Egg Free Blueberry & Lemon Cupcakes

This was my first/second attempt at an eggless cake… and I must say I was pleasantly surprised with the outcome.

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An egg free cake batter is actually very simple to make, but (in my exprience) slightly temperamental. Don’t be tempted to over complicate the method, as I did in my first attempt… the result was a grisly sight that I never want to see in my kitchen again!

The second attempt, however, produced perfectly risen and beautifully golden cupcakes.

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I won’t pretend to understand all the science involved, but I believe it is the vinegar (acid) reacting with the bicarb soda that acts as a leavening agent (along with the SRF or baking powder, of course) in place of the eggs.

The vinegar and baking soda combo does make for larger air pockets, so the cake texture was less velvety than some of my others, but far from dry, and still delicious!

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Eggs also provide an emulsifying agent called lecithin that helps stabilise the emulsion (mixture of liquids that don’t usually blend well), and when heated, eggs coagulate, which contributes to the binding and stabilising of a cake. Getting the right balance of strengtheners (like flour) and tenderizers (fat and sugar), while still keeping the cake moist can be tricky without eggs – too much fat can cause the cake to fall apart (not that I’ve seen it happen or anything…)

Well I hope I haven’t scared you off… this recipe worked for me so it should for you too!

Tip: follow the weight measures – cup measures are not very accurate.

Egg Free Lemon Cupcakes

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Yield: 12 cupcakes

Ingredients

220g (1 1/3 cup) self-raising flour
100ml rice bran oil
90ml milk
80g (75ml) greek yoghurt
160g (2/3 cup + 2 tsp) caster sugar
1 lemon (juice and rind)
1 tsp vanilla extract
8g (1 tsp) bicarbonate of soda
2g (1/4 tsp) salt
1 tsp cyder vinegar

Preheat oven to 180°C/350° F/Gas Mark 4, and line your cupcake pan with cupcake cases.

Sift the flour and bicarb soda into a bowl, then add the sugar and salt and stir to combine.

Pour your lemon juice into a measuring cup, then top up with water to bring the total volume to 75ml.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, milk, yoghurt, lemon juice and rind, and vanilla. Add in the vinegar and whisk again until combined.

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Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix well so that there are no lumps remaining. At this point, the vinegar and bicarb will already be reacting and your mixture should be quite light and fluffy.

Tip: don’t over mix your cake batter or you will loose these air pockets, and try to get the batter into your cupcake cases and in the oven quickly.

Bake for 20 – 25 minutes, or when cake skewer comes out clean.

Tip: don’t be tempted to open your oven sooner than 20 minutes as this could cause the delicate cupcakes to sink!

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Blueberry Filling

These cupcakes were filled with a  blueberry jam, cream cheese and greek yoghurt mixture. I can give you an accurate blueberry jam recipe, but the yoghurt and cream cheese were added to taste, so this will be up to you!

Ingredients

120g fresh blueberries
65g caster sugar
Juice of half a lemon
Cream cheese (2 Tbsp)
Greek  yoghurt (1 Tbsp)

Method

Place 100g of the blueberries into a saucepan with the sugar and lemon juice, and heat until sugar is dissolved and mixture begins to bubble.

Reduce heat and simmer for a further 5 minutes, or until jam reaches setting point. Set the jam aside to cool, then chill before mixing in the yoghurt and cream cheese.

Tip: test the setting point by taking a chilled plate or spoon and placing a drop of the jam onto it – the jam is ready if it sets to the desired consistency.

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Whisk together about 2 Tbsp of cream cheese and 1 Tbsp of yoghurt, then add it to your chilled jam a little at a time to taste.

Chop the remaining 20g of fresh blueberries in half, and stir them into your filling mixture.

Take your cupcakes and cut a small section out of the centre, keeping the removed piece of cake to use as a lid. Place about a teaspoon of your blueberry filling into your cupcakes, then place the lid on top.

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White Chocolate Cooked Flour Frosting

Ingredients

75g white chocolate
1 Tbsp cream cheese (leave this out if you want)
3/4 cup + 2 tsp milk
30g (3 Tbsp) plain flour
175g (3/4 cup) caster sugar
230g butter (softened, but still firm to the touch)

Method

Place the flour and 3/4 cup of milk into a saucepan and whisk together so that there are no lumps remaining.

Cook the mixture over a gentle heat, stirring continuously until mixture has thickened. Set aside to cool.

Melt the white chocolate together with 2 teaspoons of milk, then stir in the cream cheese (if using) and set aside to cool.

Beat the butter and sugar together, then add in the cooled flour mixture and continue to beat until frosting is light and fluffy, and the sugar grains have dissolved.

Beat in the cooled white chocolate, then colour and pipe as desired!

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Enjoy… x

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