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Dairy-Free White Cupcakes

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My husband and I don’t have an allergy to dairy, but we typically don’t keep milk in the house because we prefer coconut or almond milk beverages.  So when I decided to send some cupcakes to work with my husband to welcome his boss, who lives in Colorado and was coming to Wichita for the first time to stay for a week, I decided just to make them completely dairy free and see how they turned out.  I was really impressed with the results!  I’ve never made white cake without using a box mix, and I was quite pleased with how crazy moist these were, and they did not have a hint of coconut flavor, despite all the “dairy” coming from coconut.  They tasted just like regular white cake, and they were a hit with the boss and co-workers.

I wasn’t sure if these would turn out, so I made this recipe for a dozen cupcakes instead of the usual two dozen.  If you would like to make two dozen, or a two layer cake, just double the recipe.

Dairy-Free White Cupcakes

Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

½ cup coconut milk beverage*, room temperature (I used Silk Pure Coconut Original)
3 large egg whites, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons aluminum-free baking powder*
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup refined coconut oil, room temperature*

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line cupcake tin with paper liners; set aside.

In a 1-cup measure, mix together the milk, egg whites, and extracts; set aside.  In large bowl, mix remaining ingredients, except for the oil. Add the oil and mix until incorporated and there are moist crumbs, with no powdery streaks remaining.. Add all but ¼ cup of the milk mixture and beat at medium speed for 1 ½ minutes. Add remaining milk mixture and beat 30 seconds more.  Stop mixer to scrape the sides of the bowl, then beat again on medium for 20 more seconds.

Using an ice cream scoop, divide batter between prepared muffin cups.  Bake for 15-17 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs.  Cool in tin on a wire rack.  I prefer to turn mine out onto the rack after a few minutes to finish cooling so the pan doesn’t bake them too much by retaining the heat.

Once cupcakes are completely cool, frost with White Celebration Frosting, or your favorite dairy-free frosting.

Makes 12 cupcakes.

*Notes: you can use canned coconut milk and unrefined coconut oil, but this will give your cupcakes a distinct coconut flavor. If you want them to taste like white cake, please follow the recipe as written. Also, I recommend using Rumford, or another aluminum-free baking powder in recipes calling for more than a teaspoon, as the aluminum can give a very strong, unpleasant aftertaste.  This is especially true in cakes with milder flavors, like white or yellow.

Recipe source: adapted from Cook’s Illustrated

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