By now you all know how much I love cupcakes. When done right the red velvet is one of my favorites. If done poorly it can be rather flavorless. But a good one is not just a vehicle for cream cheese frosting, but something moist and fluffy with a subtle cocoa flavor.
"V" could stand for velvet or vegan.
Of all of the red velvets I have tried, I must say Sprinkles makes a mean red velvet. And now you can get a VEGAN red velvet! It is amazing how the food world has responded to dietary needs - vegan and gluten-free items are just popping up everywhere. Now if only they made a zero calorie version...
But back to the matter at hand - VEGAN baked goods. I tend to love my dairy products, and am very impressed by those who eliminate them from their diet completely. Now when you hear the words "vegan" and "cupcake" in the same sentence most people expect the words "disgusting" or "flavorless" to follow. But I have had some delicious vegan baked goods - particularly these awesome choco chip cookies my friend Travis made (perhaps he will share the recipe?) So while vegan goods can certainly go wrong, it just takes the right recipe. I was hoping Sprinkles would deliver.
Banana with dark chocolate frosting.
Now as soon as I heard about the Vegan red velvet at Sprinkles I knew I wanted to try it. Luckily AJ and I happened to stop by the Stanford Mall one afternoon, and I dragged him into Sprinkles for a snack. We chatted up one of the Sprinkles cashiers who told us that she actually prefers the vegan red velvet to the original (high praise indeed)! She also told us that they use coconut oil in the frosting (very interesting).
A very dark interior.
I of course ordered up a vegan red velvet and AJ went with the Banana with dark chocolate frosting. Let me start with the red velvet. First to note, the "V" is still as tasteless as those dots they put on the cupcakes. But the cake itself was extremely moist and perhaps slightly denser than the original red velvet. The frosting is where the big difference occurs - instead of the traditional cream cheese you get a fluffy coconut frosting. It was very tasty, especially if you like coconut. I myself still prefer the tangy cream cheese frosting, but this vegan cupcake is a winner in my book. The banana with dark chocolate frosting was amazing with visible flecks of banana. It was moist and fluffy and the dark chocolate frosting was the perfect accompaniment - not too sweet.
Any time you step into Sprinkles you can't go wrong. Head on out and buy your best bud or sweetie a cupcake this Valentine's Day!