This World Vegan Month, vegan bakery Ms. Cupcake have chosen to support The Vegan Society through the sale of a specially designed Vegan Society cupcake.
We caught up with Ms. Cupcake herself, Melissa Morgan, to find out a bit more about the business, why they support the charity, and to get some vegan baking tips!
When did you start Ms. Cupcake and what inspired you to do so?
The business began as I was transitioning to a vegan diet. As a massive cake lover, I couldn’t find vegan cake options anywhere, so I began baking at home for myself. I thought it would be a hobby or a part-time thing, but the response was incredible, so I started taking my cakes to market stalls around London and it grew from there. My first market stall was in the spring of 2010 and within a year I opened our shop – which was the UK’s first entirely vegan bakery.
Tell us about why have you chosen to support The Vegan Society?
The Vegan Society has always been hugely supportive and helpful over the years. So, we felt it was time to give something back!
Why do you think we have seen a rise in veganism in recent years?
I think a big reason is education. A growing number of people are learning about the reality of the meat, dairy and egg industries – and finding it is something they cannot ignore. The rise of social media over the last 10 years has helped these messages to travel at a record rate. I also feel that another factor is that the negative preconceptions and myths about ‘vegans’ and ‘veganism’ are finally eroding. It helps that vegans are now being properly catered for now at your local supermarkets or restaurants on the high street.
At The Vegan Society, we think sharing cake is a great method of activism! Do you agree and if so, why?
Absolutely! Cake brings everyone together. It’s inclusive and fun and can get across a message in a very yummy way.
What do you enjoy most about baking?
Innovating! In the beginning, I spent a great deal of time coming up with loads of cupcake flavour combinations. I think we have over two hundred different cupcake flavours in our recipe box here at Ms. Cupcake! Nowadays we do so much more than just cupcakes, and I love working with our team to create exciting milkshakes, squares, cakes, cookies and savoury treats.
What is the secret to a great vegan bake?
Do not stir your cake batter too much! When we say, ‘stir until just combined’, we mean it! If you stir for a long time you’re asking for a dense, thick cake! Excessive stirring overworks the gluten in the flour and without the eggs to help leaven the batter, the result will be a cake that is dense and flat. Keep a light hand and all will be good!
Do you have any tips that you would give to someone who has never baked before?
Find a recipe with 10 or less ingredients to start with. Keep it simple so you don’t get discouraged! Also, follow the recipe to the letter when starting out – as your confidence grows that’s when you can start to change it up a bit.
Have you had any famous vegans come into the store?
Oh goodness loads! We count a lot of presenters, actors and musicians as our clients, but our cupcake crew get super-excited when famous activists and vegan documentary makers come through the door. Oh, and having vegan baking goddesses like Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Chloe Coscarelli come to visit has been amazing too!
What is your favourite flavour cupcake?
I hate to pick favourites as each one of them feels like my baby! How can you pick favourites with your children?! I guess I have a special place in my heart for the Bakewell Tart Cupcake though, as it is one of the first vegan recipes I ever created.
The views expressed by our bloggers are not necessarily the views of The Vegan Society.