It’s that time of the year - we’re cozying up inside more, the atmosphere’s a little more festive, and there’s nothing quite like freshly baked goods from your own oven. You might have already started some quarantine baking earlier this year, but now’s the time to turn up the festive flavours!
In a past life, Head Chef Natalie was a big-time baker and even had a small home business making cakes and cupcakes for friends and family. This is one of her favourite recipes that she revisited this year and was delighted to find it tasted just the same veganized. Better yet, it required only buying the plant-based substitutions instead of a complete recipe overhaul
Vegan baking has made some big strides in the last couple years as more and more companies provide alternatives to dairy butters and milk. Eggs in baking are easily replaced with other binders like ground flaxseed, or omitted altogether. Natalie’s favourite store-bought baking alternatives are:
As it turns out, eggnog can actually be a hit-or-miss with many people! The great thing is the eggnog flavours are not overly prominent here, but can also be easily omitted by replacing the eggnog with soy milk/creamy oat milk, and taking out the rum extract and nutmeg.
This recipe is from Annie’s Eats, and just slightly modified and rewritten by Natalie. If you’re looking for a fancy, delicious and moist cupcake but simple to make, try this recipe!
2 ⅔ cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
¾ tsp ground nutmeg
2 cups plant-based eggnog
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
½ cup vegetable oil
1 ½ tsp rum extract (optional)
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 ¾ cups sugar
Preheat your oven to 350 F. Line your cupcake pans with 24 liners or grease each well with oil. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg. Whisk together to combine ingredients. Set aside.
Add eggnog and vinegar to a large bowl and stir a couple times to let it thicken. Add oil, rum and vanilla extracts and sugar into the eggnog mixture. Use an electric mixer to beat on medium speed until well combined, or use a whisk. Slowly add in the dry ingredients and mix on low speed, or mix well with your whisk. Do not over mix—only until dry ingredients are moistened.
Fill cupcake liners to approximately 2/3 full and bake for 20-22 minutes. Cupcakes are done when an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Transfer cupcakes after a few minutes onto a cooling rack to prevent them from baking in the trays. Wait until they are completely cool before adding frosting.
1 cup vegan butter, softened
3 cups icing sugar
½ tsp ground nutmeg
3-4 tbsp plant-based eggnog
1 tsp rum extract (optional)
Make sure your butter is softened by letting it sit at room temperature for 20-30 minutes (depending on the season). You should be able to make a dent with your finger fairly easily but if your thumb goes right through, it’s too soft!
Whip butter with an electric mixer until smooth and light, usually about 5 minutes. Scrape down the sides every couple minutes. Add icing sugar—slowly incorporate and beat on medium-high speed for another 2 minutes. I add in two cups at a time so as to not end up with a sugar snowstorm, and always start on low speed. Add nutmeg, 2 tbsp of eggnog and the rum extract; beat until well combined. Beat on high for 4-5 minutes for fluffy buttercream. If you’d like it creamier, slowly add in more eggnog 1 tbsp at a time, until the frosting reaches its desired consistency.
Fill a large piping bag fitted with an open star tip and pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes. For a “rose”, start from the centre and rotate in a spiral towards the outer edge. For a “mountain” of icing, start at the edge and pipe a spiral upwards AND towards the centre. A large freezer ziploc bag with the corner cut off works as well