Red Velvet Cupcakes

Makes 12 cupcakes

These killer cupcakes are a Southern classic.  Red food coloring is a must for tradition, but they taste just as luscious without.  Top with Creamy Vanilla Frosting and dust with pistachio powder.

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Almost 1 cup plain, unsweetened non-dairy milk (preferably soy)

2 tablespoons flax meal

½  cup dates, soaked in warm water

½ cup roasted almond butter

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 oz. red food coloring

2/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1/3 cup dark cocoa powder

2 teaspoon instant espresso powder

1 ½ teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon white wine vinegar

Preheat oven to 350.  Line 12 cupcake molds with cupcake paper.  No need to spray with oil!

To make vegan "buttermilk":  Pour lemon juice into a measuring cup.  Add enough non-dairy milk to make 1 cup of liquid (this will be exactly 15 tablespoons).  Let sit for about 5 to 10 minutes, until milk begins to curdle.  Don't worry, you want this to happen.

To make flax eggs:  Combine flax meal with 6 tablespoons warm water.  Whisk together and let sit 5 minutes, until mixture is gelatinous and slimy, like eggs.

To combine wet ingredients:  Remove dates from soaking liquid and squeeze out excess liquid.  Place in a blender or food processor with ½ cup of the soaking liquid.  Puree until well-blended and smooth.  Add the almond butter, vegan "buttermilk", flax eggs, vanilla extract, and red food coloring.  Puree until smooth.

To make cake:  Whisk together flour, cocoa, espresso powder,  baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.  Add the wet ingredients, including the flax eggs, to the dry.  In a small, separate bowl, whisk together the baking soda and vinegar.  The vinegar should bubble up (if not, it means your baking soda is old).  Add this to the cake batter.  Stir gently and combine.  Pour a little more than 1/4 cup cake batter into each cupcake mold.  Bake 20-25 minutes.  The cupcakes will be done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Remove from oven and let cool.  Let fully cool before frosting.

Red Velvet Glory

Red Velvet Glory