One of the hardest parts of being a new vegan (or even an old seasoned vegan) is trying to keep up with all the new products out there. I must have spent over $50 looking for the "right" vegan cheese my first year being a vegan and I have over 50 vegan/vegetarian cookbooks in my arsenal but not all the recipes are the greatest. I’m the first born so I’m used to being a Guinea Pig and now I’m your Vegan Guinea Pig. So here are my recommendations and critiques. Let me know what you think!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Veganism Made Simple: 24 cupcakes, 3 minutes, $5

Vegans have a special obsession with cupcakes. There’s even an entire cookbook dedicated to Vegan Cupcakes. The thing is, sometimes you want cupcakes and you just don’t feel like dragging out 10 different ingredients and taking the time and money to bake delicious vegan cupcakes. Like most of you, I grew up on boxed cakes, as a vegan I really stopped paying attention to everything on the baked goods aisle besides sugar, flour and shortening. But I sold myself, and veganism, short! You would be surprised at the arsenal of products on the shelves that are vegan, many of which you have been eating all your life.

My new favorite is Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe Butter Cake Mix. Despite the name there isn’t an ounce of butter or any other type of animal products in this cake mix. In fact, nearly the entire line of Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe Cake Mix is vegan including:
  • Banana Supreme

  • Butter Recipe Golden

  • Butter Recipe Fudge

  • Classic Yellow Cake

  • Dark Chocolate Fudge

  • Devil’s Food Cake

  • German Chocolate

  • Lemon Supreme

  • Orange Supreme

  • Pineapple Supreme

  • Red Velvet Cake

  • Spice Cake

  • Strawberry Supreme

Now here’s the trick. The back of the box calls for 2/3 cups water, ½ cup softened butter and 3 eggs. This can be easily veganized. Try the following substitutions:

  • Replace the ½ cup softened butter with ½ cup softened Earth Balance

  • Replace the 3 eggs with 3 teaspoons Ener-G egg replacer whisk together with ¼ cup warm water, ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce and ½ teaspoon baking powder

Follow the directions on the back of the box and within 3 minutes you have yourself a full batch cupcakes or a mouth-watering cake.

I topped it off with Pillsbury Creamy Supreme Chocolate Fudge icing (many of Pillsbury’s frostings are also vegan, but always do a label check just to be sure).

All in all these cupcakes cost me less than $5. The cake mix was $1.07 (but I had a coupon for 50 cents off so it only cost me 57 cents!), frosting $1.50, cupcake liners $0.99. Everything else I already had around the house bringing my grand total to $3.56.

Cooking Notes:Be sure to only fill the cupcake liners somewhere between 1/2 - 3/4 full. If they are too full you'll end up with cupcakes that are delicious but look disastrous. If you accidentally fill up the liner too full then wait until cupcakes are completely cooled before you take them out the pan then let them sit at room temperature or in the refrigerator overnight to stiffen up a bit. You can proceed to ice them from there although the center will still be a bit crumbly.

Also in place of 3 eggs you can also use ¾ cup pureed soft silken tofu or 4 ½ teaspoon Ener-G Egg Replacer whisked with ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons warm water


  1. wow- i never even thought of that

  2. Great info! Thanks for sharing the veganizing tips.

  3. How do you get cupcakes in 3 minutes?

  4. Well the 3 minutes doesn't count the baking time. But to add all the ingredients mix them together and get them in the pan takes about 3 minutes max.

  5. Thanks for the tips. I'm transitioning and cakes and cookies are always a great way to start off any new venture in life

  6. That is an awesome tip! I am definitely going to try this!

  7. Ok, so I tried this! They were both delicious and a disaster. The disaster was my fault for filling the liners too full, but they tasted great! And they were very quick to make. Thanks for the great idea.

  8. I'm glad you like them even though the cups were a bit too full. I'll have to put a disclaimer about that. I made that mistake once and I ended up like you with delicious cupcakes that rose high and fell flat. If you give them a day to sit they should "toughen up" a bit. But if no one else is around I say eat them as is! :)

  9. This is brilliant! Thanks for sharing these tips.

  10. how did you find out the frosting was vegan? i love that stuff but you can't necessarily know that the "mono- and diglycerides" and "artificial flavor" are vegan unless the company identifies their sources as vegetable.


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