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In the last couple of weeks I’ve tried my hand at baking.  It may not be the healthiest past time but it’s so fun and addictive!   When I serve a plate of freshly baked goodies to Dave and Trudi (our staffy), they are just so happy and polish them off in a flash.   And as I think it must be my turn to contribute for the Vegan Recipe Swap, I thought I’d share one of my favourite recipes.  The Lemon Gem cupcake recipe comes from the recipe book Veganomicon, which is an amazing, beautiful cookbook that a friend leant to me.  I’ve made a couple of adjustments and have added a variation with coconut at the bottom.  This is such a great, cheap, yummy recipe that you can whip up one afternoon to impress the family, proving that you can bake without eggs and milk!  


Vegan Lemon Gem Cupcakes
Makes 12
Ingredients:
165g Plain Flour
½ tsp baking powder
¾ tsp baking soda (bicarb)
¼ tsp salt
3 tbsp oil
170g raw sugar
250mls (1 cup) soy milk/rice milk
1tsp non-alcoholic vanilla extract
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1tbsp lemon zest
Icing Ingredients:
3 tbsp vegan margarine (Nuttlex is available at all supermarkets)
3 tbsp soy milk/rice milk
2 tbsp lemon juice
225g icing sugar, sifted.
Instructions:
Preheat oven to 180 C.
Line muffin tray with 12 muffin cases.
Sift together dry ingredients (except sugar).
Combine sugar, soy milk, oil, vanilla extract, lemon juice and lemon zest in a large bowl.
Pour the dry ingredients into wet ingredients in batches, mixing until smooth.
Fill each muffin case 2/3 full and bake for 17-20mins. 
When cupcakes have cooled, you can then ice them. 
Whisk nuttlex until light and fluffy.  Stir in soy milk and lemon juice.  Add icing sugar gradually and keep stirring until smooth consistency (this may take up to 5mins).   
Optional variation:
You can also make coconut lemon cupcakes by replacing the soy milk with coconut milk and folding in 75g of dessicated (shredded) coconut to the cupcake mix before pouring into muffin cases.  You can make a coconut icing by replacing the soy milk with coconut milk, and replacing the lemon juice with some dessicated coconut.  I love this variation and am too lazy to ice them but they are still delicious!!