Cupcakes, also known as fairy cakes in the UK and patty or cup cakes in Australia, have been baked in the USA since the end of the 18th century.
They are small individual cakes, usually topped or decorated with icing sugar and/or cream. They get their name from the small cups in which they were baked, before muffin tins became commonly available. Common types include chocolate, butterfly, or as we have here, vegan cupcakes decorated for Christmas.
1 cup vegan margarine
¾ cup sugar
2 large tsp molasses (oil the spoon so it runs off easily)
½ cup soya or rice milk with 1 tsp cider vinegar added (let stand)
2 cups dried mixed fruit that include chopped cherries, goji and blueberries, chopped, glaced, or (Turkish) apricots, melon and pineapple (optional: the mixture soaked in brandy/rum overnight or longer, and then well drained)
¼ chopped pecans
½ cup frozen pure orange concentrate
1 cup self raising flour
1 tsp mixed spice
- Preheat oven to 170°C. Line 12 muffin pans with cases (optional) or spray and cook well. (It is also recommend to use a paper liner at the bottom of tins to prevent the cakes breaking apart when removing).
- Beat the margarine, sugar and molasses in a bowl until creamy.
- Stir in the dried fruit, walnuts and frozen orange concentrate. (Don't panic if it looks curdled).
- Stir in the flour and mixed spice. Add the soured milk mixture, stir in well.
- Spoon into the lined pans and smooth the surfaces.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the cupcakes are firm to touch or a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Set aside in the pans for 5 minutes to cool before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- If not using paper cups, turn the cupcakes upside down and decorate their bottoms to look like mini puddings.
One idea: Pour plain white icing over the cupcakes. Top with a small swirl of firmly whipped Orley Whip cream (about R5 coin size) on top of which you place a fresh OR sundried strawberry, pointy side up, and you top the point of the strawberry with a tiny point of Orley, to make mini Santa hats.
Or add a dash of ground cinnamon to the icing mixture, ice and top each cupcake with a whole pecan nut (sugared or roasted if preferred) or glaced cherry.
Or top the cakes with white icing, sprinkle well with coconut and use sugar mistletoe/holly or poinsettia flowers to decorate.
NOTE: Depending on the kind of fruit mix you use you may get 12 vegan cupcakes, or 11 baked in 1 cup ramekins. If you have soaked the fruit in alcohol and choose to include the liquid, you may use an extra ½ cup flour. Use organic ingredients where possible.
Serves 8 people
Recipe supplied by Toni Brockhoven, Cape Town, South Africa
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