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A+ Red Velvet Cupcakes {Cook}

A few years ago, when I was a literacy coach at a high school, we had a ‘fun day’ on a Friday before a long weekend, and I made my students these cupcakes.  I don’t think you can even walk anything you made yourself through the front doors of a school these days, but somehow these got through, and they got a pretty great reception.  I was hoping they’d just be viewed as edible, as high school kids are difficult to impress with, well – anything, but they totally raved over them!  All day I had kids try to ‘hit me up’ for seconds and thirds all day long…along with suggestions that I should go on Cupcake Wars.  It was a really fun day with a lot of good laughs, and it was a good reminder that cupcakes are a great conversation starter, even with a bunch of teenagers…pretty much the toughest crowd out there.  Also – huge plus…these are vegan {for all my lactose-intolerant peeps…and also can be made gluten free!}

Krista Brackin Photography



1 cup soy milk

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour {option:  Gluten Free All-Purpose baking flour…make sure it has Xantham Gum}

1 cup granulated sugar

2 tablespoons cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup canola oil

2 tablespoons red food coloring

2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon almond extract


-Preheat oven 350 degrees F and line muffin pans with cupcake liners

-Whisk together soy milk and vinegar and set aside to curdle

-Sift flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl and mix

-Add the oil, food coloring, vanilla extract, almond extract to the curdled soy milk.  Whisk to combine.  Gently fold wet ingredients into dry, mixing until smooth.

-Fill cupcake liners two-thirds of the way full {cupcakes will rise}.  Bake for 18-20 minutes.

*recipe adapted from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World by Isa Chandra Moskowitz & Terry Hope Romero…available HERE.

Use whatever icing you like…but this is a great dairy-free option:


-1 can (14 ounces) coconut milk, chilled

-1 tablespoon maple syrup {or more, if you want it sweeter}

-1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Chill the can of coconut milk/cream for 24 hours.  The fatty coconut cream will separate from the water in coconut milk.  It will accumulate at the top and harden.  Open the can and scoop out only the hard coconut cream that has settled on top.  Using a hand mixer, whip the coconut cream with maple syrup and vanilla extract until fluffy.  Ice cupcakes and serve immediately.  If not serving right away, or if there’s extra, keep icing in the refrigerator and re-whip as necessary before use.

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