Where there's chocolate, there's vanilla shortly behind. At least in my world.
So when I made a post about chocolate cupcakes (still some of the best I've ever eaten), I immediately set out to remaster the recipe for a vanilla cake. Especially since I promised you delicious cake to use sprinkles on. (These ones I kept fairly simple with just a few candy ball bearings. The muffin wrappers were too pretty to distract from with bright colours or wild shapes, if you ask me!) These are pretty scrumptious, although I still think I like the chocolate better. (My roommate agrees.) It's tough to beat chocolate, but sometimes you just need a vanilla cake, plain and simple. Like when you're layering it with lemon curd or something. (Mmmm...maybe that should be my next project!)
In any case, the cake is very similar to the chocolate version, only without the...uh...chocolate. It's a really thin batter, which is how it gets that light, moist crumb, so don't freak out too much if your batter looks more like pancakes than like cake. It's 100% par for this course.
|This batter looks more like pancakes than cake, by a long shot. But don't let that freak you out; it'll yield...|
|...delicious cupcakes, ready to be frosted!|
Here's the recipe!
Simple vanilla cake (vegan)
Makes 2 9-inch round cakes or 24 cupcakes
2 cups turbinado sugar
3-1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups tap water
1 cup canola oil
2 Tablespoons vinegar
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch baking pans, or line 24 muffin cups with paper liners.
Mix sugar, flour, baking soda and salt together in a large mixing bowl. Add water, oil, vinegar and vanilla to the dry ingredients and beat by hand until smooth. You will have quite a thin batter--this is totally normal!
Turn the batter into the prepared pans (muffin cups will be about 3/4 full). Bake for 15-20 minutes for cupcakes or 30-35 minutes for cakes, until the tops spring back when lightly touched with a finger. If you touch one before it's done, don't worry; it will usually return to shape (or close). You'll also probably cover it up when you ice it.
Cool the (cup)cakes completely before frosting with vegan buttercream and decorating with your favourite sprinkles, if desired. (If you use sugar sprinkles--which are essentially just coloured sugar--try making your own out of Fair Trade sugar! Confetti-style sprinkles are also cute, but need to be purchased. I made a whole post on the cutest that Amazon has to offer, if you need to buy some.)
Store your frosted cupcakes in the fridge if you expect they'll last longer than 24 hours.