Yesterday I tried out a new (almost) vegan recipe for cupcakes. These S’mores cupcakes come to you from Pickles & Honey and they turned out pretty well. The cupcake itself wasn’t anything particularly earth-shattering, but combined with the graham cracker and marshmallow frosting, the flavor was strong and rich.
They were quite easy to make, following a fairly regular cupcake recipe. My official taste-tester (aka my husband) said they were a bit dry, and I would have to agree. For my next go around I think I would add a little more applesauce to give the cake a nice, moist, springy taste.
Although the cupcakes themselves need a bit of fine-tuning, the marshmallow frosting hit the mark. I essentially used this recipe from How Sweet it Is, and adjusted the amounts based on what I had around the house. I substituted regular butter for vegan butter (used a little less of it, too) and ended up using about a tablespoon of soy milk. I thought that the frosting would be overwhelmingly vanilla flavored, but the marshmallow and vanilla balanced each other out perfectly. This recipe is definitely one I can see myself using time and time again.
What I did think was really interesting about this whole Saturday baking adventure was the concept of vegan buttermilk. Now, buttermilk is something that I have always avoided because a) it looks and smells weird and b) there is no chance I can eat it. But after a little bit of research, I found out that buttermilk is really just a slightly more acidic form of milk. The acid reacts with the milk to help curdle the milk (I know, gross!) and thicken it. It makes sense then that by adding a tablespoon or so of apple cider vinegar/lime juice/lemon juice/other acidic liquid to a cup of non-dairy milk and giving the elements time to react, the end result would be buttermilk. I am excited to try out this chemistry-rich magic with other sweet treats (specifically pancakes!)
If you try out the recipe or adapt it for the dairy eaters in your life, let me know what you think.