I am a cancer (woot for June/July babies) which theoretically means that I am a nurturer, homebody, and damn good cook. I was honestly a bit hurt when they didn't want me to help them design their cupcakes. If anyone of the three of us knew food or baking, it was me. Not that I'm an expert. . . just that I'm more of an expert. But mostly, I felt excluded.
The cancer cupcake was a peanut butter and bananas combination. Not what I would have chosen to represent me, but I wasn't asked. Ultimately, it's better that way, because none of the cupcakes that my friends have made have been vegan.
A Valentine's day party was upon them and the baking began. I (perhaps, naively) suggested that they make a vegan cupcake so I could eat at the party. I was told that there would be hummus, veggies, and chips; There would be enough vegan food available to me and they had enough baking to do already.
A quick aside: These were two friends who would come to my house and enjoy vegan chik parm and tofu quiche when I was experimenting in the kitchen. The friends who would tell me that my chik parm was better than the real thing. Or that they never really liked quiche, but damn was that tasty. And when I made a whole-grain crusted fruit pizza. They were all pigging out. But, for some reason, the suggestion of making one vegan recipe in their own home was too extreme.
I decided that day that I was going to make a vegan cupcake for my friend's birthday, which was coming up. I was going to make a DAMN good cupcake at that. And guess what. . .
I did. Of course ;)
Since my vegan adventure, I'll become a frequent visitor of Oh She Glows and have given many of the recipes a try in the past few months. The next few posts will probably all come from my adventure's with the recipes from this site. I was lucky, because Angela who writes Oh She Glows, just happened to have the best chocolate cake recipe. And it just happened to be eggless. And it just so happens that soy milk is a staple in my house. So is Earth Balance. I didn't even need to go shopping, really.
I'm going to link directly to her page, here, because she has absolutely lovely presentation and photos, but if you're happy with my sad little kitchen and my sad little pictures, why leave Food-Like? The recipe goes:
VEGAN CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES
Yield: 12 cupcakes
- 1 cup non-dairy milk (I used Vanilla Almond milk)
- 1 cup sugar (I used natural cane sugar)
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil (or other oil)
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp pure almond extract (optional, but awesome)
- 1.5 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder, sifted (I used Dutch-process)
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 tsp kosher salt, to taste
1. Preheat oven to 350F and line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
**quick note: My thermometer makes a world of difference. My oven runs hot, so without it, I would be making burnt, dry cupcakes. I highly recommend everyone use a thermometer for their baking.**With an electric mixer, beat together the following ingredients in a large bowl (non-dairy milk, oil, sugar, apple cider vinegar, vanilla, almond extract). Beat on medium speed for a minute or two.
2. Now sift in the dry ingredients (flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt). Mix well, until the clumps are gone.
3. Spoon the batter into prepared cupcake pan, about two thirds full for each. Bake for about 22 minutes at 350F, or until the cupcake slowly springs back when pressed with a finger. Allow to completely cool before frosting.
4. LICK THE BOWL!
And the frosting. . . AMAZING!
VEGAN ALMOND "BUTTER"CREAM FROSTING
Yield: ~2 cups
- 1/2 cup Earth Balance buttery stick or equivalent, room temperature
- 3 cups icing sugar, sifted (I used organic)
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp pure almond extract (may sub. other extracts)
- 1.5-2 tbsp non-dairy milk, to achieve your desired consistency
1. In a mixing bowl, beat 1/2 cup of Earth Balance (or equivalent) with an electric mixer. Add in the milk, extract, and salt. Mix. Now gradually add in the sifted icing sugar, starting with 1 cup and mixing slowly until fully combined. I like to use my stand mixer when making frosting because I leave it mixing for about 5-10 minutes until nice and fluffy. Alternatively you can beat the frosting with a handheld mixer, for at least 4-5 minutes. Reserve about 1/2 cup of the frosting if you want to make the raspberry glaze (as shown).
To make the raspberry glaze, take the remaining frosting, and mash a handful of organic raspberries in a strainer over top, allowing the juice to strain through but holding back the seedy bits. This wasn't specified on Oh She Glows and when I let the seedy bits in, it resulted in a massive backlog in my little round pastry tip. THAT resulted in a crazy raspberry frosting explosion ALL OVER my kitchen table. SO, my advice to you is STRAIN, STRAIN, STRAIN.
My other advice to you: Try strawberries. Try mint extract. Try cocoa powder. Try peanut butter. Try Almond Butter. Try Coffee.
But, ultimately, TRY. This is a definite MUST TRY AT HOME!
And, next time I'm feeling left out of the cupcake love, I'm baking these babies, bringing them places, and calling them the "June-baby" cupcake. . . because if a good home cook is represented by anything, it ought to be a DAMN GOOD chocolate cake Even, a good vegan home cook. Right?
Take one beautiful chocolate cupcake, pipe on buttercream, then drizzle with raspberry infused buttercream. Top it with a fresh organic raspberry and bite into a little piece of heaven!
Maybe I'm not the world's best frosting piper (hey, it was my third time using a frosting tip, ever) and I'm definitely not the world's best photographer (props go to Ivy Darling, because she IS), but these were amazing cupcakes.
One step in the right direction. Proving that VEGAN is TASTY and I don't have to actually give up anything (although these do have a side effect of sugar withdrawal. . . )
I want pictures. I want feedback. Share the Food-Love. if you make these. Eating alone is like drinking alone. It's lonely. And I've been doing alot of it lately.