For years I have toyed with becoming vegetarian, I know, you are wondering what that has to do with baking, I'm getting there. Growing up, my family ate mostly vegetarian until my brother was introduced to hot dogs at a friend's party. I've never been a huge meat eater, sticking mainly to turkey and chicken and the occasional piece of salmon. Of course when it has come to baking, I've only used the best ingredients. Pure unsalted butter, whole milk, heavy cream, farm fresh eggs when I can get them.
Recently I was asked to make vegan cupcakes. Vegan Cupcakes?!?! Don't get me wrong, living in the Pacific NW, of course I understand how prevalent to vegan diet is, and I have several friends who are vegan as well. But this meant I'd have to use something other than butter to make a buttercream frosting. To me, it isn't buttercream then. But, to someone else, who has chosen this diet for moral, religious or health reasons, to have a cupcake that is delicious and within their dietary restrictions could be bliss. So I agreed, and have been trying it out.
Luckily for me, I already had a great chocolate cake recipe that just happened to be vegan. Check that off the list. Then onto the frosting and filling. Yes, I made the traditional buttercream, substitute other ingredients, and it isn't half bad. I may continue to try to modify that recipe to get something I really like. I thought while I was at it, I might as well try the cream cheese frosting recipe as well. Hmmm, I decided the addition of a peanut butter filling would off-set the odd taste of vegan cream cheese, we'll see how they like it. The other cupcakes got a berry filling, I just can't leave a cupcake unfilled!
What I have come to accept about myself, is that vegan will probably never truly be an option. Vegetarian is slowly working its way into my family, and that is a conscious choice I am making. However, when it comes to baked goods, I'd rather not eat them often, than substitute the real deal with something else.
However, for those of you out there that are choosing the vegan lifestyle, rest assured, StarFlour Baking will be happy to make vegan cupcakes for you!