Suffering from the midwinter blahs, when it seems that not a single fresh fruit remains in the grocery store, and there’s nothing but kale and potatoes thriving in the harsh frozen tundra outside? Reach for citrus—and don’t stop at just one type! By combining three different zesty flavors into one cupcake, you’ll get a brighter, well-rounded flavor that’s sure to shake off that gloomy, grey feeling.
Although I didn’t bother to write down this recipe when I first made it, expecting it to be nothing special, it received such
rave reviews that I was practically forced right back into the kitchen to re-create it! We even sell it for special orders at the restaurant I work at now. It’s always such a hit, I tend to make fairly large batches, but you can halve the recipe to get an even dozen. Recipe and photo contributed by Hannah Kaminsky, from Vegan Desserts* (by permission of Skyhorse Publishing, ©2011).
Makes 24 cupcakes
- 2 cups orange juice
- 1 to 2 tablespoons orange zest
- 1⁄2 cup canola oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1⁄2 cups granulated sugar
- 1⁄3 cup potato starch
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
Lemon curd filling:
- 1 1⁄2 cups granulated sugar
- 9 grams agar-agar powder
- 2 1⁄2 cups lemon juice
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1 cup non-dairy margarine
- 3 cups confectioner’s sugar
- 2 tablespoons non-dairy milk
- 1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Zest of 1 lime
Preheat your oven to 350ºF and line 24 standard muffin tins with cupcake papers. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the orange juice, zest, oil, and vanilla.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, potato starch, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, until all of the dry goods are well distributed. Pour the liquid ingredients into the bowl of dry and whisk just until the two come together in a smooth batter—a few lumps are just fine, and much better than overmixing and creating tough cupcakes.
Distribute the batter evenly between your prepared tins and bake for 15–20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out dry. Let cool completely before filling or frosting.
Meanwhile, to make the lemon curd filling, whisk together the sugar and agar powder to combine. Place the two into a medium saucepan along with the lemon juice and zest and turn on the stove to medium heat. Whisk to break up any lumps of sugar and continue whisking occasionally as it comes up to temperature. Once the mixture comes to a boil, turn off the heat and transfer the still-liquid curd to a heat-safe container. Allow it to come to room temperature before refrigerating until you’re ready to use it. This step is very important, because tossing it in the fridge too early will weaken the gel, and you will end up with a runny filling.
Finally, the frosting comes together very simply, starting with softening the margarine in your stand mixer. Slowly incorporate the confectioner’s sugar, adding it incrementally with the mixer on a low speed, to make sure it doesn’t fly out and onto the kitchen walls. Add in the nondairy milk, zest, and vanilla last, and then gradually increase the speed up to high, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed to ensure that everything is incorporated. Whip until light and fluffy, approximately 5 minutes.
To assemble your cupcakes, take a paring knife and carve a small cone out of the center of each cupcake. Discard, eat, or save the centers to turn into cake truffles (page 206). Give your set lemon curd a good stir to loosen it slightly, and then add a spoonful to the now-empty indent of the cupcake. Carefully top with frosting as desired, being sure to fully cover the filling.
- Explore more of VegKitchen’s Easy Vegan Cakes and Pies.
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