I've used all whole wheat pastry flour in this recipe, and I find that it does very well here, even for the dessert version. You could swap out for all-purpose and I'm sure it would be great.
The optional frosting is coconut-oil based, which, as always, requires that you don't mind a bit of coconut flavor. I added a (tiny!) splash of peppermint extract to the frosting to go with a vanilla cupcake, and added a berry and mint leaf on each for decoration. The berries were from the garden, and I ran out of raspberries, but filled in a blackberry and some goji berries.
|The unfrosted apple spice version.|
IngredientsAdapted from here
Frosting is from here
Makes 11 to 12 cupcakes
1 cup soy milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup vegetable shortening (I like Spectrum Organic)
2/3 to 3/4 cup sugar (depending on desired sweetness)
1 Tbsp vanilla
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
Add-ins for apple spice muffins: 1 cup chopped walnuts, 1 1/2 cup chopped apples, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp allspice, minus the vanilla
1/4 cup coconut oil
1+ cup powdered sugar
2 Tbsp soy milk
1 tsp vanilla
Few drops peppermint extract
Berries and mint leaves for decoration
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a muffin tin with oil.
Measure 1 cup of soy milk and add the apple cider vinegar; let sit while you move on to the next step.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the vegetable shortening and sugar on medium-high speed with the paddle attachment. Meanwhile, sift the cornstarch, flour, baking powder and soda, and salt in a separate bowl. Reduce speed on the stand mixer and mix in the vanilla and soy milk/vinegar mixture. With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients. Once all in there, mix for about 10-20 seconds more. Avoid overmixing.
Fold in any additional ingredients to make these more muffin-y (see apple spice options above), or leave as-is for a vanilla cupcake. Shovel the batter into the muffin tin, filling about 2/3 full. With no add-ins, I find this makes 11 cupcakes. With apple chunks and other goodness taking up volume, it makes 12.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges. Let cool before frosting, unless you want a runny glaze.
To make the frosting, switch to the whisk on your stand mixer and wipe the bowl clean. Start with 1/4 cup coconut oil and 1 cup powdered sugar, plus the other ingredients, and beat at a medium high speed on the mixer. If the consistency is too stiff, add soy milk by the teaspoon; if too wet, add powdered sugar by the 1/4 cup until the consistency is the perfect frosting. You should have enough frosting for the cupcakes plus a little extra.