One windy day, on a work related visit to London, I finally got to visit her shop. I was pregnant, and upon reaching the shop I had to leave immediately. Because I needed a wee. After a brief visit to the local cinema, I was able to return to the shop. It was the end of the day, but the counter was still filled with amazing looking cupcakes in a variety of flavours. I really wanted a ferrero rocher cupcake because whispers of their totes-amazeballs-ness had reached the North. Pre-wee there were some ferrero rocher cupcakes available, but post-wee they had gone. My pregnant waddle must have slowed me down. The sight of a distraught hormonal woman obviously pulled on the buttercream covered heart strings of the gifted baker, because she sneakily took one out of hiding for me. I sat outside the shop and tried not to wet myself with excitement. Did I mention I was pregnant?
At this point I had ridiculously high expectations of how the cupcake would taste. I expected it to taste like a bejeweled rainbow flavoured unicorn angel covered with sprinkles. I was not disappointed.
Living in the North has its advantages; cheap houses, awesome accents and really good curry sauce. But there are also some pretty major disadvantages; no Ms Cupcakes. I haven’t been to London since having Ebony. I do have a very lovely friend who brings me occasional boxes of Ms Cupcakes when she visits, but it’s safe to say the wonderful cakes are a rarity in my belly.
Thankfully though, word had reached London about the total misery and general bleakness brought on by a lack of Ms Cupcake, and a solution was in the making. As of today, you can buy a recipe book filled with Ms Cupcake recipes. Ms Cupcake: The Naughtiest Vegan Cakes in Town is as amazing as the cakes themselves.
I was lucky enough to get my hands on a pre-release copy at the Northern Vegan Festival last month. The first recipe I tried was the Bakewell Tart Cupcakes. They were amazing. Obviously they looked shit, because I can’t pipe to save my life, but they tasted so perfect. The book is filled with invaluable baking tips and advice that will completely revolutionise the way you bake. I had no idea about the way vegan baking really works until I read this book. For example, did you know you could have too much bicarbonate of soda in a vegan recipe and that’s what makes the cakes sink?
Unlike its US counterparts, Ms Cupcake’s recipe book uses metric as well as cup measurements. According to Ms Cupcake , if you’re having trouble baking with cups, it could be because you’re doing it wrong. If you’re measuring flour, you have to pour the flour into the cup - not scoop because that compacts the flour and you end up with the wrong amount. Mind blowing, right?
I’ve also made the mint chocolate cupcakes, the victoria sponge cake and the basic vanilla cupcake. Yes, in a month. Yes, I’ve put half a stone on. Let’s not talk about it.
The book itself is hardback, glossy and filled with gorgeous full-colour photos. If you’ve been to Ms Cupcake’s Brixton shop, then this book is exactly what you’d expect. It’s stylish and full of personality. Mine is already covered in smears of icing sugar and buttercream.
Speaking of buttercream... I cannot express in words how amazing the buttercream recipes are. Completely indulgent and dangerously delicious. Her methods are easy yet effective. Every cake I’ve made has turned out light, moist and spongy. Whatever problems you’re having with vegan baking, be it sunk tops, greasy bottoms or denseness, this recipe book will put an end to them.
But it will also make you dead fat.
Fuck it, buy it anyway.