Vanilla Blackberry Cupcakes

I’m sure I’ve already raved about the cafe where I work–well it gets better, because the lovely managers have allowed me to bring my cupcakes into the cafe for sale in the last couple of weeks. I made carrot cupcakes last week and this week I came up with a vanilla blackberry recipe that everyone loved. We sold a few, but also ate some, so it’s hard to tell how many exactly we did sell. 

 (Excuse the not so good pictures, I was in a rush!)

Look out for more cafe-related goodness in the next What I Ate Wednesday, I’ll show you how delicious their food really is 🙂

Makes 12 cupcakes
200g self-raising flour, sifted
175g brown sugar
2 tbsps cornstarch
200ml soy milk (or almond, though I haven’t tried that yet)
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
30ml vegetable oil (preferably canola)
3 generous tsps vanilla extract
a pinch of salt
a pinch of baking soda and baking powder
For the icing:
50g blackberries, plus 12 to decorate
125g vegan margarine
350-375g confectioner’s sugar
a few drops of blue food colour (optional)

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC. Pour the milk and apple cider vinegar into a small jug or bowl and let it curdle for a few minutes. 
2. Sift the flour into a large bowl, then add the rest of the dry ingredients. Add the oil, vanilla extract and the curdled milk and combine everything with a spatula/spoon. Remember not to overmix, as they toughens up the batter and ruins the whole batch of cupcakes. 
3. Pour into lined cupcake tins and bake in the oven for 22-25 minutes. 
4. For the icing beat the vegan margarine and confectioner’s sugar with an electric mixer (or a fork if you’re building up muscle or whatever). Puree the blackberries very well and add to the icing, beating again until perfectly, totally, undeniably smooth. It may be easier to blend the blackberries first, but I haven’t tried this. Basically, you want to avoid leaving in any bits, however small, as they will clog up the nozzle of your icing bag. The blackberries will turn the icing dark pink, so you will need some blue food colour to make the icing purple. 
5. When the cupcakes have definitely cooled, ice and decorate them with a blackberry on each. 

Done 🙂 

I’ve been learning how to bake the perfect cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World; after many trials, I’m starting to understand what makes a good cupcake. I used to think the apple cider vinegar is overrated, and if you’re not baking to impress anyone, sure, you can do without it–but if you’re going for the show-stopper, do not omit it. It makes the cupcakes so much lighter and fluffier, creating the perfect texture. You could substitute apple sauce for the oil, I suppose, but I have yet to try that. The cornstarch gives the cupcakes a golden colour, but if you don’t have any in the kitchen, don’t sweat it. 

I find the perfect icing is 1 part vegan margarine, 3 parts sugar. As you can tell from the pictures, I didn’t have enough icing sugar when I made the icing, but the shops were closed, so I got some the next day and finished icing my cupcakes then (I made two batches, this was the first one). 

These little beauties will make you the queen/king of cupcakes amongst your friends and family. You don’t have to tell them it’s not your recipe. Let’s make it our little secret. 😉

— Clem

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