Nicole MacPherson: Meatless Mummy Con Carne


Va-Va-Va-Voom Velvet Cupcakes Recipe


What makes red velvet cake red?

The answer, these days, is food colouring, although when the cake was originally created the colour came from a chemical reaction between vinegar and buttermilk, which allowed the red anthocyanin of the cocoa to show through. Nowadays most cocoa is Dutch-processed and more alkaline, and so the colour change from the chemical reaction is negligible, which explains the use of food colouring to enhance the cake’s appearance.

Everything you ever wanted to know about red velvet cupcakes, but were afraid to ask!

Here’s the thing, though: I’m not a big fan of food colouring, and less so red food colouring. I know I could use natural beetroot to tint the batter, and I do realize that red velvet cupcakes — naturally tinted or not — are not generally a major part of anyone’s diet but still I like to omit food colouring when I can. Do red velvet cupcakes need to be red to be delicious? Would a rose by any other name smell as sweet? I think we all know the answer to that. These cupcakes are not only delicious, they are vegan too — perfect for anyone avoiding dairy and eggs. Va-va-va-voom.


1 cup full-fat coconut milk
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 1/4 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup canola oil
1 tablespoon vanilla

  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add vinegar to coconut milk and allow to sit for 15 minutes.

  Sift together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.

  Whisk together vanilla and oil; add to coconut milk mixture.

  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, mix until combined. Do not overmix.

  Fill greased or papered cupcake tins 2/3 of the way full.

  Bake 8-10 minutes for mini-cupcakes, 18-20 minutes for standard cupcakes.

  Allow to cool and frost with velvet frosting.

Velvet frosting:

2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 1/2 cup icing sugar

  In a small saucepan, whisk together flour and coconut milk and cook on low-medium heat until thickened, about 3-4 minutes.

  Cool completely in refrigerator.

  Cream together coconut oil, vanilla, and icing sugar. Add thickened coconut milk and beat for 4-6 minutes until creamy and spreadable.

  Store frosted cupcakes in the refrigerator.

Yield: 48 mini-cupcakes or 24 standard cupcakes.

Nutritional Information based on 24 standard frosted cupcakes (approximate): Calories: 188, Total Carbohydrates: 22 grams, Fibre: 1 gram, Sugar: 16 grams, Protein: 1 gram, Fat: 10 grams

Adapted from Kitchen Grrrls