There have been quite a few vegan bake sale fundraisers in L.A. lately (which I’m all about), with proceeds going toward helping animals. Yay! I’ve had my fair share of vegan cupcakes but some of the most moist, floofiest, scrumptious-deliumptious cupcakes I’ve ever tried at these events were made by 13-year-old cupcake extraordinaire, Clara. She runs her own cupcake business in L.A. called Clara’s Cakes. I had to learn more about this sweet toothed sweetheart. Here’s what she had to say…
Are these cupcakes your own recipes? Or do you use any special cookbooks?
Most of these cupcakes are my ideas. Sometimes for the recipes, I’ll just take a basic cupcake flavor from a vegan cookbook (I adore Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World) or online and modify it to make it have the perfect texture and taste that I miss from non-vegan cupcakes/desserts.
What inspired you to make vegan cupcakes?
What inspired me to make vegan cupcakes and desserts in general was actually just being vegan! I wanted to just experiment and practice baking vegan until the end result tasted like a dessert that would normally have dairy and eggs in it, but better! I realized becoming vegan, I would have to teach myself how to bake/cook from scratch, rather than just popping this and that in the microwave and oven.
How long have you been vegan/vegetarian?
I have been vegetarian since I was 5 years old, so 8 years. I’ve been vegan for about 1 year! My mom has really influenced me, but she hasn’t forced anything on me which is the best way to help people make the transition. I became vegan for a couple reasons that just kind of collided together. I had previously thought that being vegetarian was cruelty-free, but I realized I was completely wrong. I also thought it was really gross to consume breast milk from cows that was meant for their babies, who get separated within a couple of hours and used for veal. Becoming vegan was probably the best decision of my life!
What’s your advice for young people who are interested in becoming vegan?
Take it slowly. Being vegan is a hard thing to get used to—it shouldn’t be overwhelming, but refreshing. If you accidentally eat something with some dairy derived ingredient, no big deal. You’ll just learn from that mistake not to have that certain food/ingredient. Don’t be hard on yourself. Also, get your parents involved, even just one parent. Research what you’re doing and explain it thoroughly to your parents. If they don’t get it, tell them the horrid facts you’ve learned about dairy and factory farming. Explain to them it’s not going to cost more money, probably about the same, and find more affordable places to shop that provide plenty of vegan options.
What is your all time favorite kind of cupcake?
That’s a really hard question! I love my Neapolitan cupcake, but the basic chocolate and vanilla cupcakes are great since you can make them into whatever flavor you can imagine.