Posts Tagged ‘cupcakes’

Vanilla Cupcakes


I’m so predictable. It’s Friday and I’m giving you a dessert recipe. I think its because I secretly hope that you will make these on Friday and eat the entire thing over the weekend so I will feel better about having nothing but these for lunch two days in a row.

I actually made these for the 5-year-old that I nanny for. When I asked her what she wanted to bring to school for her birthday, the conversation went like this:


Me: Vanilla cupcakes? Are you sure?

Her: Yes!!

Me: Well…do you want me to throw strawberries in? I can make pink strawberry cupcakes!

Her: No. I want vanilla.

Me: Do you want me to add some sprinkles?

Her: No! Just vanilla

Me: Pink Vanilla?


Me: fine…


I was so underwhelmed. Vanilla cupcakes are never my go to recipe. Ever. I think because all the really bad store-bought cakes and cupcakes that are always brought to parties and events are plain, ol’ stale vanilla. I’ve been scarred.

So I grudgingly made these with some serious trepidation. When they came out amazing, I was really, really surprised. Of course, I flat out ignored her request for all vanilla and paired them with the strawberry frosting from this recipe, which is hands down my favorite. She loved them.


Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes
from Food.com
makes 12

  • 1 cup non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons vanilla

Pre-heat oven to 350 F and line a muffin tin with liners.

Stir the non-dairy milk and the apple cider vinegar together and set aside for a few minutes to curdle.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the milk/apple cider mixture, oil, sugar and vanilla together. Add the flour mixture and beat until no large lumps remain. (if you taste the batter after it’s all combined, it tastes just like a box cupcake mix!)

Fill the cupcake liners 2/3 full and bake for 20 to 22 minutes until done.

I had to make 3 dozens of these puppies. Of course, after I made the first batch of vegan ones, I remembered that one of the 5 year-olds classmates is allergic to nuts, which means no almond milk. I had to scrub everything really well and make 3 new batches with regular milk. Thankfully, I only made 1 dozen of the vegan version before I remembered this.


The cupcakes pictured are frosted with this Coconut Frosting, which I had left over, and some chocolate frosting from a left over cake that was made. All the strawberry frosting went onto the non-vegan cupcakes so I decided to use what I had instead of making a whole new batch. The vanilla cupcakes went beautifully with all of them but my favorite was definitely the strawberry.


Now, go make these and report back with how many you ate so I can feel better about how many I had. Kthanks

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I know it’s 7:30pm in the States and the day after Valentine’s Day in Australia but I am physically incapably of letting a holiday pass without making a corresponding dessert. I think it may be a problem. Chronic Seasonalbakingaholic? Sure, that sounds about right.

For this Valentine’s Day, I wanted to make something a little different. EVERYONE makes red velvet something or other. I’m totally guilty of that as last year I made Red Velvet Nutella Breakfast Rolls in the shape of hearts. (side note: the Aussies say “Love heart” when describing the traditional Valentines Day heart…weirdos). They were to die for. I think I had a dreams about those breakfast rolls for days after. BUT, they were kind of cliche.


So this year, I decided to branch out a little and leave the red velvet for others (my pancakes were technically not red velvet since they don’t have food dye…even though you could easily add it). I decided to go for passionfruit since you want passion for Valentine’s Day? Get it? Get it? Cool. And thanks to this handy cook book I got for Christmas (thanks Matt!), I know that passionfruit and coconut pair well together. Thus, the Coconut Passionfruit Cupcake with Coconut Milk Buttercream was born.


Coconut Passionfruit Cupcake with Coconut Milk Buttercream Frosting
veganized from SBS.com.au
makes approximately 15

cake ingredients:

  • 1½ cups self-raising flour
  • ½ cup shredded coconut, sweetened or unsweetened, whichever you prefer.
  • ¾ cup coconut milk
  • ¼ cup passionfruit pulp (approximately 3–4 large passionfruit)
  • ¾ cup vegan butter, room temperature
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 Ener-G eggs

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Whisk together the flour and coconut in bowl, set aside. Combine the coconut milk and passionfruit pulp in a small jug and set aside. Whisk together the vegan eggs and set aside.

Cream butter for 1–2 minutes until light and fluffy. Add the caster sugar a third at a time and beat for 1–2 minutes after each addition.

Add 1/2 the egg mixture and beat for 1 minute. Add the rest and beat for 1 minute.

Add ⅓ of the flour and coconut and beat on low until just combined. Add half of the coconut milk and passionfruit mixture and beat until combined. Repeat this again and then finish with the final third of the flour and coconut. Do not over beat the mixture or it will become tough.

Line cupcake pans with papers and fill liners 3/4 full. Bake for 15–20 minutes or until skewer comes out clean when tested. Allow cool on a cake cooler.

 Coconut Milk Buttercream Frosting*:
adapted from Dairyfreecooking.about.com
  • 1/2 cup dairy-free soy margarine, room temperature
  • 4 c. powdered sugar
  • 1/2 can coconut milk
  • 1/2 t. vanilla extract
  • food coloring (optional)
Beat the butter until fluffy, about 1 minute. Add half of the powdered sugar and beat for another 1-2 minutes until well mixed. Add the coconut milk and vanilla extract. Beat for another 1-2 minutes. Add the remaining powdered sugar and beat for 1 minute or until well mixed and fluffy. Add food coloring if you wish.
*One of the batches of cupcakes I made come out super fluffy and moist. It was almost the texture of pound cake and suspect I over mixed something. If that happens with yours, I would recommend saving the buttercream for another recipe and going the coconut whipped cream route. I haven’t been able to find an Aussie brand of coconut milk that will separate which is why I opted for buttercream but most in the US do separate.
To make the chocolate hearts:
vegan chocolate, preferably melting chocolates
Line a cookie sheet with wax paper or parchment paper and set aside. Place some vegan chocolate in a plastic baggy and stick it in the microwave. Heat for 15 seconds. Pull it out and mush the chocolate around. Repeat this process until the chocolate is fully melted. Snip the corner of baggy. Pipe hearts onto your prepared cookie sheet. Put it in the fridge to solidify. Once hard, decorate your cupcakes!
Hope everyone has a great Valentine’s with their special someone or with friends! I’ll tell you how I spent my Valentine’s Day next week. It was kind of hilarious.

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Do you trust me?

Oh, man. Look how pretty those cupcakes are! Look at that color. Isn’t it beautiful? Aren’t you super dying to know what I used to get that pretty purpley-red color?


ok…Beets…WAIT! DON’T LEAVE!! hear me out…

I know what you are thinking- Beets in cupcakes? Um…eew!! I know that’s what you are thinking because that’s exactly what I thought when my friend, Melinda, sent this to me. She sent this to me, clearly excited about her vegan find but I was not convinced. I filed in politely in my recipe folder and mentally wrote it off as ‘aint never happenin’!

But, here’s why:  I was at a friend’s house once when I was fairly young and her mom served us boiled beets. Just plain, soggy, boiled beets. I was expected to clean my plate, too. The only way I could get them down was to put a little bite in my mouth, take a big swing of milk, chew it really quickly and rinse it all down. It took me two glasses of milk to get through the beets on my plate and I’ve never eaten one since then. In fact, I’m getting queasy just typing this.

I just can't get over the color of this batter...

Melinda’s email and recipe conjured that queasy feeling again. I couldn’t bring myself to be excited about it. Then, she sent me the following email yesterday after she made them:

My dad just had one with his morning coffee and declared them absolutely delicious (and as a fellow foodie my dad’s not a liar about food). And said that he couldn’t even tell that there were beets in them, (then also being a fellow health food nut) he asked, so how good are these for you?? Pretty damn good for something covered in brown sugar, chocolate and white flour. I used bittersweet Ghiradelli chocolate chips instead of semi-sweet and added walnuts. I figure with dark chocolate, walnuts and beets, it’s a veritable nutritional powerhouse. Beets and walnuts are constantly on the tops of lists of most nutritionally packed foods/best foods to eat, and dark chocolate is full of antioxidants. Also, I haven’t done much research into sugar, but some claim brown sugar is better for you than white sugar? Anyways, in summation I feel like these cupcakes are a sugary dessert that packs a nutritional punch. 

ALSO they are crazy moist and really rich. “- Melinda
A “veritable nutritional powerhouse”, huh? *sigh* Fine, I will give it a try. Melinda tends to be annoyingly right about food things… (see The Great Bread Dilemma)

Beet Cupcakes
Epicurious via Melinda

Makes 12-16

  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) canola oil
  • 1 1/2 cups (340 g) packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 cups (450 g) puréed cooked (boiled or steamed) red beets (about 3 medium-size beets)*
  • 1/2 cup (90 g) nondairy semisweet chocolate chips, melted ( I used 365 Dark Chocolate mini chunks)
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (250 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons (9 g) baking powder (look for aluminum-free)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • approximately 1/4c semisweet chocolate chips to stir into batter ( I used 365 Dark Chocolate mini chunks)
  • approximately 1/4c. pecans or walnuts to stir into batter (I used pecans)
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

*To get a beet puree, cut the ends of three beets and place in a medium size sauce pan. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Once the water begins to boil, reduce heat and let simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the beets are tender. Once cooked through, remove beet from water with a slotted spoon (reserve beet water) and run under cool water until the beet is cool enough to handle. Peel off the skin. It should just slide right off. Repeat with the rest of your beets. Then place beets in a blender with a little of the water they boiled in. Puree. Continue to add water until you have 2 cups of beet puree.

My beet puree was very liquidy. Melinda used 4-5 beets and less water and her puree came could closer to an applesauce consistency. Both will work for this recipe.

Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C, or gas mark 5), and line cupcake tin with cupcake liners.

In a mixing bowl, cream together oil and brown sugar. Add beets, melted chocolate chips, and vanilla, and mix well.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to wet beet mixture, and stir until just combined.

Fold in the semisweet chocolate chips and walnuts/pecans. I did a little more than a handful each so you can add more or less based on your preference

Pour into prepared cupcake tin, and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. (Melinda’s took about 17 minutes, mine took about 19)

Cool in pan for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack. Cool completely. Before serving, dust with confectioners’ sugar.

I agree with everything that Melinda said in her email. (oh man, she’s going to have such an ego after this post!) These came out really moist and chocolatey. I loved the addition of the chocolate chips and the walnuts at the end. The cupcakes are dense and almost bread-like so the nuts add texture that I think is a definite plus. And no, you can’t taste the beets! Yeah!

Melinda included a PS in her email. It read: “the only addition my dad recommended was pot. which he claims is also healthy and all natural” LOL! I will let you make up your own mind regarding the pot. I thought the cupcakes were great without it.

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