Tag Archives: cupcakes

Vegan Cupcakes!

11 Dec

I watched Food Inc. a couple of weeks ago and I was horrified.  I bought the movie about a year ago but I had heard so much about it, I was actually scared to watch it.  But, in my biodiversity class we were discussing large scale farming and agriculture and it seemed the perfect introduction to the topic.

If you haven’t seen it, you should..but be prepared for some things that you don’t want to see or even hear about.

I don’t want to get into it here , since I want you to read this post and get hungery–not sick.  But, I do think it is important to watch.  It is good stuff to know.  And think about.

I was vegan for a long time and vegetarian for even longer.  But this year, I started to eat chicken and turkey–mainly as another quick protein source and it is something the kids like.  Food Inc., got me to thinking about where we get our chicken and other meats and what I am feeding to my kids.

I am on a mission next year to find a supplier of local, small scale chicken and other meats.  I may even attempt to add a couple of chickens to our backyard (for eggs)–although we have lots of alligators, raccoons, and otters–it may not be such a good idea.

In the meantime, I decided to be a little more thoughtful when I bake.  I already buy organic, free range eggs from Jessica’s Organic Farm but what about milk and butter?

I started thinking about becoming vegan again.  Could I do it?  The best way to decide was to experiment with vegan cupcakes.

Luckily, it was the last week of class for my students and I thought they could use a little vegan sweets to liven up their tired bodies.  I used recipes from “Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World” and made both vanilla cupcakes with cocoa buttercream and chocolate cupcakes with white buttercream. I was on a baking mission…..It was great-the house was quiet, it was cold outside, the kitchen smelled heavenly.

And the cupcakes were so good. I ate three.

If you didn’t know, you wouldn’t be able to tell that they were vegan.  Especially the chocolate cake and the frosting.

Serve this right away to starving artist (or starving anyone) and know that you are doing something nice for someone and for the planet.

Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes

From Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup soy milk
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract, chocolate extract, or more vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder, Dutch-processed or regular
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

1.  Mix soy milk and vinegar together.  Whisk around and let it froth a bit.  Add the sugar, oil and extracts.  (I only used vanilla since that was all I had. )

2.  In a separate bowl, sift together the dry ingredients.  (Once again, I had no baking powder so I added 1 tsp of baking soda instead-and it seemed to work just fine.)

3.  Fold the dry ingredients into the wet.  Stir until combined.  Lumps are OK!

4.  Scoop about 1/4 cup into pre-lined muffin tins.

5.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 18 minutes.

6.  Let cool completely before frosting with the Vegan Buttercream.

Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes

From Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World

  • 1 cup soy milk
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 and 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 T cornstarch
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract, chocolate extract, or more vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder, Dutch-processed or regular
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Follow the same steps as you did for the chocolate cupcakes!  (Steps 1-6 above)

Vegan Fluffy Buttercream Frosting

From Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World

This recipe make A LOT so if you only need enough for 12 or so cupcakes–half it.

1/2 cup non-hydrogenated shortening

1/2 cup non-hydrogenated margarine

3 and 1/2 cup of confectioners’ sugar

1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/4 (or a little less) of soy milk or soy creamer

1) Beat shortening and margarine together until well combined and fluffy.

2) Add sugar and beat for 3 minutes.

3) Add vanilla and soy milk and beat until fluffy (about 5-7) minutes.

4) Fill up a pastry bag and pipe piles of frosting on your cooled cupcakes.

Vegan Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

From Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World

1/4 cup  shortening

1/4 cup margarine

2 and 1/2 cup of confectioners’ sugar

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 T soymilk

1) Cream together the margarine and shortening.

2) Add the cocoa powder and mix it up.

3) Add the confectioners sugar (not all at once but a little bit at a time).

4) Splash in a little soymilk and finally add the vanilla.

5) Whip it up for 5-7 minutes and pipe it on to cooled cupcakes.

6) I topped mine with crushed candycanes (festive!) but you could do whatever you want to make them look even prettier.

***Oh, by the way the book that I borrowed these recipes from “Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World” was written by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero.  You can  buy it here.  But, I wanted the mention their other book that I absolutely LOVE, “Veganomicon“.  I am not vegan but the recipes are written so well and the many I have tried have been amazing.  I highly recommend it.  (This is not a paid announcement—just me proclaiming my love for a cookbook.  That’s normal, right?)

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Lunch Box Project Paints My Vanilla Cupcakes

9 Dec

I’m sure you all know about Lisa of The Lunch Box Project, right?  If you don’t–you should.

She paints pictures of food on playing cards and does all kinds of interesting food art (not art with food-but art of food).

Right now she is working on a poster of cupcakes featuring various bloggers cupcake recipes.

And I feel so proud, because she painted my cupcakes!

Remember when in the middle of a detox cleanse I made 100  mini cupcakes for the Bean’s school party?

Well, she painted them!  She is so talented–I wish I had some of that ability. I can’t wait to see the final poster.

You can check out all of her other cupcakes at her site.  Check out her store as well–there are lots of neat prints that could be the perfect gift for that last person on your shopping list.

Bakery Review: Cakes by Ron (and a giveaway)!

1 Nov

It turns out lots of people visit Sarasota.  The beaches and the surrounding villages make prime tourist destinations.  Lots of European visitors spend their winter here and of course, the Northerners come down in the winter too.  I didn’t know any of this before we moved here.

You may be wondering how that fits into a review of a place called, “Cakes by Ron”.

Well, I figure that most people, for some reason or another, will end up in Sarasota–to  visit the beach,  their German grandparents, or to play in a ultimate Frisbee national tournament—and while you are here, you may as well have a place in mind where you can get a good cupcake.

Which is where “Cakes by Ron” comes in.  “Cakes by Ron” is located on Fruitville Ave (where it intersects with Beneva) and surrounded by a bunch of wedding type places (like a florist and a caterer)–it is one-stop-wedding planner shopping.  It is the kind of area that if you are not planning a wedding–you may not think twice about.

Unless you are obsessed with cakes.

I stopped by Cakes by Ron the other day to check out their display case, which I was told was “filled with cupcakes everyday.”

I was so impressed that I had to buy four just to sample them to see if they were as good as they looked.

I selected vanilla, Boston creme, pumpkin and apple.

Aren’t they pretty?

We split them into quarters and each sampled each cupcake.

The verdict?

Definitely worth the three dollars—it was a perfect afternoon treat for all of us.

The best?

My favorite was the vanilla with vanilla frosting–which is odd for me, usually I want chocolate.  The apple was so tasty too–but it was bright green which threw me off a bit.

Aaron voted  for the Boson Creme Pie–with the creamy vanilla filling.  The pumpkin was great too with candied ginger sprinkled around the top—but its seasonal, so not always available.

Although there are other cupcakes places around Sarasota, “Cakes by Ron” gets my vote for delivering  the best cake and delicious frosting.  I want to try all of their flavors!

And, for any of you readers who happen to be in Sarasota, send me a comment stating what your favorite kind of cupcake —and I will give one lucky winner a coupon to get a free cupcake at “Cakes by Ron”!

Your chances are great so submit a comment now!

No sugar, no wheat, no alcohol, no caffeine.

28 Jan

Next Monday, February 1st, I will begin the above cleanse…..According to my friend, this cleanse will rid my body of my toxic sugar addiction, cleanse my mind and spirit, and result in excellent skin and beautiful hair.  There may also be a period of emotional stress resulting in depression, anxiety, and feelings of worthlessness.  Yikes!  However, since I like to do extreme and odd things–I decided to give it a go.  I can do anything for a month, right?  My sister, a couple of her friends, and my mom are all joining in on the cleansing–starting next Monday.  (Hmmmm, I have got to think of a fantabulous way to celebrate and kick-off this cleanse.  Maybe Smitten Kitchen’s Homemade Oreos?)  And anyone else that feels like a whole month of boring—join us! 

There are a couple of problems that come with this cleanse.  One being cravings.  Another, grumpiness.  I haven’t yet decided what to do about the cravings.  February is a pretty quiet month (or so I thought) as far as gatherings go, so I felt that I would have less temptation.  However, I thought wrong.  I forgot about Nova’s birthday, the Super Bowl, Chinese New Year, Valentines Day, and the start of the Easter candy season.  Not to mention the fact that I volunteered to make 100 mini cupcakes for Sawyer’s “Elegant Party”.  I think I like to torture myself.

Watch out, because next week, I will be making sweets and blogging about them—-but not able to sample them.  Even the thought of it makes me grumpy.