Sometimes the best way to get others thinking about a vegan diet is so simple, it takes the cake—or cupcake, that is.
Indeed, on at least two occasions, I’ve been able to open people up to the world of vegan eating through my cupcakes. First, let’s talk about the actual cupcakes that I used. In both of the examples below, I made the very same cupcakes. From the incredible vegan-baking book Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero, I made the Basic Chocolate Cupcake frosted with Old-Fashioned Velvet Icing. These cupcakes are simple yet decadently delicious.
My first experience with being a vegan cupcake ambassador came last summer when a small group of my colleagues had a potluck picnic lunch in the park next to the college where we work. While I was unable to attend the meal (and nonvegan) portion of the picnic, I was able to be there for the dessert portion. So I signed up to bring the dessert in order to ensure a vegan ending to the picnic. The cupcakes turned out to be a big hit.
None of the other picnickers was vegan, but they all knew that I was and that my cupcakes would be vegan as well. All but one of these folks had previously had samples of my vegan baking. It was the woman who didn’t who had the most telling reaction in response to the vegan cupcakes. “If that’s what vegan food tastes like, count me in!” she said.
Then, last fall at the college where I work, a group of professors, staff members, and students held a vegan potluck dinner that was open to the campus community. A bountiful smorgasbord of vegan fare was the result. We had a great turnout, and the food went very quickly. For this event, I made double batches of half a dozen varieties of vegan cookies in addition to a double batch of the cupcakes.
The potluck took place in a sidewalk café type of venue on campus, so passing students were able to get a good look at our dinner. Near the end of the event, a group of male athletes returning from practice ventured into the potluck, lured by the prospect of free food but unaware that it was vegan. They were drawn to the remaining desserts like magnets! Even though there were vegan labels on everything, they were in disbelief when I told them that the cookies were vegan. (“But they’re so good!”) There was only one cupcake left, and one of the athletes was really eyeing it up. He gave me a “gotcha” look and said, “There’s no way that’s vegan!” I assured him it was. His teammates looked on as he devoured it. Everyone waited for his vegan verdict. After a dramatic pause, he said, “The best cupcake I ever had!”
Do you have a favorite vegan cupcake recipe to share?