Dairy-Free Vanilla Cupcakes

I didn’t plan to post these cupcakes on the blog (hence the Instagram photo). But since several of you asked for the recipe after I posted this quick pic, and because they were a BIG hit at my girlfriend’s baby shower, I knew I had to share. These cupcakes are rather special in that they accommodated my friend’s three food allergies by being dairy free, nut free and olive oil free. Those are some difficult ingredients to bake without, let me tell you! And while we have some lovely cupcake shops in town, none could say with full conviction they could deliver “safe” cupcakes. So I scoured the Internet for cupcake recipes, and once I found one that looked close enough, I made a few additional substitutions…

Now, just in case you’re thinking cupcakes without dairy, nuts and olive oil must be more healthy than the regular old kind…I wouldn’t go that far. But they are pretty darn delicious–in fact several shower attendees ate more than one–and they have an almost-moist inner texture. The beauty of this recipe? You can make substitutions throughout (I’ve noted where), so it could even be gluten-free if you want, or it could just become a standard cupcake recipe. Give them a try, and let me know what you think!

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

2 cups all purpose flour (or substitute gluten-free flour)
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 eggs (or egg sub)
1 cup vanilla soy milk (or sub any type of milk – dairy, almond, coconut)
1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
3 tablespoons canola oil (or sub olive oil)
1/4 teaspoon lemon juice

Whisk together dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Add in the wet ingredients (starting with eggs), and beat with a hand mixer until smooth, about 2 minutes. Divide batter evenly into 12-lined muffin cups. Bake 22-25 minutes, or until tops are lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcakes comes out clean.

“Buttercream” Frosting

½ cup butter-flavored Crisco (or sub a butter substitute or regular butter at room temp)
4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tablespoon vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
Pinch of salt
Up to 1/4 cup water
Red food coloring

Using a hand mixer (or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment) mix together the Crisco, sugar, vanilla, salt. Slowly add in the water until consistency is thick, smooth, and spreadable. Add a single drop of red food coloring and mix to combine. The frosting should be very pale pink. Place frosting into a piping bag (or plastic baggie with a corner cut off and a piping tip inserted). Slowly, in circular motions, apply the frosting to the top of each cupcake. For presentation, I topped each cupcake with a fresh raspberry and using a sifter, added a light dusting of powdered sugar on top.

*Recipe adapted from Brunch at Saks

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  • Roberta Patterson

    So I just made these, and I do not see the temp at which they are to be baked…

  • Aimee Marble