It’s MY party…
And I’ll eat a vegan cupcake if I want to!
Last weekend was my (gasp) 27th birthday.
And while the majority of the day was spent returning from a little vaca break in warm and sunny California all the way back home to cold and snowy Boston, that didn’t stop me from indulging in a tasty birthday treat (after all, scientists say dessert is perfectly acceptable on your birthday, right? ). So, as soon as I got home– jet-lagged and all– I made my way to the kitchen and whipped up a sweet and fluffy frosted vanilla cupcake for one. Because, well, why not?!
Now I’ll admit it– this little birthday splurge was quite a feat for me. I’d spent many birthdays and special occasions passing up cake and ice cream because it wasn’t considered “healthy.” And come to think of it…I couldn’t even remember the last time I’d even had a bite of birthday cake (or at least a bite that didn’t make me feel guilty afterwards). Whenever the occasion arose, I’d find every reason in the book NOT to have a slice of dessert– and then immediately I’d feel selfish, snobby, and rude for not accepting the offer. The celebration was for ME after all…
That all changed as soon as I became vegan.
Suddenly I am no longer faced with that dreaded “birthday cake pressure”–namely because most people don’t know where to buy vegan desserts, how to make vegan desserts, or they don’t realize tasty vegan desserts exist in the first place. Now, on a day-to-day basis I’m typically 100% fine with this, (I take pride in my health and in what I put in my body), and when I do want dessert, much of the time I’d prefer to make a “healthier” version on my own that keeps me light on my feet as opposed to weighing me down.
From a health and fitness perspective this all sounded pretty great, but this also meant no more birthday cake at all. Right then and there I knew something about this birthday was different.
Seemingly out of the blue, this simple thought made me feel pretty sad. And as much of a health fanatic as I am, I suddenly considered it a crime NOT to have a bite of dessert on my special day. Heck, who says it has to be your birthday to have a tasty treat?? Everything in moderation people! Besides. It’s a crime in itself that I don’t have a vegan vanilla cupcake recipe on this blog yet.
Enter the (Healthier!) Birthday Cupcake for One.
With options for a fat-free, low-fat, or full-fat version, this quick and easy cupcake recipe (you only need 20 minutes!) is sure to please your sweet tooth and your conscience. No birthday necessary .
(Healthier!) Birthday Cupcake for One:
- 3 tablespoons spelt flour (you can also use whole-wheat pastry flour or white flour if you’d like– however the whole-wheat option is preferred ).
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- slightly under 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon Earth Balance buttery spread (for a fat-free option, you can sub applesauce or mashed banana for butter, but the cupcake will come out a bit chewier without the Earth Balance option and will have a slight banana flavor if you go that route. For a low-fat version you can do half buttery spread, half applesauce or banana).
- 1/2 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon unsweetened almond milk
- 2 packets of stevia (use sugar if you prefer– taste test until you are satisfied with the level of sweetness. If you use liquid sweetener, reduce the amount of milk by a teaspoon).
- 1/2 tablespoon 100% maple syrup (optional but highly recommended)
- Dash of almond extract (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 340 degrees.
- Mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl until no clumps remain.
- Spoon batter into a muffin pan sprayed with all-natural non-stick spray (I like to use coconut oil spray).
- Cook for 15 minutes (or until the edges begin to brown slightly).
- Allow your cupcake to cool before you pop it out of the pan and begin frosting (I know, I know. Waiting is the hardest part! I tossed the cupcake in the freezer for a few minutes to speed up the process ).
(Please note: This recipe makes much more frosting than you probably need! But I won’t judge you if you use it all on one lonely little cupcake . If you want fat-free frosting, omit the Earth Balance and reduce the milk to 2 teaspoons).
- 1/2 cup confectionary sugar
- Slightly under 3 teaspoons almond milk
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoon of Earth Balance buttery spread (room temperature– NOT melted)
- Dash of almond extract (or vanilla if you don’t have almond)
- Mix all the frosting together in a small bowl until smooth and creamy (add more confectionary sugar as needed if you need to thicken it up).
- Frost and enjoy!
See? Now you can have your cupcake and eat it too .