This is a vegan adaptation of my mother’s basic cupcake recipe (affectionately known as ‘Mum’s Buns’ in our house). It is pretty much fool proof and doesn’t require any complex ingredients. This is a great recipe to make with the kids as it is quick and easy to do. The recipe works without the fruit if you want simple plain buns, or you can add cocoa powder and chocolate chips for a rich alternative – recipes coming soon!
This recipe uses flax or linseed in places of eggs, known as a ‘flax egg’. For one egg just mix 1 tbsp of milled flaxseed with 2.5-3 tbsp water, leave for 3-5 mins to thicken. It makes the cakes very light and delicate. You can also substitute a plain flavoured oil (60ml = 1 egg) or dairy free yogurt (60ml = 1 egg) or half a banana instead. This recipe uses the equivalent of two eggs.
The baking powder gives it lift. The trick is to add that right at the last minute, just before you get the cakes ready to go in the oven, as the raising agent starts to work as soon as it is mixed with the wet ingredients.
They are delicious on their own (most of them go in the first few minutes, right out of the oven while still warm!), but you can ice them with traditional buttercream icing as well if you want to make a special treat.
They take a little longer to cook than traditional cupcakes, and cooking times may vary slightly depending on your oven. Check them after 20 mins or so by gently pressing the top (it should spring back if cooked) or inserting a clean skewer (it will come out clean if they are cooked through).
- 225 g (8oz) self raising flour
- 115 g (4oz) caster sugar
- 115 g (4oz) vegan margarine
- 115 g (4oz) mixed berries or dried fruit such as cranberries, blueberries or sultanas
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp ground flaxseed (linseed) mixed with 5 tbsps water
- 180 ml dairy free milk
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 500 g icing sugar
- 50 g dairy free margarine
- 50 g vegetable cooking fat (e.g. Trex)
- handful mixed berries to decorate
- Pre-heat the oven to 200°c (180°c for fan assisted).
- Line a 12 hole muffin tin with cake cases. Mix the flaxseed with the water and leave to stand for 3-5 mins.
- Cream the margarine and sugar together for 2-3 mins until light and fluffy.
- Sieve the flour and gently fold into the marg and sugar mix, a little at a time.
- Add the milk and flax seed mixture, vanilla extract and the fruit and stir to combine.
- Add a little more milk if the mixture is too thick - it should be wet but not runny and drop easily off a spoon when tapped.
- Stir in the baking powder, then spoon the mixture into the cases straight away, filling them about 2/3 full.
- Bake in the centre of the oven for 20-25 mins until risen and golden brown and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. They should be slightly springy to the touch. Allow to cool on a wire rack.
The buttercream icing
- Mix the icing sugar, margarine and vegetable fat together until they form a smooth paste.
- It will seem very dry at first, but this will keep it firm enough to pipe. If it is too dry to work with, add a tiny drop of water, just enough to make it smooth, but not wet.
- Pipe or spoon the icing on top of the cakes once completely cool. Decorate with fresh berries.