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by Heather Harris Brady

We’re just coming off a birthday week at the little house, so a lot of baking has been going on. My dd is still young enough for classroom birthday treats, but if you’re an elementary baking vet you probably know that this presents its own set of challenges. The night before you learn Jonny can’t have anything with red dye in it and Jenny is lactose intolerant. Here then, is my five-minute bailout for these sticky situations!

Coincidentally, they’re a great dessert for any vegan friends. You could bake the batter in layers and top each serving with a dolloped of whipped coconut cream or make a ganache using coconut milk in place of the heavy cream. I can’t claim provenance over this recipe. It’s been around since the Great Depression at least, a favorite in lean/ration times because it doesn’t need butter or eggs.

Chocolate Cupcakes, Makes about 12 cupcakes or one 8″ round (Easily doubles)
1 -1/2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
3 T. dark cocoa
1 c. sugar
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t.  salt
1 t. white vinegar
1 t.  pure vanilla extract
5 T. vegetable oil
1 c. water

Preheat the oven to 350.
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Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl and stir them together well. Make three indentations in the mix. Put the vinegar in one, the oil in another and the vanilla in the third. Stir well.

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Whisk in the water. Pour the batter into greased pans or cupcake tins.

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Bake for about 12 minutes. Be careful not to overbake these or they will dry out! It’s better to have them a little underbaked (they might fall a tad out of the oven) so they are moist.

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Just as an experiment I baked these (on the left) alongside a conventional mix (on the right):

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Keep these well-covered in an airtight container. Should you overbake any by accident just turn them into cake truffles:

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Happy baking!

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One year ago: Baked Custard

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