This is your new go-to, foolproof vanilla cupcake recipe for when birthdays swing around the corner.
These cupcakes are light, sweet, moist, and heap of vanilla give them the most iconic birthday cake taste. Top with pink frosting and colourful sprinkles and you’re set with a classic that won’t displease anyone.
To make these cupcakes you will need: (Makes 12)
1 ¾ cup all purpose flour 1 cup cane sugar 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 cup unsweetened almond or soy milk ¼ cup coconut oil ¼ cup vegan butter 1 tablespoon vanilla extract 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Start by beating the butter, oil, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add in the milk and slowly mix until combined. Add in the flour, baking soda and powder and stop mixing as soon as there are no lumps on a medium speed, if using a mixer. Finally, add in the vinegar and immediately fill your cupcake liners. Evenly distribute between 12 liners, you can also make up to 15 if you fill them just halfway, they rise quite a bit. Bake at 350 C for 18-22 minutes.
The cupcakes should be golden, not browned. The surface should be springy to the touch, if it doesn’t spring back and leaves an indent they are not ready. You can also insert a toothpick in the centre and ensure it comes out clean.
As you can see, these cupcakes are light sweet clouds. They are very fluffy and not heavy, so they make a perfect individual serving. A more fun, and personal treat as opposed to a slice of cake.
To make the frosting, you’ll need:
1 cup vegan butter ¼ cup vegetable shortening 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 4-5 cups icing sugar 2-3 tablespoons almond or soy milk pink food coloring
Whip the butter and shortening until fluffy and glossy. You want to incorporate as much air as possible to ensure a fluffy frosting. Add in the icing sugar 1 cup at a time until you reach the desired sweetness and texture. If your frosting becomes too stiff, loosen it with a couple tablespoons of milk. This makes more icing than needed, but can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. You’re bound to have a birthday within that time! You can also half it.
Make sure the cupcakes are completely cool before icing. Store them in an airtight container in the fridge and pull put 1 hour before serving to come to room temperature. Don’t forget the sprinkles, otherwise you’ve basically wasted all your time making these cupcakes and you’re an awful friend.
Hens in the egg industry are painfully debeaked shortly after birth, lay about 300 eggs per year instead of their natural 20, and are considered ‘spent’ and thus killed by the time they are 1.5-2 years old. Male chicks are often ground up alive or suffocated shortly after hatching.
This industry is unnatural and–with so many alternatives–unnecessary.
I’ve always been a big lover of tea, but especially recently I’ve been obsessed with Earl Grey. I often find myself getting a nice London Fog instead of a coffee. These cupcakes were only bound to happen. I was struggling to find what to bake for a Christmas party when these suddenly popped into my head.
They were a little bit tricky to nail! I knew that to make these I was going to start out with a vanilla base recipe then add the tea, but HOW is the question. I started out by steeping some extra strong tea and allowing it to cool. I then added some of it to vanilla batter but it then became too runny, so I added a little bit more flour but then the mixture became to glutinous and the flavour wasn’t very strong. They ended up baking okay, they achieved nice domes and the texture wasn’t awful, it was just too dense for my liking and it tasted a little bland. Instead of steeping the tea, I decided to just add the leaves directly into the batter. I used my vanilla cupcake recipe and emptied 4 teabags into the mixture. Once the batter was mixed I was concerned with how they’d come out because I didn’t taste a strong earl grey flavour but the batter consistency was right so I stuck them in anyway. 10 minutes into baking, the most wonderful tea aroma filled my house and I immediately knew they were going to work. The tea just needed some heat to activate the flavour and they turned out so good. I served them at my Christmas party and everyone raved about them. Whenever I bake something, my plan is to make it “not taste vegan”, and these were just that. I also made a vegan cream cheese frosting and infused with with more tea and lavender.
The texture on these is amazing. I used my go to vanilla cupcake recipe and the flavour of the earl grey tea just sank so well into them. They are light, fluffy, and moist. Heres what you’ll need to make them:
CUPCAKES: (makes 12)
1 ¾ cup all purpose flour 1 cup cane sugar 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 cup unsweetened almond milk ½ cup coconut oil 1 tablespoon vanilla extract 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar 4 Earl Grey tea bags Mix the sugar, almond milk, coconut oil, vanilla, tea and vinegar together until smooth. Then add the flour, baking powder and baking soda and mix until just combined. Bake at 350 C for minutes and you’re set!
¾ tub vegan butter (Earth Balance) ½ tub Daiya cream cheese 2 tsp vanilla 4 cups icing sugar Strong brewed tea infused with lavender petals Whip the butter and cream cheese together until fluffy and well combined. Then add the icing sugar 1 cup at a time until the frosting is fluffy and smooth. Then add your vanilla and tea to taste. This will make enough frosting for 12 cupcakes if you pipe a swirl on them like in the picture, but you can half the recipe if you want to spread them on. I sprinkled mine with some dried lavender, but get creative!
Mother’s Day was a bitch. At least it was for the Lynch Brothers and, by extension, Adam Parrish. Crammed into their usual pew, Declan, Matthew, and Ronan sat with bent heads as the priest delivered the special homily recognizing and honoring all the mothers, and especially the Holy Virgin Mary for bringing our Lord and Savior into the world to save us all. Ronan dug his fingernails into his wrist and focused on that instead of crying. Matthew was sniffling. Declan had a hard, removed look in his eyes. Aurora Lynch had passed less than a month ago.
Adam sat on the steps outside of the St. Agnes apartment, listening to the drone of the pipe organ and waiting for Ronan to emerge. He had not seen or spoken with his mother in months.
Blue Sargent was currently deep into the 300 Fox Way Mother’s Day Madness. It was a day when all the childbearing women of the household were given free reign to order about their offspring. Typically this meant asking for extravagant breakfasts, massages, and calling out a never-ending chorus of “fix me another drink, will you?” Blue and Orla were grimly making mojitos in the kitchen, the fresh mint giving Blue all sorts of flashbacks to time spent with Gansey. Orla was quickly getting frustrated with her lack of attention.
Gansey had declined to visit DC for the usual champagne brunch at his family’s home. His mother was, of course, deep into her political campaign and she had been most disappointed when Gansey couldn’t come, especially because it would mean he that was missing her fundraising gala. Helen had called numerous times to berate him but Gansey had only replied that he could not leave Ronan alone.
Ronan was not alone, even if Gansey had left, he wouldn’t have been alone. He had Adam now, as well as Declan and Matthew. It was shocking and wonderful to spend time with Declan and enjoy it. But the reunion with Declan reminded Ronan of one awful truth: Declan had never been reunited with their mother. All those trips to Cabeswater—bringing Matthew along but excluding Declan—Ronan didn’t think he would ever forgive himself.
Henry Cheng was spending the day with his mother and he rather wished that he was not. His mother was…complicated. What did one do when the person who birthed them and raised them went through a radical transformation and became a Power? Henry spent the morning at his mother’s side, entertaining himself with RoboBee while she did the things that she did. Lots of phone calls were involved and meeting with intense looking men in suits, including former hitman, Mr. Gray.
After the morning service at St. Agnes was over Ronan fetched Adam and the two of them went back to the Barns. Matthew and Declan joined them. Later, Gansey arrived with Blue and Henry. Ronan had stripped out of his Sunday suit and was sprawled on the lawn in his usual attire of shredded jeans and black muscle tee. Adam was lying on the grass next to him and he was helping Opal make crowns out of daisies and clover and Queen Anne’s lace. Chainsaw stalked around the trio, making her usual raven commentary that only Opal and Ronan could decipher. Declan was grilling and Matthew stood at his elbow, chattering away and holding whatever Declan told him to. The scene was remarkably similar to Ronan’s eighteenth birthday party except that they all looked tired and sad.
Blue settled down next to Ronan and showed him how to blow on a blade of grass to make it whistle. Ronan, being the musician of the bunch, mastered the skill and before long he and Blue and Opal were composing grass symphonies. Adam contented himself with chewing on a long stem of grass and applauding. Henry and Gansey gravitated to the grill. Gansey quizzed Declan about his apartment and the dream business. Henry, whose mother was tied to the trade of dream objects, supplied his insights. Matthew got bored and ran over to play with Opal; they had ganged up on Ronan and before long the three of them descended into a loud, tangled mess of limbs.
Adam watched with a fond smile, silently wondering at these strange dream creatures. He wondered most of all about Ronan, who had given life to both Opal and Matthew, becoming, in a sense, mother and father and brother to them. He had also given life to a host of dream animals and the recently departed Cabeswater (Adam felt a pang remembering the spectacular forest). With a deep, heartfelt sigh Adam decided that Ronan was probably one of the few people alive to know, on some level, what it was like to be a god. Gods made something from nothing, populating the world with their creations. With all of his imagination and power and his ability bring forth the perfect partner (rather like Niall had done with Aurora), Adam was again overcome with the knowledge that Ronan had chosen him. He was dating a god…
Declan interrupted the wrestling match to announce that lunch was ready. Everyone gathered around the picnic blankets. There were hotdogs and hamburgers with the fixings, potato salad, chips, slaw, baked beans, deviled eggs, fruit, cupcakes, tea, and a pitcher of mint mojitos that Blue had smuggled out of the house. The food came from the grocery store deli but the cooks there were good, getting the down home food just right. Everyone loaded up their plates and dug in. Opal was soon a mess and Ronan fussed at her and tried to clean her face off but she kept batting his hands away. Ronan gave up with a frustrated huff and Blue laughed, asking if he was finding child rearing to be difficult. Ronan smirked and tousled Opal’s hair, “You have no idea.”
After their bellies were full it was time for remembrances. Declan started. He talked about Aurora, getting choked up as he told about how she always knew when he was having a bad day, how she would find a way to make him smile. Ronan did not talk and Matthew cried. Adam said that Aurora had shown him what a mother should be and that he had loved every moment he had spent with her. Blue and Gansey chimed in with their memories of golden Aurora visiting with them beneath the boughs of Cabeswater.
They did not speak of the mothers who were still living, though they did raise a glass in honor of mothers in general. At some point Henry made the comment about Gansey deserving recognition for mothering them all through their years at Aglionby. Adam asked if Gansey wasn’t more of a father figure and Ronan answered, gruffly, that he was both. “He nags like a mother but then he gets all authoritarian like a father.” Gansey looked affronted but Blue agreed, teasing him for his dad jokes and dad fashion choices. It was decided that Gansey could be an honorary mother and Opal solemnly placed the flower crown she made on his head.
The day drew to a close and they went their separate ways: Blue returned to 300 Fox Way, Adam to St. Agnes, Henry to Aglionby, and Gansey to Monmouth. Declan and Matthew stayed with Ronan at the Barns. The brothers sat on the front porch and watched the sun set behind the trees. Opal raced around the lawn, chasing fireflies and shrieking in the language of the trees. Ronan found it ironic that Opal, originally named Orphan Girl, had since gained an unlikely family while he and his brothers had become the true orphans. They were all the family they had in this world.
Matthew nodded off and Declan woke him and sent him inside to sleep. Before Declan retired for the night he placed his hand on Ronan’s shoulder and squeezed. “Mom would be proud of you,” he murmured. “Dad, too. You’re a hell of a guy, Ronan, and I’m so damn lucky that you’re my brother.”
Ronan sat on the steps until it grew uncomfortably cool. Opal was curled up next to him, her head in his lap. He watched as the lightning bugs settled down and the deer crept out of the woods. It seemed impossible that the world kept going now that Niall and Aurora were gone. He felt a twinge in his heart and recalled the ghost of a boy who had been his friend. Gone but not forgotten. Ronan sighed deeply and picked up Opal, cradling her to his chest as he went into the house. Ronan put Opal to bed, brushing the hair out of her eyes, and watched the dream girl sleep. So many things had changed, were still changing, but Ronan would not forget the loved ones who had passed on. He scratched at the still itchy skin over his hipbone where the tattoo text spelled out remembered. As long as he and his brothers lived Aurora would not be forgotten.
He had her pinned. His arms were holding hers down, his knees by her side. She was breathing hard, he was smirking. Egg yolk was dripping on her face down from her hair. Flour made his hair turn white.
“I bet I can make you scream my name.”
“You really think so Huckleberry? I don’t think you’ve ever been able to make me scream.”
“There’s a first time for everything.” His right hand moved down to her side, gliding gently down her arm, giving her chills.
That’s when it happened.
5 minutes earlier.
“Lucas Friar if you don’t give me the eggs for these cupcakes I’m gonna scream.”
“Chill Maya, I’m just grabbing them out of the fridge.” He handed her the eggs.
“I don’t get how you can hold four eggs in one hand. I can hold two on a good day,” she said while cracking them into the bowl.
“You know what they say about big hands…”
“Huckleberry I swear.”
“Big gloves.” He smirked and she gave him a dirty look .
“You’re the second biggest dork I know.”
“Only the second? I’m a little bit offended.” He chimed.
“Second to Riley.”
“Oh that’s gonna be hard to beat.” He was stirring the dry mix, while she continued beating the eggs. Suddenly, he lunged toward her, grabbing a handful of the egg mixture and putting it in Maya’s hair.
“Ooooohhh.” He loved it when she made that noise.
“Whatcha gonna do about it, cupcake?” She took a step towards him.
“I’m.” Step. “Going.” Step. “To.” She was only a few feet from him and right next to the dry ingredients mix. She took the bowl of ingredients and threw it on him. She was backing away when she slipped on egg yolk on the floor and landed on her butt. Lucas took this opportunity to pin her to the floor.
His fingers dug into her sides, and in the crook of her neck, the underside of her arms, and the back of the knees. He was tickling her like there was no tomorrow. And with the risk of him tickling her, there might not be.
“Lucas stop!” She screamed, and he stopped.
“I told you I could make you scream my name, next time maybe the circumstances will be different. He looked at her and winked. “Let’s clean this up.”