Sunday, October 18, 2009

Where the Wildly Good, Dairy-Free Baked Things Are.

I'm not sure what exactly sparked my desire to bake this week, but it was some combination of the following:

  • The birthdays of Nicole, her roommate Morgan, and Morgan's sister, Adrianne
  • The onset of fall and the desire to fill the house with the smell of baked goods

  • There was no room in the freezer for my ice cream maker

  • I just really like baking.

Whatever the reason, I did some Internet searching and finally decided on this recipe for vegan pumpkin spice cake!


  • 1/2 cup soy margarine, softened to room temperature (myself and most vegan recipes recommend Earth Balance)

  • 1 cup brown sugar

  • 2 egg replacers (Ener-G works the best, but a 1/2 cup of apple sauce works, too)

  • 1 cup plain pumpkin (canned or fresh)

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 2 cups unbleached flour

  • 2 tsp baking powder (reduce to 1tsp if using Ener-G)

  • 1 tsp baking soda

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

  • 1 tsp ground ginger

  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves

  • 1/2 cup soy buttermilk (add 2tsp vinegar to 1/2 cup soy milk, stir to curdle)


  • Pre-heat oven to 350*

  • In a large bowl cream together margarine and sugar, about 2-3 minutes

  • Add egg replacer and mix well

  • Mix in pumpkin puree and vanilla until well incorporated

  • In a separate bowl sift together flour, baking soda, baking flour, salt, and spices

  • Alternate mixing in dry ingredients and milk until well incorporated

  • Pour into cake pans and bake for about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out with just a few crumbs


  • 1 cup tofu cream cheese (Tofutti's Better-Than-Cream-Cheese is the easiest to find)

  • 1/3 cup vegan margarine

  • 3 cups powdered (confectioner's) sugar

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • Beat together until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes


  • Brown sugar brings a lot of extra moisture, for a slightly drier cake use 1/2 cup brown and 1/2 cup white.

  • Using Ener-G will ensure your cake will rise correctly. Apple sauce works great, but egg replacer is better.

  • Buy good canned pumpkin. Opening, cleaning, steaming, and pureeing fresh pumpkin is not worth the extra two hours of work.

  • If you use unbleached all-purpose flour, which is likely, be careful not to over mix the batter

  • Other spices are welcome in the mix, or up the quantities of the four above for a spicier cake

  • I added in about 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips at the end. Chocolate, pumpkin, and spices are a great fall taste.

  • Orange food coloring in the frosting is definitely encouraged

  • I was able to make 18 cupcakes from this recipe, they baked in 15 minutes

  • I topped each cupcake with a sliver of candied ginger

I've baked a few things in my time and I'm also hyper critical of everything I make, but these cupcakes turned out capital-A-mazing! Moist and rich with a hint of pumpkin and flavor and the chocolate chips took these from great to super-great! And for any non-believers, the taste and texture of this cake should convince vegan skeptics of the potential of dairy and animal free baked goods.

... wish I'd taken pictures.


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