And it was at this moment that I started snickering and called the husband into the kitchen to ask him what these looked like, and he took a cupcake and put it under his butt and made a farting noise and presented it to me and we both started cracking up and I named these cupcakes “non-dairy doodie cakes.” I thought it would be appropriate to leave the “doodie” out of the title of the post, at least.
I really do apologize for my immature crudity. My mind is in the gutter, but it’s not my fault! I blame my father. The man who bought me, as a gag gift, a plastic pile of poop, which I dutifully placed on the floor of my bathroom next to the toilet in order to horrify my house guests.
Wow, you actually clicked through? Then you must really want to know about these cupcakes, so I’ll just get right to it.
I recently acquired a cookbook called The Kosher Baker, which is chock-full of non-dairy dessert recipes. I figured it might come in handy. Kosher laws aside, there are so many people who are lactose intolerant or on temporary dairy-free diets or who are easing their way into veganism or God only knows what that I figure it’s good to have some non-dairy desserts in my recipe bank for when the occasion calls. Not eating dairy? Not a problem! I can still make you some killer cupcakes!
And then they’ll tell me that actually they’re allergic to gluten or they’re fine just having fruit for dessert, and that’s when I punch them.
So the first recipe I tried from this new book was Twinkie Cupcakes: vanilla cupcakes that are scooped and piped with a filling consisting of Tofutti, margarine, powdered sugar, and non-dairy whipping cream. I was very impressed. I thought they were delicious. And not only that, but I thought the idea of piping the frosting into the middle was ingenious and could be implemented in other cupcake recipes. It really provided the perfect amount of frosting with every bite, not to mention the pleasant surprise of biting into the cupcake and finding it filled.
But the non-dairy whipping cream was nearly impossible to find (available at kosher markets but not in normal grocery stores, at least not in mine), so I wanted to come up with a different filling with ingredients that were more widely available. I decided to do a chocolate frosting, made up of margarine, powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and soy milk, which I was using for the cupcakes anyway. The cake batter itself I didn’t mess with because I think it’s excellent. It’s moist and light and fluffy, and being non-dairy, what more can you ask of it?
The frosting wasn’t perfect, but it was very good. Maybe I’m not used to the taste of margarine or soy milk. Maybe there was a bit too much cocoa powder (I’ve adapted the recipe below to fix this problem), or maybe I was just being a crazy perfectionist. Everyone loved these (at least they said they did), and I continued to be impressed by how good they were despite their lack of butter. I encourage you, though, to experiment with alternative non-dairy frosting recipes and please let me know if you find a good one.
I made them, by the way, for Rosh Hashanah at the in-laws’, where I’ve spent the past week dispatching posts and cooking in their kitchen. My mother-in-law preferred that the desserts be dairy-free, or at least not obviously dairy (no one comprehends these details).
On that note, shana tova! Stay tuned for the other dessert I made, one that screams Rosh Hashanah (do keep it in mind for next year) but can certainly be made any time.
Non-Dairy Cupcakes, adapted from The Kosher Baker by Paula Shoyer; frosting adapted from About.com
For the cupcakes
- 1 large egg yolk
- 4 large egg whites
- 1 cup canola or vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup plain soy milk
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 1/4 cups flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/8 tsp cream of tartar
For the frosting
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) margarine or soy margarine, softened
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup plain soy milk
- 1/4 to 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place cupcake liners in 18 muffin cups.
- Separate the eggs, placing 1 egg yolk in a medium bowl (refrigerate the other 3 yolks for another use, like ice cream or custard) and the 4 egg whites into another medium bowl.
- Into the bowl with the egg yolk, add the oil, soy milk, sugar, flour, baking powder, and vanilla. Whisk by hand for 1 minute.
- With an electric mixer on high speed, beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar until stiff peaks form. Using a silicone spatula, fold half of the egg whites into the batter and, when almost mixed in, add the rest of the whites and mix until combined. Use a 1/3-cup measuring cup to scoop the batter into the 18 lined muffin cups. Bake for about 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, with just a few crumbs attached. Let cool completely.
- To make the frosting, cream together the powdered sugar and margarine. Add 1/4 cup of soy milk, 1/4 cup of cocoa powder, and vanilla, and mix. Taste, and add more cocoa powder (up to 1/2 cup more) and more soy milk only if the frosting is too thick. Set aside.
- When the cupcakes are cool, use a round 1/2-teaspoon measuring spoon or a small melon baller to scoop out a ball of cupcake from the top center of the cupcakes (don’t scoop all the way to the bottom). Save the insides and eat if you like.
- Fill a gallon-size plastic bag with the frosting and snip off one of the corners (or use a pastry bag). Pipe the frosting into the scooped-out holes, then add a circle of frosting about 1 1/2 inches wide to the top of the cupcakes.
Store in the refrigerator or at room temperature for up to 4 days.Print This Recipe