At Whole Foods today I saw snickerdoodle cookies. They were by Udi’s, so I had a secret hope they would be dairy free like their breads, but no such luck. I was terribly disappointed as I LOVE snickerdoodle cookies. I also love cupcakes, so when I got home, I decided to combine the two. As usual, I went on Pinterest for inspiration and put several recipes together in addition to customizing more to make mine.
The easy thing to dedairyfy was replacing milk with soy milk, but I wanted more out of the cupcakes. I replaced all purpose flour with cake flour, which meant I had to increase the amount. I also replaced regular sugar with caster sugar, so I decreased the amount of sugar since caster is more finely grained. Using cake flour and caster sugar resulted in a light-as-air crumb.
The biggest obstacle to dedairyfying my recipe was the frosting. I wanted to use Melt butter alternative, but it’s so soft, that when I had added enough powdered sugar for sweetness, it was still really runny. Adding more powdered sugar would make the frosting way too sweet, so I needed a non sugary thickener. I started by adding meringue powder, both to thicken it as well as stabilizing it for the very humid Hawaii climate. It wasn’t quite enough, though, so I added my new best friend: guar gum. I found it at Whole Foods a while back and have only ever used it once to thicken coconut cream into whipped “cream,” but it was such a huge success that I tried again. With the same great result. Score!
Guar gum is a nice thickener as, unlike most starches such as potato starch, flour, and corn starch, it doesn’t require heating to work as a thickener, leaving it a great alternative for room temperature or cold foods. A little goes a long way, leaving no noticeable flavor or texture changes behind.
The frosting recipe will cover about 50 of the 72 mini cupcakes, but it would depend greatly on how much frosting used for each cupcake. Leaving some unfrosted usually works great for me as the cupcakes freeze well so I can eat the rest another day. However, if you need all 72 frosted, just multiply each frosting ingredient with 1.5.
I wanted a bit of crunch to the top of the cupcakes and used really coarse sugar for sprinkling. If you don’t have any, regular sugar will work just fine.
So, without further ado, here’s what I came up with:
Ingredients for 72 mini cupcakes
3/4 C (170 g ) shortening
1 1/2 C (290 g) caster suger (also called superfine or baker’s sugar)
5 lg eggs
1 tsp vanilla paste
3 C (270 g ) cake flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 C (3 dl less 1 tbsp) soy milk
Method for cupcakes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Beat shortening until smooth. Gradually add caster sugar until fully mixed in. Add eggs one by one, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and beat well. Stir together all dry ingredients and alternate adding this mix and the milk until just blended. Don’t overheat the batter.
Pour batter into approximately 72 paper lined mini cupcake cavities. Bake about 13 minutes until baked through. Leave in the pan until cool enough to handle, then cool completely on a rack.
Ingredients for frosting ~50 cupcakes
1 C (230 g) Melt butter alternative (if using a firmer “butter” you may not need to add the guar gum)
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp coconut cream
3 1/2 C (450 g) powdered sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon
3 tsp guar gum
2 1/2 tbsp meringue powder
Cinnamon and coarse sugar for sprinkling
Method for frosting
Cream butter alternative with vanilla and cream (I use clear vanilla to avoid coloring the frosting). Stir the powdered sugar, 1 tbsp cinnamon, guar gum, and meringue powder together and add to the butter. Beat until smooth. Frost cooled cupcakes as desired. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.