3 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup vegan butter (+1 cup for frosting)
2 cups organic granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon lemon zest (+/- 1 teaspoon for frosting)
1 cup non-dairy milk
2 tablespoons lemon juice (+/- 2 tablespoon for frosting)
16 oz powdered sugar
pink natural food coloring (optional)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a mini muffin pan with paper liners (I went for a sunny yellow).
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. This is the dry mixture.
In another mixing bowl, combine 1 cup vegan butter with granulated sugar, and gradually add in applesauce, vanilla, lemon zest and milk until well incorporated. Slowly add in the dry mixture until you have a divinely smooth, seriously lickable batter.
Spoon slightly less than a tablespoon of batter into each mini muffin cup. Bake for about 15 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean. Let cool a few minutes in the pan, then remove to a rack to cool completely.
For the frosting, using a standing mixer or hand mixer, whip remaining 1 cup butter, gradually adding in powdered sugar until smooth and creamy. To suit your discerning flavor palette, add approximately 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and 1 teaspoon of lemon zest (trust your taste buds on this one). Since I can't get enough of millennial pink lately, I added in a drop or two of pink natural food coloring to complete the pink lemonade look. You can also add yellow natural food coloring for a traditional lemonade vibe.
I used a piping bag and large star tip for my signature swirls. You can also simply spread frosting on with a knife. Enjoy!