Cupcake with a cherry without eggs

Written by

Yaman Agarwal

| Mumbai |

Updated: February 29, 2016 5:16 pm Pillowy soft and moist red velvet cupcakes that don’t need an oven to cook. (Source: Cookingshooking)

Velvet-soft, fluffy sponge cake with a hint of vanilla, topped with a slightly tangy cream cheese frosting. What’s not to love about a red velvet cupcake? The flavour and the colour are a riot with the kids, and if you’re baking them with the humble pressure cooker, you’re sure to win some cupcake points.

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
(Serves 8)

Ingredients 1 cup – Flour/Maida

1/2 tbsp – Cocoa powder
1/2 cup – Condensed milk
1/2 cup – Milk
2/3 cup – Cream cheese
2 tbsp – Oil
2 tbsp – Butter
1/4 cup – Sugar
1 tsp – Vinegar
1/2 tsp – Red food colour
1 tsp – Baking powder
1/2 tsp – Baking soda
1 tsp – Vanilla essence
1 1/2 cups – Salt (for baking)

For the cream cheese frosting
1/4 cup – Unsalted butter
1 tsp – Vanilla essence
1 1/2 cups – Powdered sugar (sifted twice, after measuring)

Method

For the cupcakes
* To make the batter, start by adding the oil and butter to a mixing bowl, then add the sugar and whip it. Then pour in the condensed milk, and whip it for 1-2 minutes. Add the vinegar, vanilla essence and 1/4 cup of milk. Mix well.
* Sieve the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa powder over this and mix. Then mix the red food colour with the rest 1/4th-cup milk and add this to the batter. (If you’d like a deeper or lighter colour, feel free to tweak it to taste. In my case, it was raspberry red, I added a couple drops of lemon yellow food colour to balance the red colour.)
* Line cupcake tins with paper cup moulds. Divide the batter into eight cupcakes.
* Preheat a cooker in low-medium flame for 10 minutes, with 1 1/2 cups of salt, a wire rack and a perforated plate.
* Place the cupcakes in the cooker (in mine, I could place four), close and bake for 15 minutes in low-medium flame. Check after 15 minutes with a toothpick, if it comes out clean it’s ready, if not, bake for 2-3 minutes more.
* Take the cupcakes out and let them cool.
* You can bake the rest cupcakes in similar batches.

For the frosting
* In a bowl, add the cream cheese and butter, and beat it for around a minute.
* Add the vanilla essence and one-third of the powdered sugar and whip till incorporated. Then add another one-third and whip, and finally the remaining portion. Whip the frosting for 2-3 minutes more. The cream cheese frosting is ready.
* Pour the frosting into a piping bag and pipe the frosting in the cupcakes. Sprinkle with confectionery or cake crumbs. Enjoy!

Notes
This recipe makes eight cupcakes. But you can sneak in and get 1-1.5 tbsp of batter from around the bowl and bake it in tartlet mould lined with a mini-sized mould with the normal-sized cupcakes. After all the cupcakes cool down, you can use that mini cupcake to make crumbs that can be used as topping on the cheese frosting.

You can watch the recipe and methodology here as well.

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Whether you’re taking part in Veganuary, want to make a batch of tasty vegan cupcakes for a vegan friend or relative, or are simply intrigued by egg free and vegan cake recipes, then these easy to make vegan cupcakes, flavoured with the classic combination of chocolate and cherry, are a must try.  They are super light and moist, and are topped with a vegan chocolate ganache and a fresh cherry!

Being quite a traditional home baker eggs feature regularly in my bakes.  Whether its a simple Victoria sponge, fun cupcakes, a pastry bake or even a meringue, it’s rare for eggs not to feature in my ingredient list.

Although Mr E & I have been vegetarian for more years than we care to remember, we seldom try out vegan recipes.  It’s relatively straightforward to replace butter, milk and cream in a recipe – but eggs are a different matter.  Imagine baking a Victoria Sponge or attempting a genoise cake without eggs!  As a traditional baker the thought leaves me in a bit of a spin to be honest!

Back in November, regular readers of Only Crumbs Remain may recall our

Pear Chocolate and Spice Cake

My second foray in the world of vegan cakes was an utter disaster and went straight in the bin, after I’d nibbled a little of it!  I’d attempted a light and moist Swiss Carrot Cake, replacing the separated eggs with apple sauce and whipped up aquafaba.  It looked great going into the oven but during the bake the whole thing collapsed.  The egg replacement clearly wasn’t robust or strong enough for the recipe.

         

Why eggs are used in baking

So in trying to understand why my previous vegan bakes had failed, it may be useful to look at the purpose of eggs in baking.  As we know, eggs, once whipped, help to create volume and lightness in a bake (think of meringues and souffles in particular).  However they also permanently bind together once heated (think of an omlette), helping to firm up the structure of the bake.   

With the help of James Morton’s ‘How Baking Works‘, here’s the science bit…..

  • Eggs are able to froth up and increase in volume due to the high protein content of the egg white.  These proteins are called albumins, and when looked at under a microscope they are curled.   The whisking encourages the albumins to uncurl and stretch out, it also introduces air into the egg.  This allows the albumins to turn into small bubbles which in turn gives cakes and meringues their lightness.
  • Heat also allows the proteins to unfurl, allowing the batter mixture of a cake to rise and ‘leaven’.
  • The proteins are more intact in fresher egg whites rather than those which are a little older, and so explains why recipes call for very fresh eggs to be used when making meringues and macarons, for instance.
  • Egg yolks contain a protein called Lecithin.  James Morton explains that this is a two-sided chemical structure.  It allows one side to bind to fats whilst the other side binds to water.  This has the effect of allowing mixtures to bind together, allowing them to be moist.  He explains that cakes made without egg yolks and solely with egg whites have a tendency to be dry.         

Vegan Egg Replacers

Having carried out some reading around vegan egg replacers, in the hope that my third attempt at an egg free cake or cupcake would be successful, I learnt that there is a whole host of substitute ingredients available.  I was already aware that aquafaba (the usually thrown away liquid surrounding tinned legumes, particularly chickpeas) is a great for vegan meringues and

macarons

, but my reading opened my eyes to the idea of using ingredients like banana, apple sauce, oils, white wine vinegar, baking powder and ground chia and flaxseeds in place of the humble egg.

The trick, however, is to know which egg replacer to use for your chosen bake.  Below are links to other sites which explain this simply and clearly and may be useful if you too are new to vegan baking.

  • Food 52, in their post entitled How to make your own egg replacers, explains which vegan egg substitute to use for which type of bake.  For instance, if you’re planning on making brownies or a custardy bake, Food 52 suggests using silken tofu.
  • The Huggington Post shared, The best vegan egg replacement for baking.  It’s basically a comparative bake post, similar to my Side-by-Side posts, in which the author whipped up 4 different batches of blueberry & lemon muffins.  Each batch was made with a different egg replacer (chickpea, banana, flaxseed, acid base).   
  • A useful infograph of various egg alternatives can be found in this post entitled 12 egg replacements for baking and cooking.      

 

Ground Flaxseed as an Egg Replacer

Wanting to make a some sort of vegan chocolate muffin or cupcake, the vegan egg replacer I selected was Flaxseeds.

Whole Flaxseeds Vs Ground  Flaxseeds

Now, just about every site I’ve visited regarding egg free baking advise to purchase the whole seed (this applies to chia seeds as well as flaxseeds) rather than the pre-ground seeds as the naturally occurring omega 3s in the product can soon become rancid and spoil.  Food 52 (linked to above) also suggests that better results will be achieved when grinding the seeds as required.  However, having already failed dismally at grinding chia seeds with a pestle and mortar it seemed fairly obvious that I’d have the same lack of success with the flaxseeds, and so purchased a packet of pre-ground flaxseeds for our vegan cupcake recipe.    As it turns out my blogging pal Nico, who is a vegan and writes at YumSome, recently shared her thoughts on ground flaxseeds in her recipe for a vegan self-saucing chocolate pudding (check it out, it looks seriously delicious!)  She explains that her packet of ground flaxseeds are 11 months old and have lost non of their ‘gloop’ making properties having been stored in the fridge!     

The point I’m trying to make here is this: if you have a suitable kitchen gadget to enable you to grind the seeds then, of course, buy the whole seeds and prepare them as required.  However,  if you want to try an egg free bake but don’t have a suitable gadget to grind the seeds don’t be put off from using the pre-ground products.  Of course, the remainder of the ground seeds could be sprinkled over your porridge or cereal in a morning or even used in another egg free bake.

How to Grind Flaxseeds

Making an Egg Replacer with Flaxseeds

As with chia seeds, simply use 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseeds mixed with 3 tablespoons of warm water for every egg to be replaced.  Once mixed with the warm water the mixture gradually turn gloopy and after about 10 minutes is ready to be used in your recipe.      

Vegan Chocolate and Cherry Cupcakes.

And so, finally onto our egg free and vegan bake.  Wondering if the flaxseeds would perhaps colour the sponge, we decided to make a batch of Chocolate and Cherry Cupcakes.  Chocolate and Cherry is such a classic combination which is simply delicious.  After all, the Black Forrest Gateau has recently undergone a resurgence of popularity for very good reasons.

These vegan cupcakes (adapted from this

chocolate cake recipe

) are amazingly easy to make.  There is no creaming or folding as you would with a traditional bake, like a Victoria sponge or genoise cake.  In fact they’re made in much the same way as a muffin recipe.  The dry ingredients are sifted into a bowl and the wet ingredients are added before everything is beaten together.  It’s really that simple.

The chocolate cupcakes rose beautifully during the bake and, although they sank slightly after coming out of the oven, the sponge was beautifully light and moist.   I had planned on filling these egg free Chocolate and Cherry Cupcakes with a hidden pocket of cherry jam, but the cake sponge itself was beautiful as it was and really didn’t warrant any further moisture being added to the bake.

So if you’re taking part in Veganuary, want to make a batch of delicious vegan cupcakes for a vegan friend or relative, or are simply intrigued by egg free and vegan cake recipes, then these easy to make vegan cupcakes, flavoured with the classic combination of chocolate and cherry, are a must try.  They are super light and moist, and are topped with a vegan chocolate ganache and a fresh cherry!

So, let’s get to it and make Vegan Chocolate & Cherry Cupcakes

print recipe

Vegan Chocolate & Cherry Cupcakes

by Only Crumbs Remain     January-10-2017

Flavoured with the classic combination of chocolate and cherry, these vegan cupcakes are super light and moist.  They are topped with a vegan chocolate ganache and a fresh cherry!

Details

Hands on time: about 20 mins Cook time: 18-20 mins    Yield: 10 Cupcakes

Specific Equipment     Muffin Sized Paper Cases

    12 hole Muffin Baking Tray

Ingredients

For the Sponge Batter

  • 120g White Caster Sugar
  • 60g Light Muscovado Sugar
  • 120g Plain Flour
  • 35g Cocoa Powder
  • 1 tsp (rounded) Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
  • Pinch Salt
  • 2 tbsp ground Flaxseeds
  • 75ml Vegetable Oil
  • 3/4 tsp Tamarind Paste (optional, see note ‘a’ below for alternatives)
  • 170ml Water

For the Chocolate Ganache

  • 90ml Single Soya Cream (or your preferred vegan cream substitute)
  • 100g Vegan Milk or Dark Chocolate

To Decorate

  • 10 Fresh Cherries (washed)

    Method

    1. Prepare the vegan egg replacer.  Place the ground flax seed into a bowl and add 6 tablespoons of warm water.  Stir.  Set aside for 10 minutes until it’s turned gloopy.2. Preheat the oven to 180c / 170 fan / gas mark 4. 3. Make the batter. Sieve the dry ingredients into a good sized mixing bowl.  Add the flaxseed egg replacer mixture, vegetable oil and tamarind paste (if using).  Beat together with either a wooden spoon or hand held electric beaters.  Add the water and beat again until smooth.4. Divide between the muffin cases. Place the muffin cases into the hollows of a muffin tray.  Divide the mixture equally between the 10 paper cases.  Each paper case will be between half to two-thirds full.5. Bake.  Place the muffin tray into the centre of the oven and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centre of the cakes comes out clean.  You may need to rotate the tray after 15 minutes of baking.  Once baked, remove the tray from the oven and place onto a cooling tray. 6. Make the vegan chocolate ganache.  Break the chocolate up into small pieces and place into a dessert bowl (or similar). Pour the vegan cream alternative into a small pan.  Set over a low heat.  Allow the cream to heat through.  Once on the cusp of simmering pour the cream over the chocolate.  Stir thoroughly until the chocolate has completely melted and the ganache is rich and shiny in appearance.  Set aside to cool.  You may need to place it in the fridge for about 30 minutes to allow it to thicken up a little.7. Assemble. With a dessert spoon, divide the ganache mixture over the top of each cooled cupcake.  Use the back of the spoon to spread the ganache to the edge of the cupcake.  Top with a cherry. 8. Enjoy!

    Notes:a)  The tamarind paste could be replaced with 1 tsp of vanilla extract or  1 tsp of expresso powder.  b)  Consider using a cocktail stick to hold the cherry insitu, however do remember to tell your guests of the cocktail stick and of course the cherry stone!  

    Pin Vegan Chocolate & Cherry Cupcakes for later!

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    A customized print-friendly version of this recipe is available by clicking the “Print Recipe” button on this page.

    These soft, moist cupcakes have delightful cherry flavor, both in the cake, and in their pretty pink frosting.

    Instructions

    1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 12-cup muffin pan, or line with papers.
    2. Using a food processor or blender, finely chop the dried cherries with 1/4 cup of the sugar.
    3. Beat the butter and remaining sugar until the mixture lightens in color and texture, about 90 seconds.
    4. Add the oil, and beat until the mixture is light, around 60 seconds.
    5. Beat in the sugar/cherries, cake enhancer, salt, baking powder, baking soda, almond extract, and cherry juice concentrate.
    6. Beat in the eggs one at a time, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl after each addition.
    7. Gently beat in the flour, alternating it with the milk.
    8. Divide the batter among the cups. Bake for 16 to 18 minutes, until cupcakes are very light brown and test done with a cake tester.
    9. Remove the cupcakes from the oven and after 5 minutes, transfer them to a rack to cool completely.
    10. To make the frosting, make our Quick Buttercream Frosting, substituting 2 tablespoons cherry juice concentrate for 2 tablespoons of the milk. Frost cupcakes when they’re completely cool.
    11. Yield: 12 cupcakes.

    www.kingarthurflour.com

    Chocolate cupcakes made with Coca-Cola, filled with cherries, topped with a Coca-Cola glaze, whipped cream frosting and cherry on top!

    Nothing says fun quite like turning one of your favorite drinks into cupcakes. In the past, I’ve introduced you to Limoncello Cupcakes and Margarita Cupcakes; this time I left the alcohol behind and created a cupcake tribute to one of my favorite bubbly drinks as a kid.

    My parents didn’t routinely keep sweets or pop in the house while we were growing up, so we really only got them when it was a special occasion (birthday party/sleepover) or we were eating away from home. I always remember getting a Cherry Coke when we’d find ourselves at Eat n’ Park grabbing dinner. I don’t know why I associate my Cherry Coke consumption with that particular restaurant, but I don’t remember having it anywhere else. Needless to say, when I saw this rendition of a childhood favorite in cupcake form I knew they needed to grace my kitchen.

    This recipe begins with a chocolate-cola cake, is filled with cherry pie filling, topped with a sugar-cola glaze, then finally topped off with my favorite whipped cream frosting for cupcakes, and a maraschino cherry, of course. What’s a float without some whipped cream and a cherry?! Although there are multiple components, these cupcakes come together relatively quickly.

    MY OTHER RECIPES

    The combination of chocolate, the faint Coke flavor, the cherry filling, and the whipped cream on top is a sensational combination of flavors and textures.

    These would be a fun cupcake option for someone who is a fan of black forest cake. Although it’s not traditional, it’s definitely a modern twist on the chocolate/cherry combination. I also think that these cupcakes would be great for summer picnics, much like the Root Beer Float Cake that I made many moons ago.

    If chocolate-covered cherries are your jam, or you love cherry-flavored cola, add these to your baking list ASAP!

    Three years ago: Strawberry Pimm’s Cup Cocktail
    Four years ago: S’mores Ice Cream

    Cherry Coke Float Cupcakes

    Yield: 12 cupcakes

    Prep:45 minutes

    Cook:18 minutes

    Total:1 hour 10 minutes

    Chocolate cupcakes made with Coca-Cola, filled with cherries, topped with a Coca-Cola glaze, a whipped cream frosting and cherry on top!

    Ingredients:

    For the Cupcakes:

    • 1½ cups (213 grams) all-purpose flour
    • 3 tablespoons natural unsweetened cocoa powder
    • ½ teaspoon baking soda
    • ¼ teaspoon salt
    • ¾ cup (149 grams) granulated sugar
    • ½ cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    • 1 egg
    • ½ cup (120 ml) buttermilk
    • ¾ cup (170 grams) Coca-Cola (don’t use diet)
    • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
    • 1 (21-ounce) can cherry pie filling

    For the Glaze:

    • ¾ cup (85 grams) powdered sugar
    • 2 tablespoons Coca-Cola

    For the Whipped Cream Frosting:

    • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
    • ½ cup (99 grams) granulated sugar
    • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
    • 2 cups (480 ml) heavy cream
    • Maraschino Cherries, for garnish

    Directions:

    1. Make the Cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a standard muffin pan with paper liners; set aside.
    2. Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl and set aside.
    3. In a mixing bowl, combine the sugar and butter and beat on medium-high until light and creamy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and beating for an additional minute. In a large mixing cup or small bowl, combine the buttermilk, Coke and vanilla extract. (Make sure you wait for the foam to go down when measuring the Coke and don’t worry if your mixture looks curdled when you add the buttermilk.)
    4. Beginning with the flour mixture, add in 4 parts to the butter mixture, alternating with three parts of the Coke mixture. Beat each addition just until incorporated. Give the final mixture a good mix with a rubber spatula to make sure it is thoroughly combined.
    5. Divide the batter evenly between the muffins cups. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the tops spring back when touched lightly and a toothpick inserted in the center cupcake comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes in the pan and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
    6. Fill the Cupcakes: Once cooled, use a paring knife to cut out a cone shape in the middle of each cupcake. Add a spoonful of cherry mixture (2 to 3 cherries) to the well.
    7. Glaze the Cupcakes: In a small bowl whisk together the powdered sugar and coke. Let sit 5 to 10 minutes to thicken. It should drip off of a soon very slowly. Using a small offset spatula, drizzle a little of the glaze onto the middle of each cupcake and then gently spread it over the top.
    8. Frost the Cupcakes: On medium speed, beat the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla extract in a mixer with the whisk attachment until smooth and completely combined, about 3 minutes. Slowly add the heavy cream, scrape the sides of the bowl, then increase speed to medium-high and whip until stiff peaks form. Pipe the whipped cream onto cupcakes as desired and top with maraschino cherries to garnish. Serve immediately, or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

    This recipe was originally published on January 25, 2012.

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