Valentine’s Day is synonymous with sweet treats and loving gestures. For those looking to impress their vegan sweetheart or simply aiming to bring more plant-based options to the table, Corina Franks, the passionate pastry chef behind “Isn’t She Lovely: The Vegan Bakery,” shares her mouthwatering Vegan Vanilla Cupcake recipe. Drawing inspiration from a personal journey that began with an egg allergy, Corina has mastered the art of vegan baking, turning her challenges into triumphs—one delicious cupcake at a time.

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Corina’s venture into the world of vegan baking wasn’t just about creating eggless desserts; it was about crafting moments of joy, connection, and love, much like the atmosphere her father nurtured in his restaurant. With a spirit fueled by her dad’s entrepreneurial drive and a heart full of passion for people and baking, Corina embarked on a journey that led her to redefine vegan desserts. Her creations are not just about substituting non-vegan ingredients but are a celebration of flavors, depth, love, and the science of baking.

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In 2023, Corina transformed her passion into a flourishing business, capturing hearts and taste buds alike. Her dedication and talent were spotlighted when she clinched victory at K 104.7’s Cupcake Wars and showcased her cupcakes at the Mother’s Day Cupcake Festival at the Legendary Renegades Baseball field, an experience she cherishes deeply. Corina’s dream is to offer a taste of another world through her desserts, inviting everyone to experience the layers of flavors she meticulously crafts into each bite.

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Here’s how to create Corina’s delectable Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes, a perfect treat to sweeten your Valentine’s Day:

Ingredients:


177.5 ML of oat milk (any nondairy milk will do)
½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar
172 grams cake flour
150 grams organic cane sugar (avoid overfilling your cup to prevent overly sweet cupcakes)
½ tablespoon baking powder
3/8 teaspoon salt
56.5 grams melted vegan butter (unsalted)
½ tablespoon pure vanilla extract (opt for high-quality vanilla for the best flavor)

Instructions:

  1. Prep the “Buttermilk”: Combine the oat milk and apple cider vinegar in a bowl to create a vegan buttermilk. Allow it to curdle, setting the foundation for your cupcakes’ moist texture.
  2. Melt the Butter: Gently melt the vegan butter, ensuring it’s cooled slightly before adding it to your mix.
  3. Combine Dry Ingredients: In a separate bowl, whisk together the cake flour, organic cane sugar, baking powder, and salt, ensuring an even distribution of each element.
  4. Mix Wet and Dry Ingredients: Gradually add the buttermilk mixture, melted butter, and vanilla extract to the dry ingredients. Stir until just combined, being careful not to overmix to avoid a dense cupcake texture.
  5. Bake the Cupcakes: Scoop the batter into a 12-cup cupcake pan lined with cupcake liners. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 18 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with a few crumbs attached.
  6. Cool: Immediately remove the cupcakes from the pan after baking and transfer them to a cooling rack. This prevents the cupcakes from cooking further in the hot pan, ensuring they remain light and fluffy.

Corina’s Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes are a testament to her belief that vegan desserts can be just as indulgent, flavorful, and heartwarming as their non-vegan counterparts. Whether you’re a seasoned vegan baker or trying your hand at plant-based desserts for the first time this Valentine’s Day, these cupcakes promise to deliver love, warmth, and a little piece of Corina’s world to your celebration.

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Corina Franks owner of ‘Isn’t She Lovely: The Vegan Bakery

Follow Corina’s journey and catch her at local farmers’ markets in Hudson Valley, NY, or NYC by checking her schedule on Instagram. Let this Valentine’s Day be a gateway to exploring the rich and compassionate world of vegan baking, one delicious cupcake at a time.