A lesson from a Houston Food Celeb: Pumpkin Spice Vegan Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

A vegan baking lesson from Houston foodie celeb Jody Stevens of Jodycakes shows us that there is really no hidden secret for baking without animal products. The substitutions are simple and the product is delicious. Here is her recipe for pumpkin spice vegan cupcakes with a simple cream cheese frosting, perfect for breakfast with a simple glaze, apple or cashew butter, or dressed up with frosting.

Once upon a time, there was a carb obsessed boy.

He would grew up to be a little bit of a computer dork and set-up a website blog to share all his deletable food experiences. All while loving music, talking to his dog and believing that everything is made better with a little sparkle and shine.

He would invite fab chefs to his house to make food for him. While it was under the auspice of “I am writing an article,” the end result was a food fest. Even better when it involved carbs.

And he lived happily ever after.

It’s my new thing. Inviting people to do stuff so I learn from the best. Brilliant.

Getting a lesson from Jody Stevens

I start this journey with cake diva Houston celeb and pro baker Jody Stevens, known to her myriad of fans as Jodycakes. While Jody is used to putting together the most elaborate custom cakes including organic, vegan, and everything in between varieties, getting a tutorial for the home cook was something I could not pass up.

Jody is a food tease, and I came to know her as @jodycakes on twitter. She would consistently tell everyone what the newest cupcake-wine pairing at 13 Celsius, one of my favorite local wine bars. From chocolate nutella, pear ginger and the traditional southern red velvet, I was hooked and needed to know more.

Lesson learned?

  1. I can’t eat only one cupcakes
  2. I can’t eat only two cupcakes
  3. I can’t eat only three cupcakes
  4. There really isn’t a big secret to vegan baking. It’s quite easy if you learn the substitutions
  5. I now know how to make one-dozen delicious pumpkin spice vegan cupcakes with cream cheese frosting
  6. Always have a pastry bag

A pastry bag? I was a somewhat unprepared student. I couldn’t find one and had to take a break in the midst of my instructional time to run to Sur La Table to buy one. But it gave me a chance to get to know her better.

One more thing: Jody first inspiration was a really naughty fondant cake themed with gay daddy bears and leather.

Jody’s recipe:

Pumpkin Spice Vegan Cupcakes

  • 1/4 cup soy milk
  • 1 teaspoon. vinegar, preferably apple cider
  • 1 cup all purpose flour, preferably unbleached
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 cup each vegan sugar and packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon each ginger, nutmeg and salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cardamom (optional)
  • Dash of ground cloves and allspice
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 and line 12 count muffin tin with cupcake papers.

In large measuring cup, combine milk & vinegar to create soy “buttermilk. Allow to sit and curdle while preparing all the other ingredients.

In a large mixing bowl, combine sugars and whisk until smooth. Sift together all additional dry ingredients, including the spices and salt into the sugars. Whisk to combine.

In small bowl, stir together pumpkin, applesauce, oil and vanilla.

Pour wet ingredients into dry, adding soy “buttermilk” last. Combine all ingredients until smooth and pour into the prepared pan, filling cups about halfway.

Jody emphasized not to overfill as that would result in uneven baking

Bake for 18-22 minutes or until the tops spring back to a light touch.

These are perfect for breakfast with a little apple butter or cashew nut butter

You can have these just like this. Perhaps with a little apple butter or cashew butter, your favorite jam, or if you need something a little more dressed up, try Jody’s frosting below.

Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 6 tablespoons Vegan Cream Cheese, such as Tofutti brand
  • 2 tablespoons Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
  • 2-4 tablespoons soy milk (as needed)

Cream together the cream cheese and butter and add vanilla. Add the sugar one cup at a time. If frosting is too thick, you may slowly add soy milk to loosen up to reach the desired consistency.

Is there such thing as too much frosting?

Using a pastry bag an a decorative tip, frosting generously. Pretty, when it comes to baking, is a necessity. Sprinkle with some cinnamon on top for extra jewelry.

A little sprinkle of cinnamon gives a touch of color and a burst of additional spice

I would suggest doubling the recipe.

These are absolutely darling, although they won’t last long


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  • jodycakes

    I think I am your biggest fan!!! Thanks for having me…can’t wait to come back!

  • http://twitter.com/joel_luks/status/4398326459924480 Joel Luks

    A lesson from a Houston Food Celeb: Pumpkin Spice Vegan Cupcakes with Cream Cheese… http://goo.gl/fb/dGWBP #vegan

  • Linda

    I’ve never used a pastry bag, but this will be a good recipe to try it. I always wondered how I could get vegan buttermilk too for recipes–thanks for the tip!

    http://www.humaneapparel.com/blog/

  • http://twitter.com/joel_luks/status/5019675293384704 Joel Luks

    @marcigilbert Latest videoblog @jodycakes http://ow.ly/3bxjP (vid at the end), by myself: http://ow.ly/3bxkQ and art one: http://ow.ly/3bxna

  • vandervecken

    no pastry bag? cut off the bottom corner of a ziploc bag, not fancy but saves a trip to the store. if you have nozzels, cut the hole small enough so they won’t fall though … macgyver kitchen!

  • http://twitter.com/joel_luks/status/7114242511601665 Joel Luks

    @mfiofv Pumpkin Spice vegan cupcakes with cream cheese frosting: http://ow.ly/3ema4 and general #vegan thanksgiving http://ow.ly/3emdg

  • http://twitter.com/joel_luks/status/7120760036401152 Joel Luks

    @intheheartland3 Pumpkin Spice cupcakes with cream cheese frosting: http://ow.ly/3enpC and general #vegan thanksgiving http://ow.ly/3enpD

  • http://twitter.com/mfiofv/status/7136953740828672 M

    Thanks! @Joel_Luks re: Pumpkin Spice vegan cupcakes w/cream cheese frosting: http://ow.ly/3ema4 &general #vegan thksgvng http://ow.ly/3emdg

  • http://twitter.com/v3gan/status/7164958521425920 Vegan

    RT @MFIoFV: Thanks! @Joel_Luks re: Pumpkin Spice vegan cupcakes w/cream cheese frosting: http://ow.ly/3ema4 &general #vegan thksgvng htt …

  • http://twitter.com/joel_luks/status/10474080692084736 Joel Luks

    @vegancupcakeday http://ow.ly/3j8eD here you go:) a lesson from @jodycakes houston's baking diva with video :)

  • http://twitter.com/jodycakes/status/31784242799185921 jodycakes
  • http://twitter.com/imelda/status/35021499530215425 imelda

    Making these today: Pumpkin Spice Vegan Cupcakes w/ Cream Cheese Frosting – http://bit.ly/dpsC8w (via @joel_luks) #vegangoodeats #vegan

  • Pingback: Bake Sale Tomorrow!!! « El Paso Veg Snob

  • http://twitter.com/cccakery/status/69824243260604416 C&C Cakery

    @DianeLadyK I use one like this: http://tinyurl.com/38477ck – you'd have to experiment to find the taste you'd like. It lasts forever :)

  • Megan

    I made these for a vegan thanksgiving potluck this week! They were the first things gone, before any of the acutal dinner!! Best pumpkin spice cupcakes Ive ever had. 

  • http://twitter.com/theorganicnook/status/183274436630298624 Teri Whitchurch

    Oh, I can't wait to try these Pumpkin Spice vegan cupcakes!! http://t.co/oWle6u5f

About this site

VeganGoodEats.com is a compilation of my favorite recipes and experiences. Erasing the stereotype that we eat rabbit food, I hope that the site inspires you to live a cruelty-free life. There is enough to live peacefully and indulgently.

About Joel Luks

Intellectually curious arts advocate. Design junkie & blogger. Creative nutty vegan chef loving all ethnic foods in a quest to ensure vegan food is seen as delicious, varied, and yes, sometimes, indulgent. Classical flutist & sucker for rhythmic music.

I work for CultureMap.com, a Houston-based lifestyle digital magazine, where I report on food, arts, society and city life, produce videos and curate an events guide.

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