My friend Ella writes and photographs the beautiful blog Pure Ella. Today, I am part of a group of bloggers helping Ella celebrate the upcoming birth of her second baby. Ella prefers to eat vegan and gluten free, so I made gluten-free and vegan vanilla cupcakes to bring to the virtual party :)

vegan cupcakes | healthy green kitchen

I adapted these treats from Minimalist Baker’s recipe for Strawberry Beet Cupcakes. They have a somewhat dense, moist texture and they are not too sweet; they are so yummy with the vegan buttercream. I was considering coloring the buttercream, and also piping it onto the cupcakes in a “fancier” way, but in the end I opted to honor Ella and keep things as natural as possible here. I love the look of the single candied violet on each cupcake and I hope Ella likes it too!

vegan cupcakes | healthy green kitchen

Though I’ve never baked with it before, I decided to try these with my homemade walnut milk as the liquid, and I think they came out great. The instructions for how to make the walnut milk are below, but know that you can substitute a different dairy-free milk, if you like. If you do, let me know how these work out…I’d love to know.

soaked walnuts | healthy green kitchen

If you have no issue with dairy, I think you can go ahead and just use milk, and also butter instead of the dairy-free butter. Along the same lines, you don’t have to make these gluten free. Use regular flour instead of the gluten-free flour if gluten is not a problem for you.

cupcakes in pan

Recipe for Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes

Yield: 12 cupcakes

These vegan cupcakes are made with walnut milk. Nut milks are pretty different than dairy milks nutrition wise, but they are a nice alternative for drinking and for recipes. Any type of raw nuts (or seeds) can be used to make nut milks. Almond milk is a classic, but delicious milks can be made from pecans, Brazil nuts, cashews, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and more. This recipe features walnuts, which are high in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA, one of the fatty acids in the omega-3 family). A nut milk bag will come in handy for this recipe (they’re available at natural food stores and on Amazon).

Ingredients:

For the walnut milk (you won't need this if you are making the recipe with a store-bought milk alternative or regular milk):

*1 1⁄4 cup/140 g walnuts, soaked overnight in enough water to cover the nuts by 1 in/2.5 cm
*4 cups/960 ml water
*1 to 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
*1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
*pinch of fine sea salt

For the cupcakes:

*1 cup walnut milk (or use a different homemade or store-bought nut milk or coconut milk, or regular milk if not vegan)
*1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice (or use white vinegar)
*1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
*1/2 cup/1 stick Earth Balance non-dairy butter, softened (or use butter if not vegan)
*1/2 cup sugar (I used organic sugar)
*2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
*1 1/2 cups gluten-free flour (for gluten-free baking, I like Pamela's Artisan flour blend and King Arthur gluten-free multi-purpose flour blend), or use unbleached all-purpose pastry flour if you are not gluten free
*1/4 teaspoon baking soda
*1/2 teaspoon baking powder
*1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

For the vegan buttercream frosting:

*1/2 cup (1 stick) Earth Balance non-dairy butter (or use butter if not vegan)
*2 cups powdered sugar
*splash of walnut milk (or other milk alternative or milk)

Directions:

For the walnut milk:

1. Drain the walnuts and rinse thoroughly. Combine with the water in a blender and blend for several minutes. You want the nuts to be thoroughly pulverized.
2. Pour through a nut milk bag or a strainer lined with several layers of cheesecloth to strain out the nut pulp (I compost mine). Return the strained liquid to the blender and add the maple syrup, vanilla, and salt. Blend until thoroughly combined. Drink immediately. Leftover milk will keep in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days (shake well before serving).

For the cupcakes:

1. Heat oven to 350°F and line a muffin tin with paper liners.

2. Whisk together the nut milk and lemon juice in a large bowl, then set aside for a few minutes to curdle. Mix in the flax seeds.

3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the Earth Balance with the sugar until creamy. Add vanilla extract and walnut milk mixture and beat until well blended.

4. Mix flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl with a fork and then add to the wet ingredients. Beat until all of the ingredients are blended.

5. Fill cupcake liners with batter (about 3/4 way of the way full). Bake for about 19-22 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

6. Allow cupcakes to cool in the muffin pan for a few minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack. When cool, frost and decorate the cupcakes as desired.

For the vegan buttercream frosting:

1. While the cupcakes are chilling, beat the butter until fluffy in the bowl of an electric mixer. Add powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time, beating after each addition. Add the splash of milk if the frosting seems too thick. You can color the frosting if you like, or leave it white like I did.

Decorate the cupcakes with sprinkles, or colored sugar, or candied violets, if desired.

Walnut milk recipe from my book One Simple Change. Cupcake and frosting recipe adapted from Minimalist Baker.

vegan cupcakes | healthy green kitchen

Please be sure to check out all the other bloggers and see what they made for Ella’s virtual baby shower:

Kris of 80 Twenty (Cilantro Jalapeno Hummus) // Meg of Beard and Bonnet (Shower Worthy Tea Sandwiches) // Emma of Coconut & Berries (Strawberry Orange Rosewater Smoothie)// Cara of Fork and Beans (Lemon Blackberry Cupcakes) // Ashley of My Heart Beets (Artichoke Hummus) // Jenny of Nourished Kitchen (Cultured Coconut Milk & Mango Popsicles) // Gina of So…Let’s Hang Out (Cucumber Mint Limeade) // Beth of Tasty Yummies (Sprouted Hummus Cucumber Cups) // Rika of Vegan Miam (Sweet Potato Dumplings in Ginger and Jasmine Syrup {Tang Yuan}) // Richa of Vegan Richa (Dark Chocolate Silk Pie) // Gabby of The Veggie Nook (Lemon Poppyseed Truffles) // Sherrie of With Food + Love (Blackberry + Mango Fruit Salad with Earl Grey Whipped Coconut Cream)

pure_ella_baby

 

45 Comments

  1. 1

    Cultured Coconut Mango Popsicles » Nourishing News — May 7, 2014 @ 9:01 am

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  2. 2

    Blackberry + Mango Lemon Poppy Seed Fruit Salad with Earl Grey Whipped Coconut Cream | With Food + Love — May 7, 2014 @ 9:02 am

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    Shower Worthy Tea Sandwiches (Gluten Free & Vegan) - Beard + Bonnet — May 7, 2014 @ 9:16 am

    […] Cupcakes) // Sylvie of Gourmande In The Kitchen (Hibiscus, Strawberry, & Rhubarb Iced Tea) // Winnie of Healthy Green Kitchen (Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes ) // Ashley of My Heart Beets (Artichoke Hummus) // Jenny of Nourished […]

  6. 6

    Cilantro Jalapeño Hummus80twenty — May 7, 2014 @ 9:18 am

    […] Orange Rosewater Smoothie)// Cara of Fork and Beans (Lemon Blackberry Cupcakes) // Winnie of Healthy Green Kitchen (Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes ) // Ashley of My Heart Beets (Artichoke Hummus) // Jenny of Nourished […]

  7. 7

    Artichoke Hummus - My Heart Beets — May 7, 2014 @ 9:40 am

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  8. 8

    Strawberry, Orange & Rosewater Smoothie: Virtual Baby Shower - Coconut and Berries — May 7, 2014 @ 9:52 am

    […] Worthy Tea Sandwiches) //Cara of Fork and Beans (Lemon Blackberry Cupcakes) // Winnie of Healthy Green Kitchen (Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes ) // Ashley of My Heart Beets (Artichoke Hummus) […]

  9. 9

    Meg@ Beard and Bonnet — May 7, 2014 @ 10:33 am

    Winnie these are adorable and I am sure they are delicious too!! Thank you so much for making these for Ella’s shower. I know it means the world to her:)

    • Winnie replied: — May 7th, 2014 @ 11:58 am

      Thanks so much for putting the shower together, Meg. So fun :)

  10. 10

    Sweet Potato Dumplings in Ginger & Jasmine Syrup | vegan miam — May 7, 2014 @ 11:15 am

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  11. 11

    Pure Ella — May 7, 2014 @ 11:18 am

    Winnie, these are so perfect and beautiful!
    You’re so right…. I don’t do fancy with colouring or fancy piped frosting!
    I love these as is with the sweet addition of the violets! Pure perfection!! ;)

    Thank you so much for being a part of this lovely day!
    I just wish I could devour one (or two) (or all) of those cupcakes right now!! ;)

    Sending big hugs of thank YOUs!

    Ella

    • Winnie replied: — May 7th, 2014 @ 11:59 am

      Aw, Ella. I am so happy you like them. Happy virtual baby shower- so excited for you!

  12. 12

    Georgie — May 7, 2014 @ 11:24 am

    WOW, these are beautiful! Happy Baby Shower Ella!

    • Winnie replied: — May 7th, 2014 @ 11:59 am

      Thanks Georgie! xoxo

  13. 13

    Gluten-Free Vegan Lemon Blackberry Cupcakes | Fork and Beans — May 7, 2014 @ 11:45 am

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  14. 14

    Cucumber + Mint Limeade | Celebrating Pure Ella’s Virtual Baby Shower! | So...Let's Hang Out — May 7, 2014 @ 11:51 am

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  15. 15

    Cara — May 7, 2014 @ 11:55 am

    Well done Winnie with the gluten-free vegan cupcake! They are not an easy thing to accomplish AND make look beautiful. I tip my hat to you, lady :) I am loving the lavender too. Simple and all-around perfect.

    • Winnie replied: — May 7th, 2014 @ 12:01 pm

      Thanks Cara! It was really fun to make these and I really loved how they turned out!

  16. 16

    Gina @ So Let's Hang Out — May 7, 2014 @ 12:27 pm

    Oh, Winnie! These look so beautiful. Nicely done. xox

    • Winnie replied: — May 7th, 2014 @ 1:50 pm

      Thanks, G!

  17. 17

    Ashley — May 7, 2014 @ 1:37 pm

    These look so beautiful, Winnie! :) I love the idea of using candied violets!

    • Winnie replied: — May 8th, 2014 @ 2:47 pm

      Thank you Ashley!

  18. 18

    rika@vm — May 7, 2014 @ 1:45 pm

    These floral vanilla cupcakes look beautiful, awesome that you and Cara did vegan/gf cupcakes! Thank you for sharing this dish for Ella’s Virtual Baby Shower, it’s so great to meet new bloggers! ;)

    • Winnie replied: — May 8th, 2014 @ 2:47 pm

      Thank you so much Rika :)

  19. 19

    Emma — May 7, 2014 @ 3:23 pm

    I love love love the simple presentation with the little lavender flowers! Too pretty to eat (almost!)
    So nice to “meet” you through the baby shower.

    • Winnie replied: — May 8th, 2014 @ 2:48 pm

      Thanks and nice to meet you too, Emma!

  20. 20

    Gabby @ the veggie nook — May 7, 2014 @ 4:02 pm

    These cupcakes suit Ella so perfectly! I love the single violet on top. Simple, understated, but gorgeous. I would have to snap tons of pictures before even eating them! But they sound delicious to so inevitably I would eat it, despite it being such a shame to destroy something so pretty ;)

    So happy to have discovered your blog! I’ll be back!

    • Winnie replied: — May 8th, 2014 @ 2:49 pm

      Thanks so much Gabby!

  21. 21

    Beth @ Tasty Yummies — May 7, 2014 @ 5:01 pm

    Oh my – these are just beautiful, Winnie!! I am with you, I like simple with the frosting on my cupcakes – mostly because I cannot EVER get the piping bag to cooperate with me. Seriously though, these are just gorgeous and I am so happy that you joined all of us for this little virtual party!

    • Winnie replied: — May 8th, 2014 @ 2:50 pm

      Haha Beth,
      Yeah the piping bag and I don’t exactly get along either. Yay for virtual parties!

  22. 22

    Hibiscus Strawberry Rhubarb Iced Tea | Gourmande in the Kitchen — May 7, 2014 @ 6:25 pm

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  23. 23

    Min — May 7, 2014 @ 7:47 pm

    Aww..congratulations to your friend! I’m not allergic to dairy, but I would LOVE to make this walnut milk! Sounds easy enough ;). These cupcakes sound delicious and look exquisite with candied violets! Gorgeous!

    • Winnie replied: — May 8th, 2014 @ 2:51 pm

      Thanks Min!

  24. 24

    Sylvie | Gourmande in the Kitchen — May 7, 2014 @ 9:25 pm

    The walnut milk sounds like a wonderful substitute for milk and the candied violet on top is the perfect finish!

    • Winnie replied: — May 8th, 2014 @ 2:51 pm

      Thanks Sylvie!

  25. 25

    Kristin — May 8, 2014 @ 12:03 pm

    Wow! I love these cupcakes- absolutely beautiful. I think I’ll try making them for Mother’s Day.

    • Winnie replied: — May 8th, 2014 @ 2:51 pm

      Let me know if you do, Kristin!

  26. 26

    Richa {VeganRicha.com} — May 9, 2014 @ 3:03 pm

    so pretty! i love simple desserts anytime. great to meet you this baby shower!

  27. 27

    Sherrie | With Food + Love — May 12, 2014 @ 8:56 pm

    These little cuppies are like a little slice of spring perfection Winnie :)

    • Winnie replied: — May 14th, 2014 @ 8:15 pm

      They really are, Sherrie!

  28. 28

    Frankie — May 18, 2014 @ 7:24 am

    These look absolutely stunning! I came across the baby shower blog post today and feel like I have hit gold. Such a beautiful selection of blogs! I am so happy to have discovered you today, and I’m looking forward to reading a lot more of your blog.

  29. 29

    Erin @ Texanerin Baking — May 25, 2014 @ 12:19 pm

    What a lovely baby shower! And walnut milk?! That sounds so interesting.

    I find GF + vegan baking so difficult so awesome job on these! :)

    • Winnie replied: — June 3rd, 2014 @ 12:01 pm

      I don’t do gf or vegan baking much these days but I was happy with how these turned out!

  30. 30

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