For the past year I worked at a healthy food cafe as a barista during the times I was not working on my own cake business/youtube channel, and as much as I’ve loved working there, being surrounded by great people, great food, and lovely lattes, I’ve decided it’s time to move on to new things and start a new chapter in my life. The healthy food cafe was revolved around being plant-based and having no refined sugars or grains, so I challenged myself to create a dessert with those values in mind. I ended up creating a vegan, healthy, turmeric spiced cupcake, that I think is preeettty good, especially because it is vegan and healthy.
Whenever I experiment with vegan baking I feel out of my element. I’m pretty hesitant and uncertain, but when it all works out I’m pretty happy with the results, and the reward is that much better. I based these cupcakes off of a turmeric latte we had, with turmeric, cinnamon, and black pepper. I completed these cupcakes with some coconut oil, almond milk, and chia seeds — things that are often used at the cafe. I find the biggest challenge in vegan baking is the texture, and the taste. Texture is hard to nail when you have to swap out the fats, milks, and rising agents (eggs), but there is always a way. I decided to use coconut oil, almond milk, and chia seeds to replace the eggs, but kept the light and fluffy texture by using baking soda and vinegar. I was also hesitant to use all-purpose flour, so instead I used some healthier alternatives such as rye flour and almond flour.
When it came time to think about the frosting, all the research that I did led me to vegan butter-based recipes, and I have never seen vegan butter in my life. So I decided to whip something up from scratch and hope for the best. I used a mixture of coconut oil and cocoa butter to create more of a neutral blend of fat (since each oil on their own can be quite overpowering), and then for flavour I added maple syrup as a sweetener, and lemon juice for the familiar tanginess when you eat cream cheese frosting. Let’s just say I’m super proud of this healthy vegan cream cheese frosting.
Anyways, in the end I was super happy with the cupcakes — it’s flavour really reminded me of carrot cake without the carrots, which really makes me want to make these again with shredded carrots. My coworkers all said they loved the cupcakes, and I am left with mixed emotions as I think about moving onto new things in life, as I always do.
Here is the recipe:
Healthy Vegan Turmeric Cupcakes
This makes 12 cupcakes
154g (1-1/2 cup) rye flour
66g (1/3 cup) almond flour
10g (2 tsp) baking soda
16g (2 tbsp) turmeric
5g (1 tbsp) cinnamon
1g (1 tsp) ground ginger
2g (1/2 tsp) salt
0.5g (1/4 tsp) black pepper
200g (1-1/4 cup) dates, pitted
100g (1/2 cup) water for the dates
293g (1-1/4 cup) almond milk
144g (2/3 cup) coconut oil
10g (2 tsp) vinegar
10g (2 tsp) vanilla
10g (2 tbsp) chia seeds
66g (6 tbsp) water for the chia seeds
- Make the date paste by placing the dates and water in a saucepan and bringing to a boil for 5 min or until the dates are tender. Blend the dates until smooth and set aside.
- In a small bowl, add the water for the chia seeds, and sprinkle the chia seeds in. Give it a little mix, and set aside to soak for 5-10 min.
- Line a 12 cavity muffin pan with cupcake liners, and preheat the oven to 350F/180C.
- Sift and whisk together all the dry ingredients; rye flour, almond flour, baking soda, spices, and salt, and set aside.
- In a separate small bowl, mix the date paste, almond milk, and coconut oil, vinegar, vanilla, and gellified chia seeds.
- Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk just until fully combined.
- Using a large ice cream scoop, scoop the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 17-20 min or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Let cool, top with a buttercream or icing of choice and enjoy!
Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting
50g (1/4 cup) cocoa butter
50g (1/4 cup) coconut oil
45g (3 tbsp) maple syrup
15g (1 tbsp) lemon juice
- Melt all ingredients in a medium heatproof bowl over a small saucepan of simmering water.
- Cool in the fridge until solidified (about 20-30 min).
- Using a hand mixer, whip the butters on low speed until pale and fluffy.