After perusing my go-to blogs, I ended up selecting a recipe from VegWeb called "Favorite White/Yellow Cake." It was the only recipe for which I had all the ingredients readily available, and it worked out pretty perfectly, because I had exactly enough lemon juice and vanilla extract on hand.
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup icy cold water (important)
1/2 cup oil
2 teaspoons vanilla (Madagascar vanilla gives a better vanilla flavor)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease an 8" or 9" cake pan. In a bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking soda and salt until very light and airy, about 3 times.
2. In a small bowl, combine cold water, oil, and vanilla. Add liquid ingredients (except lemon juice) to dry and combine. Once the batter is combined, add the lemon juice and stir quickly then pour into prepared pan.
3. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until cake tests done with toothpick. (it turned out to be 17 minutes for the cupcakes)
This recipe tastes like a typical omni vanilla cake. It rises extremely well and is light, fluffy, moist and rich at the same time.
Makes: 1 (8-9") cake
I did have a couple of issues with this recipe at first. In general I have a lot of trouble scooping cupcake batter into the liners without making a huge mess, and this batter was dripping everywhere. It was super runny. Also, it only produced 17 cupcakes, which was kind of disappointing. However, once the cupcakes cooled and I iced one up, the results were pretty good. I thought that I could taste a bit of lemon in the cupcake, but my roommate didn't seem to notice.
It's easy to find vegan and gluten-free frosting these days. I've seen it in the regular grocery store and even Target. While I come from a long line of bakers, I am definitely not skilled in the finer aspects of crafting desserts. For some reason, I find icing cupcakes to be a very challenging task, but these look pretty cute if I do say so myself! Fiasco averted.