apple streusel

playa Mar Bella, Barcelona

Now that my internship at Mina is over, I’m spending a couple of weeks in Barcelona before heading back to les estats.  Between excursions to the mountains and trips to the beach, I’m busy in the kitchen with animal-friendly experimentation …

Disclosure: I am not a vegan and I am not trying to be a vegan. But when a commenter on the blog suggested I include some vegan recipes, I figured why not?

My issue with vegan baking is that the label “vegan” gives you a sense of healthfulness and virtuosity that can be misleading. A lot of recipes substitute non-animal fats like margarine for good old-fashioned butter … and if I’m like: I wouldn’t spread that bright yellow imposter on my morning toast, why am I going to bake a batch of cupcakes loaded with the stuff ??

And so I sought a recipe without ingredients that I wouldn’t use otherwise.

The recipe for vegan apple streusel, adapted from Toni Rodriguez’ Cupcakes Veganos, is essentially your classic American apple pie, like the one my mom makes every year for Thanksgiving, except with drunky rum-soaked raisins. Because the ingredients are pretty simple: apples, raisins, lemon, cinnamon, sugar, crust … it’s a vegan recipe that doesn’t require butter substitutes. Cocinamos!


(makes about 12)

  • 3 apples (I prefer Fuji or Pink Lady)
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2/3 cup raisins
  • 1/3 cup rum
  • 2/3 cup water
  • peel of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 sheet pie dough*
  • vegetable or sunflower oil (for brushing streusel crust)
  • raw cane sugar (for sprinkling on top of crust)

(for topping)

  • fresh whipped cream**
  • cinnamon

Doin’ it:

  • Peel apples and remove the core. Cut into pieces about 1 cm cubes. Add to large mixing bowl and set aside.
  • Boil water with half of the sugar, the rum and the raisins. Once boiling, cook for 10 minutes. Strain and add raisins to bowl with apples. Add peel from one lemon, remaining sugar and cinnamon. Mix well.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit.
  • Cut dough into pieces (as many streusels as you are making) big enough to line the bottom and sides of cupcake mold.*** Carefully line each cupcake mold with one piece of dough.
  • Spoon apple mixture (about 1 heaping teaspoon) into each mold. Cover with another piece of dough, pressing around the edges to seal each streusel. Brush with oil, sprinkle with cane sugar.
  • Bake until dough is golden brown, about 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool a bit.
  • Serve warm with whipped cream and cinnamon.

* Surprise! Most store-bought dough happens to be vegan too! Check your label. For the more ambitious, learn how to make your own perfect pie crust here.

** To make vegan whipped cream, you can use non-dairy cream, made with a base of soy, oats or almond. Keep cream cold until you’re ready to whip it. Begin to whip with whisk and once cream starts to thicken, add sugar – 2 tbsp per cup, adjusting sweetness to your liking. Continue whipping until cream stiffens and careful not to overwhip. Cuz then it be like butta baby.

*** I used silicon cupcake molds with a cupcake paper, but you can also use the silicon cupcake mold with no paper OR a different type of mold with aluminum cupcake lining.


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