The perfect vegan white cupcake with bakery frosting

What's that saying?

'When the going gets tough, the tough get going.'

Well, part of that is right.

When the going gets tough, the tough bake cupcakes. Lots of them. With uber-rich, bakery-style frosting that gets a teeny bit hard on the outside but remains sugary and smooth on the inside. Yeah, that's what we do when life throws us a curveball in the Chubby Vegan household.

I've been a bit of a funk lately. Maybe it's the weather, maybe it's because I'm going to be the dirty 30 in a mere two months (and still don't feel like an adult!), I don't know.

What I do know, is this: I am a firm believer that there are few things in this life cupcakes won't make better. So I set out this time to create something really, really simple, but really, really sweet and really, really perfect.

The result is reminiscent of that white-on-white bakery birthday cake you used to get from the grocery store. You know, the one that's all dense and heavy with the super rich, almost overwhelmingly sweet frosting? Yeah, we busted out a dozen of those in our Chubby Vegan kitchen and lets just say I had to make MORE icing because the first batch didn't quite make it all on the cupcakes (OK, some of it ended up in my stomach. It was good, what can I say.)

Here's the secret: don't skip the vegetable shortening. I get it, you want to try and be healthy, but for reals peeps, it's a cupcake, make it right or don't make it at all. (Adorable cupcake trophy stand courtesy of my equally adorable and awesome boss!)

Bakery-style vegan white cupcakes with white frosting
(makes 12 dozen deliciously-iced cupcakes)
Cake ingredients:
1.5 cups all-purpose flour
1.5 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
1 stick vegan butter (we used Earth Balance)
1/2 cup applesauce
1/4 cup vanilla coconut milk
1/4 cup vegan sour cream
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt

Frosting ingredients:
4 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup vegan butter (softened)
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon almond extract

Cake directions:
Preheat oven to 350 F. Place cupcake wrappers in a pan muffin tin. Cream together vegan butter and shortening until light and fluffy (with a hand or stand mixer). Stir in sugar and applesauce. Slowly mix in flour, baking powder and salt. Once combined, add coconut milk, vegan sour cream and vanilla extract. Fill cupcake wrappers a little over half full. Bake for 18-22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or edges become a very light, golden brown. Set aside to cool.
Frosting directions: 
Mix shortening, vegan butter, vanilla, almond extract,and half of the powdered sugar with a mixer for *at least* five minutes (possibly up to 10 minutes depending on the power/speed of your mixer). Add the rest of the powdered sugar and beat just enough to mix in. Frost cupcakes as desired, store in fridge when not in use. 

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  1. Your frosting always looks amazing. What is the secret!?

    1. The trick is A LOT of mixing. Thank heavens for my Kitchenaid!

  2. I love classic white on white! I must say I've made many vegan cupcakes but I've never used sour cream in them before! I'm intrigued for sure! and geesh don't worry about turning 30, I'll be 40 this year (yikes) and I'm not even remotely grown up yet! I don't know if I'll ever feel like an adult lol

    1. It served as a nice binder/moistener without detracting from the white! Very yummy! And I'm afraid I'm never going to be an adult ;)