t was about 7pm on a Saturday night. The night before my niece’s 6th birthday. I’d had a busy week and though I had had it in the back of my mind to ask my sister if she wanted me to bake something I hadn’t got around to it. So I decided to give my sister a quick call to confirm arrangements for the next day. I thought she might have ordered a cake as she has done that before. My niece answered the phone and dropped the bombshell: ‘Please can you bring galaxy cupcakes for my birthday?’ she asked. ‘Uh…. I don’t really know what those are!’ I replied. ‘It’s easy – I can help you make them’ she volunteered. ‘I don’t think we have time to make them together cos it’s already quite late now’ I told the eager little baker. As soon as I got off the phone I sprang into action, using google to find out everything about galaxy cupcakes and what the heck they even are! I discovered that they are usually midnight blue or some sort of dark blue swirl and usually decorated with glitter and silver stars and moons and planets. Jaye proceeded to go to multiple shops desperately trying to find stars, moons, planets, anything to resemble a galaxy. And then we had to give up – because we couldn’t find anything like that. Not anywhere. Not on short notice anyway. And then I thought: well what if I just make some midnight blue velvet cupcakes and do a blue sanding sugar for ‘glitter’. And then I’ll see if my sister can find some stars or moons or something near her place and we can just pop them on top of the cupcakes when we arrive! And so it happened that my niece got her galaxy cupcakes. So that was what inspired these blue velvet cupcakes. I won’t call them galaxy cupcakes here because other than the color, what makes cupcakes ‘galaxy’ versus not galaxy is the decorations.
  • For the Blue Velvet Cupcakes:
  • 2 cups All Purpose Flour (250g)
  • 1 cup White Granulated Sugar (200g)
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • 1 Tbsp Cocoa Powder Unsweetened
  • 1 cup Vegan Buttermilk (240ml) 1 Tbsp Lemon Juice + Soy Milk up to the 1 cup (240ml) line
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • ½ cup Canola Oil (120ml) or Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Distilled White Vinegar or Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 tsp Blue Gel Food Coloring
  • For the Blue Velvet Frosting:
  • 3 cups Powdered Sugar (360g)
  • ⅓ cup Vegan Butter (75g)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Tbsp Cocoa Powder Unsweetened
  • 1 tsp Blue Gel Food Coloring
  • 1-2 Tbsp Soy Milk or other non-dairy milk
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
  2. Sift the flour into a mixing bowl and then add the sugar, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder and mix.
  3. Prepare your vegan buttermilk by adding 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to a measuring jug and then adding soy milk up to the 1 cup line. Allow to sit for a minute to curdle.
  4. Add the vegan buttermilk, vanilla, oil, vinegar and blue food coloring to the mixing bowl and mix into a batter. Don't overmix.
  5. Line a cupcake tray with cupcake liners and divide the batter evenly between them.
  6. Place into the oven to bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the cupcakes comes out clean.
  7. Transfer the cupcakes to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely before frosting.
  8. Add all frosting ingredients except soy milk to your mixing bowl and whisk with an electric whisk starting on slow and gradually increasing speed until thick, smooth and creamy. Add soy milk as needed so that you get a consistency that can be easily piped or spread.
  9. If you want to use some sanding sugar to decorate, add a couple of drops of liquid blue food coloring to about ¼ cup of white sugar in a jar. Close the lid of the jar and shake the jar vigorously so that the blue dye distributes evenly resulting in perfectly even blue sanding sugar.
  10. Sprinkle on top of the frosted cupcakes