Vegan Carob Walnut Cupcakes

This recipe has been a favorite of mine for many years – it makes such a light and fluffy cake that is luscious, dark and rich in flavor, but surprisingly low in fat. Most people are convinced it is a dark chocolate cake – as the barley coffee gives it some of the bitterness of chocolate. It is the chemical reaction between the vinegar and baking soda that makes this cake rise, and which is one of the secrets of making amazingly light, delicate, egg-less cakes. As the vinegar reacts with the baking soda, its flavor is neutralized, forming bubbles of carbon dioxide and water, so don’t worry-  you won’t taste it. Just make sure to preheat your oven so that you can immediately bake this cake.


  • 2 c flour – 150 g
  • 1/2 c carob – 50 g
  • 2 T barley coffee powder (orzo, Inka)
  • 1 1/2 c sugar – 175 g
  • 1 1/2 t soda
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/4 c oil – 50  ml
  • 2 c water (sparkling water is best if you have it) 225 ml
  • 1 T vinegar
  • 1/2 cup of toasted, chopped walnuts

Mix all dry ingredients together.  Add the oil and water, beating the batter until well mixed – it will be a very runny consistency.  Add the vinegar at the end, and only when the oven is already hot (approximately 350 degrees) so that the cake can immediately be put in the oven, while the baking soda and vinegar are reacting and causing bubbles in the cake. Fold in the walnuts.  Spoon into a greased or lined muffin tin, and then bake until done (about 30 minutes).


  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar (1 package Dr. Oetker’s)
  • 100 grams butter (1 stick)
  • 2 T barley coffee
  • 1 T carob powder

Melt the butter over a low flame and then add the other ingredients, whisking until smooth and shiny. Glaze the cupcakes when slightly cooled – if they are too hot, the glaze will simply melt off, but some warmth helps it to spread easily.