The Adventures of Tom Soya

If you live with roommates, family members, or a significant other, the likelihood is that someone in your living space has a food allergy or a very specific dietary regimen. As a result, the fridge is filled with a hodgepodge of remedies and substitutes. You never know what you’ll accidentally pour onto your cereal (or into your cupcake batter).

I share a fridge with six other people: they make up a wonderful French family who has given me a room in West London in exchange for nannying the four children. Like the playful Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn, these energetic and ever-growing kids need strong bones to stand up to the endless adventures. However, one of the children has an allergy to most dairy products. And so, next to the semi-skimmed milk is a quart of soya and a pint of oat something or other. When I am in the mood to bake, sometimes I grab whichever dairy product I see first – thus resulting in the occasionally – if accidentally – delicious cupcake recipe!


Soya Carrot Cupcakes:

1/2 cup butter, room temperature

1 cup sugar

1 1/4 cup flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp cinnamon

2 eggs

1/4 cup soy milk

2 carrots, grated


1. Beat butter, sugar, and vanilla extract together for about five minutes (until creamy and a bit fluffed up).

2. Add soy milk and eggs one at a time, whisking mixture until smooth.

3. Sift in flour and baking soda and combine until smooth. Fold in carrots.

4. In greased or lined muffin tins, bake cupcakes at 350 degrees for about fifteen minutes (until knife comes out clean). Allow cupcakes to cool before decorating with frosting.


1/2 cup cream cheese, room temperature

1/2 cup butter, room temperature

2 cups icing sugar

Pinch of salt


1. Using an electric mixer, combine cream cheese, butter, and salt. Incorporate the icing sugar in three separate batches until completely incorporated.

2. Pipe frosting onto carrot cupcakes and garnish with walnuts.

Enjoy soy carrot cupcakes with Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and check in at for future recipes and book reviews!


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