“Spring is nature’s way of saying, “Let’s party!” ~Robin Williams
So far today I have laid in bed and listened to the birds chirp, I have worn sandals, plunged my fingers into the cool, moist soil of my garden and I didn’t have to wrestle my children into snowsuits to leave the house. With the threat of possibly jinxing this current warm weather pattern, I will dare to say spring has sprung! 🙂
It’s the first day of Spring, and what better excuse is there to bake the world’s greatest vanilla cupcakes with a citrus flair?! I originally posted this vegan creamsicle cupcake recipe a year ago, also welcoming spring. Within a year, with all of the baking and experimenting I conduct in my kitchen, I have yet to create a moist, flavourful, light cupcake that can even compare to this one. Simply said, this is my best cupcake recipe to date. That these vanilla cupcakes are vegan is just the soy-based icing on the cake. Try them for yourself, and tell me that they aren’t a great springtime cupcake.
Vegan Creamsicle Cupcake (or Sweet Lemon Dream, if you prefer)
Makes about 18 standard-size cupcakes
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 cups almond milk
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup white sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup coconut oil, warmed until liquid (whip until smooth and liquid)
- 1 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp fresh orange rind or lemon rind
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease two 12 cup muffin pans or line with 18 paper baking cups.
- Measure the apple cider vinegar into a 2 cup measuring cup. Fill with almond milk to make 1 1/2 cups. Let stand until curdled, about 5 minutes. In a large bowl, Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the almond milk mixture, coconut oil and vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir just until blended. Fold in the orange rind and spoon the batter into the prepared cups, dividing evenly.
- Bake in the preheated oven until the tops spring back when lightly pressed, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool in the pan set over a wire rack. When cool, arrange the cupcakes on a serving platter. Prepare the frosting.
Orange Cream Frosting
Makes about 1 cup of frosting, just enough to top your 18 muffins
- 1/4 cup vegan margarine (I like Earth Balance brand, especially their whipped margarine for frosting)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice- more as needed (or lemon juice)
- 2 cups confectioner sugar
- 2 tsp orange rinds (or lemon rind)
1. In stand mixer or with hand-held mixer, cream butter and icing sugar until a dry, lumpy texture.
2. Blend in vanilla and orange juice.
3. Beat on medium-high until the frosting is smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes. If it is too thin, add more sugar; too stiff, add a spoonful of orange juice. You want a medium bodied icing. Top with a few pieces of orange zest. Or try a sprinkle of flaked coconut, finely chopped pecans or walnuts.
Happy Vernal Equinox (otherwise known as ‘the first day of spring’)! Enjoy the freshness in the air, the young green buds poking through the soil and the comfortable temperatures while they last. Don’t forget to treat yourself to a cupcake or two, and be sure to let me know what you think of these. Greatest spring cupcake, or what?! Enjoy! xo