Anatomy of a Vegan Cupcake with the Sizemore Sisters of Treehouse Bakery
See also: Treehouse Bakery: Great for Vegans and Pretty Good for Everyone Else
Mabel Suen The anatomy of a Treehouse Bakery vegan vanilla cupcake.
See also: Vegan-Friendly Treehouse Bakery (Finally) Gets Its Storefront
When you're cooking, it's all about a dash of this and a splash of that. But baking is another matter, an exact science. In this series, we're going behind the bakery case and into the kitchens of some of Phoenix's finest purveyors of sweets (and some savories). Fresh out of culinary school, Chow Bella contributor Mabel Suen will work with local chefs to learn their tricks for making perfect pastries, baked goods and desserts. Stay tuned for findings once the flour settles.
The Baked Good: The Vegan Vanilla Cupcake
The Chefs: Sisters Amanda and Corianne Sizemore
The Place: Treehouse Bakery
Let's get one thing straight. Co-owners Corianne and Amanda Sizemore of the vegan-centric Treehouse Bakery aren't vegans.
Mabel Suen Treehouse Bakery is a two-woman operation.
Regardless of this surprising fact, the two sisters still choose to bake vegan -- even at home -- preferring the flavor and texture of vegan baked goods made with all-natural and organic ingredients to conventionally prepared ones.
A door chime clattered as I walked into their quiet shop, decorated with the kind of pleasing pink stripes that are so picturesque for small boutique bakeries. A recurring kawaii cupcake character giggled a wide grin everywhere from TB's outdoor sandwich board and business cards to the windows and walls.
In the kitchen, the sisters both wore feminine aprons decorated with more cute, pastel colored cupcakes. They took turns working on cake batters and green ninja Angry Birds made out of fondant for a birthday cake.
"It makes me really happy to make things for people who normally don't get to have things like this," says Corianne. "One time, we baked for a kid with dairy allergies. He was seven-years-old and never had a birthday cake because his mom didn't know how to bake."
Three years ago, Corianne started making "uncheesecakes" for a friend who had given up animal products and was having a hard time finding fulfilling things to eat. Many kitchen experiments and farmers' markets successes later, along with the establishment of a storefront this past April, the TB line of products has grown to include vegan cupcakes, cookies, pop tarts, muffins and pies.
To the Sizemores, the perfect vegan vanilla cupcake has a softer, lighter texture that is a little more fragile than a traditional cupcake. They are fluffy, moist without being soggy, and just sweet enough to satisfy cravings without inducing sugar comas.
The color of a good vegan cupcake is a pale golden shade and has a distinct flavor, unmasked by standard baking fats. Read on for their advice on how to achieve this qualities, and then try out the Treehouse Bakery vanilla cupcake recipe they've been gracious enough to offer up for the vegan or dairy intolerant friend in your life. Who knows? You might end up favoring it, too.