21-Year Old Launches Vegan Cupcake Business in Fort Lauderdale
Manning her vegan cupcakes at a booth all by herself at the Yellow Green Farmer's Market, 21-year-old Ariel Silvers has been awake since before dawn and has already frosted seven-dozen cupcakes. She baked them all the night before. With her apron tied tightly around her waist and a shy smile, you'd never guess it. She looks more like a high school student with a weekend gig, than the baker chef and founder of her own vegan cupcake business, Half Baked Goods.
Jess Swanson Ariel Silvers posing with her sweet vegan creations at her stand at the Yellow Green Farmer's Market.
Working at the Yellow-Green Farmer's Market on the weekends, delivering to Green Bar & Kitchen in the week, and managing deliveries and catering events the rest of the time, Silvers admits that "it's definitely a full time job."
Using apple sauce for eggs, and preferring water to soy milk, Silver's cupcakes don't taste like they're vegan. While some figure it must be too-good-to-be-true, Silver explains that her focus is on keeping her desserts from tasting, well, weird and with grainy mouth feel.
"Those dairy alternatives like rice and almond milk create a sponginess to the texture that I don't want," Silvers explains of her cupcakes. "I want to bake these moist cakes that people will remember eating before they realize it's vegan and gluten-free."
Her chocolate and vanilla cupcakes are the most ordinary of the 25 flavors. From her PB&J cupcakes (vanilla cake filled with strawberry jam and topped with peanut butter icing) to her Banana Chocolate Chip Flapjacks (banana chocolate chip cake with a maple syrup frosting), Silver's menu proves that vegan baking isn't limiting.
"For first time visitors, I recommend the French Toast or the Mocha Mama [cupcakes]. They're everyone's favorites."