Funnily enough, even though I own several vegan cookbooks and strive to eat more and more vegan every day, I don’t generally go out of my way to find vegan recipes for sweets and treats. I suppose that I don’t feel a need to support my healthy eating choices when it comes to goodies.  A treat is a treat, vegan or not.  Admittedly there is a feeling that one little egg in a recipe that serves 12-16, while not vegan, is really not all that bad. I just don’t feel guilty about including 1/12 of an egg in my diet once a blue moon or two.  Or maybe it’s the fear that I will find it much easier to justify eating more than my fair share if  its vegan than if I know the treat is the full fat variety. Misguided reliance on self-control I think?

I’ve accidentally come across recipes that do not include eggs or butter, sometime they will include milk or yogurt, which I have substituted for soy or a nut milk and I’ve always been happy with the results.  But I have not felt a need to take my baking any further.   But recently I read Freston’s “Veganist” and this book has pushed me to decide that I will earnestly try vegan baking.  So I’ve enlisted the help of “Vegan with a Vengeance” by Isa  Chandra Moskowitz and chose her Lemon Gem Cupcakes for my first experiment.

The batter was easy enough, and it is refreshing to bake with the kids and not worry about them sticking their fingers in and licking.

I was a bit skeptical about the frosting.  For a minute I contemplated using real dairy butter.  I had a tub of Earth Balance in the fridge, or rather I thought I had a tub of Earth Balance in the fridge.  Turns out, it was gone.  (Did my husband use it not realizing it was vegan?)  Alas, I couldn’t bring myself to de-veganizing my vegan cupcake, so I took a reluctant run to the store.  Happily and surprisingly, not only did I find Earth Balance, but several others which were totally vegan.  I decided on Vegan Becel, which I had not tried before. Its soft right out of the fridge (whereas Earth Balance is hard when cold) and I was upset to find that it did not blend will with the liquids initially.  But once I got all the icing sugar added, it smoothed out nicely.

(pictures courtesy of my 6 yr old…. )

I sweet and lemony frosting, that spread just perfectly on top.

I realized that I had the wrong size muffin / cupcake paper liners.  These are medium and I should have used large-sized.  I got 18 medium cupcakes from a recipe that should have made only 12.

As well, presentation would have been much umm…neater…  had I been able to put less filling into each cup.  I got greedy and tried to use up as much of the batter as I could.   If the liners were extending beyond the cupcake a bit, the icing would have sat nicely on top without running all over. End result…..

My fans were happy too!