Lemon, chia and yogurt cupcakes (vegan)

Vegan cakes are becoming much more common-place in cafés and coffee shops I’ve noticed… and it’s unsurprising when they taste so good! Many non-vegans are realising that by choosing a vegan treat, they are not making any sacrifices on flavour, texture or decadence! This wonderful little bake is no exception.

Non-dairy yogurt is used in these cupcakes, making them lovely and moist. There are so many varieties of plant-based yogurts widely available in supermarkets these days, so you’ll be spoilt for choice when buying for this recipe! I chose to use ‘The Almond Collaborative’ nut-based yogurt. It is wonderfully rich and creamy, making it a perfect addition to these scrummy cakes. That’s not to say you couldn’t go for a coconut, soya or even traditional dairy yogurt instead… the world (or mixing bowl!) is your oyster!

Ingredients:

• 160g plain flour

• ½ tsp baking powder

• ½ bicarbonate of soda

• 1/8 tsp salt

• 60g vegan margarine, softened (I use ‘Naturli organic vegan block’, which I bought in Sainsburys.. it’s widely available. Another good option is ‘pure')

• 150g caster sugar (I use Lonely Lentil organic raw cane sugar, which Is most similar to golden caster) • 2 tbsp chia seeds OR ground flax + 6 tbsp water, to make vegan ‘eggs’ (mix seeds/flax with the water and allow to sit for around 10-15minutes, until gelatinous)

• 1 tsp vanilla extract

• 2 tbsp lemon zest, finely grated

• 1 tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed

• 180g vegan yogurt (I used ‘The Almond Collaborative’, ‘Coconut Collaborative is also lovely!)

• 2 tbsp chia seeds (plus extra for sprinkling on top)

For icing glaze (You can double the quantities if you like LOTS of icing!)

• 2 tbsp coconut milk

• 70g icing sugar

Waste-saving tip: This recipe only requires a small quantity of coconut milk. To save opening a whole can, and potentially wasting it, why not use powdered coconut milk? This way, you can make up only the quantity you require, as per packet instructions. You can adjust the powder:water ratio to alter consistency i.e. whether you need coconut cream/milk.

Method:

  1. Prepare the chia/flax ‘eggs’ by mixing the seeds with the water and leaving to set for 10-15minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 175 degrees C. Prepare a cupcake tin with cases and set aside ready for the batter.
  3. Cream together the softened vegan margarine and sugar using an electric mixer/wooden spoon and mixing bowl.
  4. Add the ‘eggs’, yogurt, vanilla extract, lemon juice & zest and mix together until evenly combined.
  5. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, bicarb of soda and salt. Add to the wet ingredients and carefully fold in until just combined.
  6. Stir in the chia seeds.
  7. Spoon the batter into the prepared cupcake cases. Bake for around 15 minutes, until a skewer can be inserted into the cakes and come out clean. The quantity/baking time can be adjusted accordingly dependent on the size of cakes you make (i.e. muffin size/cupcake size).
  8. For the icing, simply sift the icing sugar into a large bowl and mix in the coconut milk until smooth evenly combined. You can always add a little more coconut/milk if you want a runnier icing, or more sugar if you want it thicker.
  9. Once the cooked cakes are completely cool, ice the tops and sprinkle with some extra chia seeds for decoration and a little crunch