How did I come up with No Place Like Home's first Vegan Gluten-Free Cupcake? All I knew was Vegan food didn't use animal products, so I knew no eggs, no dairy. Replacing the dairy was no problem, as I use different liquids in my cakes all the time. Replacing the butter was a little more tricky as all soy or vegetable margarines can be used, but they do act differently than butter. The eggs and the flour were the hardest items to substitute. So I headed to the grocery store.
I spent a few minutes walking up and down the health food aisle at the grocery store and picked up and looked at every possible flour alternative. But what to do with them, would they even be the right substitute for all purpose flour or cake flour? I didn't know. I picked three of the bunch and brought them to the kitchen. So now I had three bags of non-wheat flour, do I substitute them 1 to 1? I had no clue. All I have to say is thank you google.
I found out the ratios for substitution, but all substitutions seemed to come with a warning that they won't be the same as wheat flour. I also looked up what could be substituted for eggs and there is a long list, but the problem with eggs is that eggs play a different function in different recipes.
At this point, I just decided to go for it. I probably should have just gone with one type of substitution, just vegan or just gluten-free, but I never go simple. Go big or go home, not only true in sports! I made the batter and it tasted good, but the texture was gritty and a little runny. As I scooped the batter into the cupcake tins I was nervous. I put them in the oven. After 10 minutes or so I finally had the courage to turn the oven light on and peek in the door...they looked ok and on track, but they still had seven minutes to go, a lot can happen in seven minutes. The timer went off, and they still looked good, but they were a little under done. In for another three minutes...finally the timer went off again, and they were done. Time to let them cool, this where you find if everything went right, as this is when they can sink in the middle, leaving a giant sink hole cupcake...not good.
15 minutes passed, I looked at the cupcakes, no sunken middles! Ok, I thought, so they look nice but how do they taste? What is the texture like? I peeled the wrapper off and the cake was moist and fluffy. So far so good. Then I took a taste. They tasted amazing, full of apples, cinnamon and raisins. I would have never guessed there were no eggs, no butter, no buttermilk, and wheat free. The Cinnamon Apple Raisin Gluten-Free Vegan Cupcake was born.
There will definitely be more experimenting with vegan and gluten-free baking.