar

1 tsp baking soda

Preheat the oven to 350º.

Line a muffin tin with liners.

Prepare your buttermilk. Measure 1 cup of almond milk. Remove 1 Tbsp of the milk and add 1 Tbsp of apple cider vinegar.

Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer until light and creamy--about 3 minutes.

Add the eggs one at time until fully incorporated.

Blend in the vanilla and red food coloring.

In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa, and salt.

Combine the buttermilk, white vinegar, and baking soda in a small bowl.

Add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk mixture to the batter.

Begin by adding the dry ingredients and alternate between wet and dry, ensuring that you end with the dry ingredients.

Fill the muffin tin so they're about two-thirds full.

Bake 12–16 minutes, until the cupcakes are springy and a toothpick comes out clean.

Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.

Vegan Buttercream & Vegan Chocolate Buttercream

Making vegan chocolate buttercream is just like making vanilla buttercream. Simply add a 1/4 cup of cocoa powder to your frosting. You'll need a little bit of extra milk to thin it to the consistency you'd like. Taste the frosting. If it's chocolatey enough for you, stop there. If your tastebuds are screaming for more chocolate flavor, add more cocoa powder 1/2 Tbsp at a time.

Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting

1 8-oz. container toffuti vegan cream cheese, room temperature

1/2 cup earth balance, room temperature

1 tsp vanilla

4 cups powdered sugar

Cream together the cream cheese and butter until smooth.

Add the vanilla.

Gradually beat in the powdered sugar.

The cake tasting went smashingly! Everyone enjoyed their cupcakes. Hopefully, I'll be baking for a wedding this August.

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