Bake Sale: Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

Hopefully you took part in Dining Out For Life yesterday, but if you didn’t, I have another “food for a good cause” opportunity for you. The Vegetarian Society of El Paso will host another vegan bake sale tomorrow (Saturday, April 30) from 11 am-2 pm. All of the proceeds from this bake sale will go to the Animal Rescue League of El Paso! The bake sale is also part of the third annual Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale event (April 23-May 1, 2011).

My heart was set on making pumpkin cupcakes this time (I had a can of pumpkin puree that I wanted to use).  I scoured my favorite sites, gave up, and tried the Google Recipes search feature. I found some beautifully delicious looking pumpkin spice cupcakes w/cream cheese frosting courtesy of Vegan Good Eats and Jodycakes of Houston. There’s even a step by step video! Unfortunately, I did not make the accompanying cream cheese frosting. Instead, I made a different version of VegNews’ Fluffy Coconut Frosting. These cupcakes turned out amazingingly moist and delicious! I took the test batch to work, and my coworkers loved them. They had no idea the cupcakes were vegan!

Notes: I subbed almond milk for soy milk (it was all I had). I did some research and found that soy milk works best for vegan buttermilk due to its protein content. I’m not sure if it made much of a difference. I used Earth Balance margarine, which can be found at Wal-mart and Sun Harvest, and Spectrum vegetable shortening, also at Sun Harvest.

Be sure to check out these sites:

Pumpkin Spice Vegan Cupcakes

¼ cup soy milk
1 tsp. vinegar, preferably apple cider
1 cup all purpose flour, preferably unbleached
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1/3 cup each vegan sugar and packed brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp each ginger, nutmeg, & salt
1/8 teaspoon cardamom (optional)
Dash of ground cloves
½ cup pumpkin puree
¼ cup unsweetened apple sauce
3 tbsp canola oil
2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350° and line 12 count muffin tin with cupcake papers.
In a measuring cup, combine milk & vinegar to create soy “buttermilk. Allow to sit and curdle while preparing all the other ingredients.

In a large mixing bowl, combine sugars and whisk until smooth. Sift together all additional dry ingredients, including the spices and salt into the sugars. Whisk to combine.

In small bowl, stir together pumpkin, applesauce, oil and vanilla.
Pour wet ingredients into dry, adding soy “buttermilk” last. Combine all ingredients until smooth and pour into the prepared pan, filling cups about halfway. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until the tops spring back to a light touch.

“Buttercream” Frosting
Makes 2 cups

¾ cup vegan shortening
¾ cup non-hydrogenated margarine
1½ cups powdered sugar
1 tbsp non-dairy milk
1 tsp almond extract

In an electric stand mixer or with a hand mixer, beat shortening until creamy. Add margarine and whip into shortening. Stop mixer, and scrape sides of bowl. With mixer on low, add powdered sugar. Once mixed in, stop the machine. Add non-dairy milk and almond extract, then mix. Scrape sides of bowl, and whip frosting on high for several minutes until fluffy.

Straight out of the oven. I didn't expect them to rise so much!