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Celebrating 1 year of RecipeRelay with Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes!

2011 June 23

By Brianna Bain


This week is all about celebrating. Not only is it the first week of summer but it’s RecipeRelay’s first Birthday. I couldn’t think of a more appropriate time for an excuse to make cupcakes! Cake is out, cups are in and this week we are taking a break from the Relay to share a very special cupcake recipe with you.

CLICK HERE to read full post and recipe.

Now, I don’t frequently indulge in sweets but when I do make a treat I am always on the look out for the healthful silver lining.  So I turned to my usual habit of replacing processed white flour with whole wheat flour, refined sugars for evaporated cane or turbinado, and olive oil for butter or another veggie oil. I really turned up the health factor by I taking some inspiration from one of my favorite Moosewood Restaurant recipes: Vegan Chocolate Cake.

In creating my little cups-o-healthy-heaven I  also wanted to come up with a way to avoid a buttery and sugary frosting. I found a few articles about using thick Greek yogurt as frosting, a great idea but many found that there was too much water in the yogurt which resulted in a messy, mushy cupcake – not good. So for this recipe I have taken the extra step of straining the Greek yogurt to make a thick and creamy frosting without the use of butter, cream cheese or refined sugars – yay!!! I know, I know, you’re thinking “vegan cakes with dairy frosting”… well maybe I should call them hypocrite cakes or schizo cakes. Either way these little celebratory vanilla cupcakes will hit the sweet spot without a total blow to your health.

Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes with Yogurt Frosting!

Preparation time for cupcakes: 6 minutes

Preparation time for frosting: 24- 72 hours (largely unattended)

Cooking time: 20-25 minutes

Yeild: 10 cupcakes

Equipment: 2-cup measuring cup, bowl, cupcake tins, colander, unbleached coffee filters or light weight unbleached cloth.


  • 1 ½ cups unbleached white whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 24 – 36oz  greek yogurt ( plain, honey or vanilla)

*if you want chocolate cupcakes add 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

Cooking Directions:

  1. 1-3 days ahead of time: strain yogurt by placing entire contents of tub into a colander lined with unbleached coffee filters or cloth, place a bowl underneath. Place in the refrigerator over night – or up to 72 hours for really thick frosting! This process  allows the water to separate from the yogurt leaving behind a rich and incredibly creamy yogurt frosting.
  2. For the cupcakes: Sift together the flour, soda, salt, and sugar into a bowl.
  3. Measure and mix together the oil, cold water, and vanilla.
  4. Pour the liquid ingredients into bowl and mix the batter with a fork or a small whisk. When the batter is smooth, add the vinegar and stir quickly. There will be pale swirls in the batter as the baking soda and vinegar react. Stir just until the vinegar is evenly distributed throughout the batter.
  5. Insert cupcake liners into cupcake baking tin, fill each cup 2/3 full with batter.
  6. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Bake for 25 to 30 minutes and set aside to cool.
  7. Spread yogurt frosting onto cooled cupcakes.
  8. Decorate with your favorite berries or maybe even a little chocolate powder. Let’s celebrate!