I never thought I would eat a vegan cupcake unless under duress. Then I met Big Sugar Bakeshop’s vegan chocolate vanilla bean cupcake. Holy moly, a vegan baked good that is just as good as the eggs-and-butter-laden kind? How is that possible?
First, let me say that Big Sugar Bakeshop is my favorite purveyor of cupcakes, not only in Los Angeles but anywhere. Here’s why I love Big Sugar:
- Cake is always moist and fresh.
- Frosting is light, smooth, and not too sweet.
- They use a reasonable amount of frosting, not a gigantic mound that overpowers the cake.
- Decorations are cute and minimalist.
- Cupcakes are cupcake-sized, not mini or jumbo.
On a recent visit to Big Sugar, I became curious about their vegan cupcake. I asked what was in the frosting. The answer: Earth Balance, a butter substitute made from a blend of natural oils. I was skeptical, but the guy behind the counter insisted that their vegan cupcake was immensely popular, even amongst folks who are not vegan. So I gave it a shot.
This cupcake was as chocolatey and moist as could be. In fact, the cake tasted almost exactly like their non-vegan cupcakes. As for the vanilla bean frosting, it had a smooth texture and didn’t taste artificial at all. A little heavier and less fluffy than buttercream frosting, with just a touch of oiliness. But not a deal breaker. On the contrary, the next time I went to Big Sugar, I ordered the vegan cupcake again.
You might ask why I’d do such a thing, when I’m not a vegan and I do eat butter. I have to admit that my stomach likes the vegan cupcake a little better than the regular ones. There is zero fall-out — no stomach ache, no bloat, no gas. What more can you ask for?
Well, this: more flavors of vegan cupcakes from Big Sugar. Red velvet, please!
BIG SUGAR BAKESHOP, 12182 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, CA 91604