Finally figuring out how to cope with my son’s severe atopic dermatitis freed me up to perform all my best ‘mad scientist tricks’ in the kitchen.
Adapting my favourite recipes to be dairy, egg and nut free has become a passion of mine!
What kid doesn’t love cupcakes? My boys are no exception!
Michael has always favoured vanilla cupcakes over chocolate. He wanted to have vanilla cupcakes for his birthday celebration with the family and to share with his friends.
In honour of Michael’s 15th birthday, here is my recipe for Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Cupcakes.
This recipe is adapted from my ever faithful Better Homes and Gardens NEW COOK BOOK. The original recipe is called Yellow Cake.
3 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cups rice/soya milk
1/2 cup canola oil
1 1/2 tsp vanilla (homemade recipe below)
2 tbsp water
1/4 cup applesauce
Preheat oven to 375 F
In a mixing bowl, combine all the dry ingredients. In a large liquid measure, measure all the wet ingredients. Stir well. Add the wet to the dry and stir until just combined.
Line cupcake tin with paper liners. Fill with batter. This recipe will make more than 12 cupcakes. If you fill the liners with too much batter you will get giant cupcakes that will take 30 min to bake. With extra batter leftover to bake a few more.
Bake in oven for 25 minutes. Cool in cupcake tin on cooling rack for 10 minutes before removing. Ice when cooled with vanilla icing recipe below or dust with icing sugar and fill with your favourite jam or serve with fresh berries and ice cream. Yummy!
Recipe can be halved. It will make 9 cupcakes. Omit the applesauce and keep the ½ tsp of baking soda and 2 tbsp of water. Halve all the rest of the ingredients. Fill the 3 remaining cupcake spaces ¼ full of water. Bake at 375 for 25 min and let rest 10 min.
I always like to freeze a few cupcakes for those occasions when I need to send something into the school for a celebration or I need an impromptu treat! I just make a quick simple icing to swish on top.
Homemade Vanilla Extract
The smell of pure vanilla is heavenly!
My boys beg to have a whiff when I pull it out of the cupboard!
I have always splurged and purchased pure vanilla. In June 2008, I took the next step…I made my own!
The Barefoot Contessa (from her The Barefoot Contessa cookbook) had a recipe I couldn’t resist! I hunted around for a suitable glass bottle and purchased my vanilla beans a few each time I went grocery shopping. When I had my dozen vanilla beans, I put them in my glass bottle, filled the bottle with vodka and let them rest, hidden in my basement pantry.
So hidden, I forgot about my experiment for two years!
The Barefoot Contessa recommends leaving the beans to marinate for at least a month. One just needs to keep adding beans and vodka to keep a constant supply. She’s had hers for almost 20 years!
I have two on the go now, as my mother brought me back a kit to make your own vanilla from one of her travels. It came with a small bottle and the vanilla beans. It recommended splitting the beans open lengthwise, adding them to the bottle with vodka or light rum. I used vodka. Yummy!
My boys swear they can taste the difference! They are my biggest supporters!!
Dairy and Soy Free Vanilla Icing
I love icing! To me it has always been the best part of a cake or cupcake. I eat the cake first, and leave the last few mouthfuls for the sweet and gooey icing. My boys feel the same way!
I have never been a fan of store bought icing. To me there has always been something just not right with it. Frankly, I would rather just not eat it and go without cake than to suffer through it!
Homemade is truly the only way to go…why not give it a try…it’s so easy to make your own.
Once again, Better Homes and Gardens NEW COOK BOOK comes to my rescue! Their Butter Frosting recipe is the starting point for my dairy/soy free icing.
It is SCRUMDELICIOUS!!
This recipe is enough to frost the tops and sides of two 8 or 9 inch cake layers. I halved this recipe to ice 12 cupcakes with some leftover.
1/3 cup Earth Balance vegan sticks (for a soy free version use Earth Balance Soy Free Spread)
4 ½ cups sifted powdered sugar
¼ cup water
1 ½ tsp pure vanilla
In a bowl, beat the Earth Balance or dairy free margarine to soften. Gradually add 2 cups of the powdered sugar, beating well.
Combine the water and vanilla in a separate measure. Slowly beat in to the icing mixture.
Slowly beat in the remainder of the powdered sugar.
Now you are ready to ice your cupcakes!
Always CHECK INGREDIENTS before you purchase products.
P.S: I discovered the best container for the cupcake to travel in, without disturbing the icing on top: Cup-a-Cake. I love them! I purchased mine from Williams Sonoma.
P.P.S. I have also seen cupcake holders at Kitchen Stuff Plus and some dollar stores.