Healthy Vanilla Cupcakes
When I was a senior in high school, I attempted going vegan. I thought that anything vegan was automatically considered healthy, so I indulged in every animal-free product I found — chocolates, candies, cookies… and batches and batches of cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. Vegan can definitely mean healthy, if it’s done the right way…
I did not do veg the right way. Far from it.
I still have the cookbook on my shelf, however. I scan through it from time to time to look at the mouth-watering pictures and to get some baking inspiration. I have been trying to perfect my own Vanilla Cupcake recipe for a while now, but none of the batches I make are an exact replica of the unhealthy kinds you would find at a bakery — they are not fluffy enough, not flavorful enough, never rise enough, etc. So I turned to the cookbook for some help.
The recipe seemed easy enough, and I had all of the ingredients in my pantry. Because I know that vegan cupcakes does not mean healthy cupcakes, I adapted the recipe to make it more nutritious.
I lowered the oil content and used a mixture of applesauce and oil instead, I used erythritol instead of white sugar and brown rice flour instead of white rice flour. For personal reasons (aka allergies/sensitivities), I used almond milk instead of soymilk. The batter smelled delicious and the cupcakes rose perfectly in the oven. However, once the cupcakes cooled and I took a bite, I was a little let down. They crumbled so easily and kind of tasted like cornbread… I have no idea how or why.
But, these cupcakes were the closest thing to regular vanilla cupcakes I have come so far, especially compared to my own recipes! I decided to give the cupcakes one more shot, just with a few more adaptations. I used homemade vanilla paste instead of vanilla extract for more vanilla flavor, added butter extract and used almond flavor instead of almond extract. Because the cupcakes were super crumbly the first time around, I added some xanthan gum to the recipe.
I topped these cupcakes with Soyatoo’s Rice Whip and my homemade rainbow sprinkles!
Now it’s time for the nutrition label showdown! Here, I compare the nutrition labels of the Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World gluten free vanilla cupcake recipe and my healthified adaption of the recipe. The cookbook label is on the left, the DWB label is on the right:
Can you believe the difference? The DWB version has:
- 80 less calories
- 2g less fat
- 12g less carbs
- 1g more fiber
But it’s not all about the nutrition label, calories and grams of fat, it’s about the nutritional values of the ingredients used so that you can enjoy a dessert without feeling bad or guilty. This is a dessert with benefits!