Friday, August 15, 2008

Carlee's Chocolate Cupcakes (Eggless)


Last night, we celebrated my niece's second birthday and I was in charge of dessert. Since this party was mostly to be attended by toddlers, I wanted something cute and pink for the birthday girl. However...

This little pretty is allergic to eggs so I had to go hunting for an eggless cupcake recipe (none of those in Baking!). Although I've made many cupcakes, I'd never made any without eggs. So, I asked my Dorie friends for suggestions and did a little research (I can't wait to try soy flour next time). This cute blog, MJay Knits, led me to a chocolate cupcake recipe that worked out great. It's even vegan (sans icing). Even though Carlee is still pretty little, I think cupcake culture imprints early- she was SO excited when I walked carrying a huge try of cupcakes! She kept yelling "Cake! Fire!" until we finally lit the candles.

I was pleasantly surprised by these cupcakes. They had the right amount of leavening and turned out great. I actually thought they tasted better the next day and they came out of the wrappers easier on day two. They're not going to be my go to recipe, but if I'm out of eggs and need something in a pinch, this fast, easy recipe works great. Dressed up with a nice icing, I don't think most people will notice the different type of cake.

I found the batter to be pretty runny so I added a tablespoon of cake flour. Next time, I'll be careful not to over-fill the muffin tins because those cupcakes poofed a little too much and stuck to the top of the pan. With my modifications, I'd say this recipe makes about 14 regular cupcakes, filled 2/3 full before baking. I used plain Hershey's cocoa powder but I think a little variation in that could really change the flavor of the recipe. Next time I'll try adding chocolate chips, too, just for kicks.

Carlee's Cupcakes (Eggless Chocolate Cupcakes)
adapted from Allrecipes

1 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon cake flour
1 cup white sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a regular muffin pan with 12 to 14 cupcake papers, or grease and flour the pan.

Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt together. Make a well in the center and add the water, oil, vinegar and vanilla. Beat until smooth and pour batter into the prepared pan.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 20-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.

Anne's Easy Chocolate Icing
(generously frosts a dozen)

2 tablespoons Neufchatel or cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon of milk

Cream butter and cream cheese in a stand mixer with the whisk attachment until light and smooth. Add the rest of the ingredients, cover mixer with a dish towel, and turn onto low until combined. Increase speed to high and whip frosting until smooth. Add 1/2 teaspoon of milk at a time until desired consistency. Spread of pipe onto cooled cupcakes and top with sprinkles.

For added stability, add 1 tablespoon of meringue powder with the powdered sugar (but not if the birthday girl is allergic to eggs!).

And just to keep it real... a real life photo of my "studio"- after three kinds of cupcakes, Dorie's vanilla bean ice cream, three icings, Ina's smoked salmon dip, a spur of the moment pantry reorganization, and Carlee's present waiting to be wrapped. At least the first picture looks glamorous. And at least the living room is clean, because I'll be honest, this kitchen took 2 hours to clean! I'm sure it's worth it, though. Store bought icing? Yuck!

10 comments:

1freshstart said...

Oh, I can't stand store bought icing. I have a friend here who looked at me one day and said, "What? It tastes the same." Uh. No. It doesn't. How sweet of you to make eggless cupcakes!
~Cat

Erin said...

Your cupcakes look so pretty! I love the frosting. That's so interesting about making eggless cupcakes- it's nice to know that they still taste pretty good!

Pamela said...

Your niece is a cutie! Hope she had a great birthday. I admire your honesty about the kitchen. It's not too pretty in mine either, once all of the goodies are made. I love baking, it's the cleaning up I can't stand! ;o)

James said...

Wow, those look amazing! Your photography is so clear. What are you using to take the pictures?

Steph said...

Your cupcakes look great! I've tried eggless cupcakes before for my cousin and they ended looking like rocks, all crinkly and shriveled.

By the way, your kitchen is not too messy considering all the baking and cooking.. you should see mine!

Homemade icing is always way tastier and definitely less chemically tasting and less sickly sweet. Your niece is so lucky!

Mary Ann said...

I love that you showed the "mess". I sometimes wonder what other people's kitchen's end up looking like after such party prep. What a great cupcake- it is so nice that you could find a great eggless recipe. I am so with you on the homemade icing thing. These look delicious!

Jenny said...

What pretty cupcakes and an adorable niece! I've never tried eggless cupcakes, they look great!! Love the photoshop pics, mine looks exactly the same...a mess!

Anne said...

Thanks everyone for saying hello! I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one with the dirty kitchen behind the photos.

James- I use a Nikon D50. I love it and was dying when it was in the shop getting cleaned a few weeks ago! :) It's so much fun trying out new things with it and in the kitchen, and connecting with people over our foodie interests!

Katrina said...

Great recipe for vegans and those allergic to eggs. Hope Carlee grows out of that one! Darn, she's cute!
I love seeing the messy kitchen, then I know I'm not the only one! Fun seeing your red mixer in the background!

James said...

Anne,

Thanks! I'll break out my Nikon CoolPix 995. It should take good enough pictures for the Foodgawker folks. They've been saying that my pictures are "not sharp enough" ... silly me, using my Nokia N95 8G to try to take art photos. Oops.