Like all baked goods, the cupcakes need an acid to react with a base in order to create Carbon Dioxide. For Hidden Giant cupcakes the acid is White Vinegar, with an pH of 2.4, and the base Baking Soda with a pH of 8.3. Baking soda is a pretty common thing for someone to have in their household because it can be used for many other things besides baking, such as cleaning etc. But what if you didn’t have white vinegar in the house? What if you had apple cider vinegar, or even just lemon juice instead? Therefore, three batches of this recipe were made, the first being with white vinegar (the normal recipe), the second with lemon juice, and the last with apple cider vinegar.
The lemon juice batch that I made really was not very good. Almost as soon as I added the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients it was runny. That being said when I tasted the batter, which I don’t recommend doing at home because it does contain a raw egg, it tasted the same as the regular recipe. However towards the end, when I was scooping the cream cheese into the chocolate batter, it seemed very thin. The scoop of cream cheese sort of just fell to the bottom. Then when they were taken out of the oven, the cupcakes were VERY shiny and the cream cheese wasn’t visible on the top of the cupcake.
The taste of the cupcake was not good at all. At first my family and I thought that it wasn’t that bad, but it was VERY bland. It was sort of like you could tell something was missing, you just couldn’t tell what it actually was until you realized it was the flavor. Even though the lemon flavor didn’t come through in the cupcake, I think the flavor had a real effect on the flavoring of the cocoa powder. It also seemed to neutralize any interesting flavor there was in there. Below is a picture of the final product in the lemon juice batch.
When it came to the apple cider vinegar batch, that was by far more successful than the lemon juice batch. The apple cider vinegar was the substitution that was the closest to the white winegar. As soon as the wet and dry ingredients were combines, the batter was just as thick as the regular recipe. In addition to that when putting the cream cheese in the batter before baking, the cream cheese didn’t fall to the bottom like it did with the lemon juice.
After taking the cupcakes out of the oven, you really couldn’t tell the difference between the apple cider vinegar ones and the white vinegar ones. They were not as shiny as the lemon juice, and overall just seemed more normal. However the only difference that I really saw was in the taste of the cupcake. When you first took a bite out of the apple cider vinegar one it tasted normal, until you took a bite of the normal cupcakes. From what it tasted like, the taste had a certain tang to it that you really shouldn’t have in the cupcake. The apple cider vinegar tasted sort of crept into the flavoring, and it didn’t combine perfectly with the chocolate and cream cheese. Below is a picture of the apple cider vinegar batch.
Overall I don’t recommend that anyone make these cupcakes with anything but white vinegar. However if you really want to make these cupcakes and you have no white vinegar, and can’t go to the store, using Apple Cider Vinegar would be your best bet.
Pictures: I, Gracie P, have taken all photos associated with this website, in addition to that this recipe is a family recipe, I did not get it from a specific online/non online source.