It was about 7pm on a Saturday night. The night before my niece’s 6th birthday.
I’d had a busy week and though I had had it in the back of my mind to ask my sister if she wanted me to bake something I hadn’t got around to it.
So I decided to give my sister a quick call to confirm arrangements for the next day. I thought she might have ordered a cake as she has done that before.
My niece answered the phone and dropped the bombshell:
‘Please can you bring galaxy cupcakes for my birthday?’ she asked.
‘Uh…. I don’t really know what those are!’ I replied.
‘It’s easy – I can help you make them’ she volunteered.
‘I don’t think we have time to make them together cos it’s already quite late now’ I told the eager little baker.
As soon as I got off the phone I sprang into action, using google to find out everything about galaxy cupcakes and what the heck they even are! I discovered that they are usually midnight blue or some sort of dark blue swirl and usually decorated with glitter and silver stars and moons and planets.
Jaye proceeded to go to multiple shops desperately trying to find stars, moons, planets, anything to resemble a galaxy. And then we had to give up – because we couldn’t find anything like that. Not anywhere. Not on short notice anyway.
And then I thought: well what if I just make some midnight blue velvet cupcakes and do a blue sanding sugar for ‘glitter’. And then I’ll see if my sister can find some stars or moons or something near her place and we can just pop them on top of the cupcakes when we arrive!
And so it happened that my niece got her galaxy cupcakes.
So that was what inspired these blue velvet cupcakes. I won’t call them galaxy cupcakes here because other than the color, what makes cupcakes ‘galaxy’ versus not galaxy is the decorations.
When it comes to flavor, this is blue velvet!
So I decided to make another batch for the blog because they worked out so well.
I really went dark with the color here, it’s very much a midnight blue. But still very much blue. They look almost black in the pictures, but in real life they are definitely blue, just a very dark midnight blue.
You could use much less food coloring if you prefer to have a lighter blue color.
Just as with my red velvet cupcakes I matched the frosting instead of going for a contrast color.
And just as with red velvet, the flavor of blue velvet comes about through a very subtle blend of flavors.
So subtle you can hardly put your finger on it. Hints of vanilla, buttermilk and chocolate all merging together to create a unique blue velvet flavor.
Blue sanding sugar works wonderfully as a decoration here because it shines and sparkles and looks very much like blue glitter.
To make it, all you do is put in a couple of drops of blue food coloring into a jar with about 1/4 cup white sugar. Close the lid of the jar and then shake it vigorously so that the color spreads evenly through the sugar.
And there you have your sanding sugar! If it’s a little more than you need, you can just keep it in a sealed jar and use it somewhere else.
The blue food coloring used in these blue velvet cupcakes makes your tongue blue. Just a warning.
But it’s not every day you eat blue things right? So I reckon it’s okay!
These cupcakes are super pretty, wonderfully moist and spongey and make a deliciously colorful treat. Throw some silver stars and half moons and a few round silver balls on top and you have galaxy cupcakes complete with planets!
These blue velvet cupcakes are the most delicious when fresh but they will last a couple of days at room temperature as well.
If you want them to last longer, then keep them in the fridge (covered) where they will stay good for up to a week!
I think you’ll love these blue velvet cupcakes, they are:
- Midnight Blue!
And if you love cupcakes, you’ll probably also love our orange and walnut carrot cake cupcakes, our chocolate cupcakes with mint buttercream frosting and our vegan vanilla cupcakes with strawberry frosting!
So let me know what you think of these cupcakes! Let me know in the comments and rate the recipe if you’ve made it!
If you take any pics of your gorgeous creations, tag me #lovingitvegan on instagram so I can see them!
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- For the Blue Velvet Cupcakes:
- 2 cups (250g) All Purpose Flour
- 1 cup (200g) White Sugar
- 1 tsp Baking Soda
- ½ tsp Salt
- 1 Tbsp Cocoa Powder (unsweetened)
- 1 cup (240ml) Vegan Homemade Buttermilk
- 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- ⅓ cup (80ml) Olive Oil (or other vegetable oil)
- 1 Tbsp White Vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
- 2 Tbsp (28ml Bottle) Blue Food Coloring
- For the Blue Velvet Frosting:
- 3 cups (375g) Powdered Sugar (Icing Sugar)
- ⅓ cup (75g) Vegan Butter
- 1 Tbsp Soy Milk (or other non-dairy milk)
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1 Tbsp Cocoa Powder
- 1 Tbsp Blue Food Coloring
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
- Sift the flour into a mixing bowl and then add the sugar, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder and mix.
- Prepare your buttermilk by squeezing half a lemon into a measuring jug and then adding soy milk (or other non-dairy milk) up to the 1 cup line. Allow to sit for a minute to curdle.
- Add the curdled buttermilk, vanilla, olive oil (or other vegetable oil), white vinegar and blue food coloring.
- Use a hand whisk to remove the lumps but don't over-mix.
- Line a cupcake tray with cupcake liners and divide the batter evenly between them.
- Place into the oven to bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the cupcakes comes out clean.
- Transfer the cupcakes to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely before frosting.
- Prepare your frosting by adding all the ingredients to a mixing bowl for an electric mixer and starting off at slow speed, gradually increase the speed until the frosting is thick and smooth.
- If your frosting is too thin, add more powdered sugar. If it is too thick, add a tiny bit of soy milk at a time and mix until you get the right consistency. The consistency should be very thick to allow for piping on the frosting.
- If you want to use some sanding sugar to decorate, add a couple of drops of blue food coloring to about ¼ cup of white sugar in a jar. Close the lid of the jar and shake the jar vigorously so that the blue dye distributes evenly resulting in perfectly even blue sanding sugar.
- Sprinkle on top of the frosted cupcakes.
**Recipe adapted from my Red Velvet Cupcakes.