So I am aware that I am kind of cheating by sharing this recipe for eggless coconut cupcakes under Garam Masala Tuesdays. “Kind of” because I have a reason why I am sharing the recipe today so it is not entirely cheating. But cheating nonetheless because we all know that cupcakes are anything but Indian.
Yes, you might have Indian spices inspired cupcakes- but cupcakes in general are not Indian and they can not be categorized as Indian.
Which actually led me to think- are there any traditional Indian desserts that are baked? I had a hard time coming up with any that is baked and maybe I am overlooking something obvious, but would the Indian readers of this blog let me know of traditional Indian baked goods if they think of any. The ones that I can think of are either fried or cooked. The closest I can think of a baked dessert is shahi tukda, where you fry bread (which has obviously been baked before) and serve it with flavored thickened milk. Other than that I draw a blank. What about you?
Anyway I digress. Coming back to today’s recipe.
So why am I sharing this recipe today. (Besides the fact that I have a lot of pending recipes and really want to get them out of the way before I try anything new,) I am sharing this recipe because its eggless. Not vegan. Just eggless.
I have been asked many times by my friends here in the US when I tell them that most Indians are vegetarians that does it mean the same as being a vegan. And well, no, it does not. And that’s why this post. To make people aware of the Indian vegetarians.
Most Indians are vegetarians. Not vegans. When you are vegan, you do not eat meat or any dairy product. Vegetarians, on the other hand, do not eat meat, but they do drink milk, eat butter (on their paranthas) and cheese on their pizzas (and on other things as well).
Some Indian vegetarians do eat eggs (those people are known as eggatarians in my dictionary) but they still call themselves vegetarians.
Then there are certain Indian vegetarians that do not eat cooked eggs like an omelet or a boiled egg, but will eat something that has a disguised egg – things like cake or cupcakes, or noodles where you can’t see the egg in its actual form.
And then there are the strict vegetarians that do not eat eggs at all- in cakes, cookies, cupcakes, noodles etc.
But all of these vegetarians still eat other milk based products. Unlike vegans. And that is where the basic difference lies.
So if you invite an Indian who is a vegetarian, assume he/she does not eat meat nor eggs. Unless he/she specifically says he/she is vegan, let us also assume that he/she does eat milk products like milk, cheese, and butter (delicious creamy butter). And that means you are free to make a meatless and eggless cheesy, buttery vegetable filled dish for your Indian vegetarian friend.
Hope this clears up any confusion you have when entertaining future Indian guests (and justifies this GMT post ).
So, when I decided to throw a baby shower for one of my vegetarian Indian pregnant friend, I was faced with the situation of making everything eggless (and of course meatless). For the cake I used the eggless (and vegan) chocolate cake recipe that I have posted earlier.
And for the cupcakes, I chose this vegan cupcake recipe, frosted with a “vegetarian” cream cheese frosting (hope by now you know the difference).
I honestly loved these cupcakes. The cupcakes are not overtly sweet, and pretty moist. By making the frosting a bit sweeter than what I generally like the resulting combination was the perfect level of sweetness. I was scared of trying an eggless recipe, since I do not have much experience with eggless baking, but I was pleasantly surprised. And I think my friends liked the cupcakes too. I would definitely make them again. Mainly because I have a lot of organic shredded coconut to use up. And these were fairly easy to whip up.
The original frosting recipe (adapted from here) has just 1/2 cup of butter in the list of ingredients. But I used 1 cup and it made a thicker frosting that made it easier to frost the cupcakes with a piping bag. I used half a bag of powdered sugar, you can change the level of sweetness as per your liking. If you are not planning to do anything fancy on the cupcakes and would like a more cream cheesey frosting then use only 1/2 a cup of butter.
Do try these and let me know how it goes.
- 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup coconut milk
- ½ cup canola oil (note to self: see how melted coconut oil changes the taste next time)
- 2 tablespoons vanilla extract (I used vanilla bean paste)
- 1 tablespoon white or apple cider vinegar
- ¾ cup shredded coconut
- 1 cup butter
- 8 oz of Philly cream cheese (1 package), room temperature
- ½-1 cup of powdered sugar
- ¼ cup of sweetened desiccated coconut, to sprinkle on top.
- 1-2 tbsp coconut milk
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Line 2 (12-cup) cupcake pans with 14 cupcake liners.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the coconut milk, oil, vanilla, and vinegar.
- Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and whisk until just combined. Make sure not to over mix. Gently gold in the shredded coconut.
- Fill the cupcake liners about two-thirds full with batter. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out mostly clean with a few crumbs sticking to it. Cool the cupcakes completely before frosting. Do not overbake else the cupcakes will come out dry.
- Cream the butter and cream cheese together, about 3 minutes, scraping down the sides and bottom now and then.
- Slowly add the powdered sugar, taste as you go adding more sugar until you have reached the desired sweetness and pipe-able consistency. If too thick, then add 1-2 tbsp coconut milk. Color as required.
- Frost the cupcakes and sprinkle on top with desiccated coconut.