Category Archives: cupcakes

Chocolate Cupcakes with Raspberry Filling and Chocolate Ganache

Chocolate Cupcakes with Raspberry Filling and Chocolate Ganache

So for the shop this week, I more of a variety of cupcakes than I ever have before.  I thought I had so many tricks up my sleeve, but I totally exhausted my repertoire after about four days.  Not that I can’t have duplicates, but I’m really challenging myself to see how many different varieties I can come up with.

So this recipe is actually one that I made once before with OK results.  I decided to tackle it again, and see if I could get it right this time.  So if you want to make these Chocolate Cupcakes with Raspberry Filling and Chocolate Ganache, you’re gonna need:

1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup almond milk
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup canola oil
3/4 cup white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

So you want to:
1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line your muffin tin with silver foil liners.
2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Sift in the cocoa.  Seriously, you guys, sift it.  I wouldn’t say that if it wasn’t important.  Now whisk this mixture together for about thirty seconds, to make sure it’s evenly mixed.
3. Pour the almond milk into a glass measuring cup and add the vinegar to it. Let this mixture sit a few minutes, until the almond milk looks slightly curdled.
4. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the oil and sugar until very well combined. Add the extracts. Now beat in the curdled almond milk.
5. Slowly pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and beat with a whisk until the batter looks very smooth. Don’t worry about over-mixing; it’s better to beat it until there are no lumps left.
6. Fill your baking cups two-thirds of the way full with batter (usually about a scant quarter cup of batter per cupcake).
7. Bake at 350ºF for twenty minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the biggest cupcake comes out mostly clean. A few moist crumbs on the toothpick are absolutely fine.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Raspberry Filling and Chocolate Ganache

OK, so the Raspberry Buttercream Recipe we used is based on one from Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero’s book, Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. Here goes:

1/4 cup nonhydrogenated shortening
1/4 cup margarine
2 cups confectioner’s sugar
1 tablespoon soy milk
3 tablespoons raspberry syrup, divided (the kind they use in coffee shops)
Drop of red food coloring (optional)

So now you:
1. Beat together the shortening and margarine with a stand mixer or hand mixer until it is all fluffy.
2. Sift in your confectioner’s sugar (and yes, you have to sift it. I know, it sucks, but you don’t want lumpy frosting, do you? No, you do not).
3. Beat the sugar and fats until, miraculously, the combine to form small, pebble-sized crumbs. This takes a few minutes — maybe five on the outside. Don’t be afraid to run your mixer that long, it loves it.
4. Once combined, drizzle in the soy milk, along with two tablespoons of syrup and, and beat for several minutes. If, in about three minutes, your frosting looks really stiff, add the third tablespoon of syrup. Beat for another minute or two, until it’s all nice and fluffy.
5. Taste your frosting. It should be smooth and creamy, with a fairly strong raspberry flavor. If it is not like that, add more raspberry syrup, about half a teaspoon at a time until it is awesome.  Now add a tiny, tiny bit of food coloring, if you want.  Totally up to you.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Raspberry Filling and Chocolate Ganache

Then, with the handle of a wooden spoon, poke a hole into the top of each cooled cupcake.  Now you’re ready to fill them.  The easiest way to do this is with a piping bag fitted with a small round pastry tip.  Pipe frosting in until it is even with the top of your cake.  Smooth the top, if necessary, with a spatula.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Raspberry Filling and Chocolate Ganache

So let’s make our Chocolate Ganache!  You need:

8 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons nonhydrogenated shortening

So you’re going to:
1.  In a medium-sized saucepan, bring about a cup of water to a simmer.
2.  Place a heat-proof bowl on top of the saucepan, making sure it doesn’t touch the water.
3.  Add the chocolate and shortening to the bowl, and stir occasionally until it’s totally melted.
4.  Dip your cupcakes one at a time in the melted chocolate mixture, shaking off the excess.
5.  Place your dipped cupcakes in the freezer until the chocolate is set.
6.  Repeat this process, dipping each cupcake a second time.
7.  If desired, melt white chocolate chips using the same technique as above.  Add the melted white chocolate to a piping bag, and drizzle over the tops of all the cupcakes.  Place the cupcakes back in the freezer until the chocolate is totally set.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Raspberry Filling and Chocolate Ganache

These are super-delicious, and the people who bought them were really pleased.  I have also learned that the frosting recipes that I usually make are pretty heat-sensitive.  So, while I was perfecting a frosting recipe that could sit in a lighted display case all day without melting, these were a life-saver.  Because the melty frosting is inside the cake, and the ganache on top stays really firm, these are a great cupcake to bring to, say, a picnic where they will be in the heat all day.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Raspberry Filling and Chocolate Ganache

So go make these and be happy!

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Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Fudgy Peanut Butter Frosting, Roasted Peanuts, and Fleur de Sel

Champagne and Cherries

So now that I’ve posted the pictures and recipes from the Cupcakes for Cures Contest, I thought I would re-visit the Champagne and Cupcakes party from a couple of weeks ago.  I already posted the recipes for two of the cupcakes I made for the party (they were the same as the ones for the contest), but we have yet to talk about the other two cupcakes: Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Fudgy Peanut Butter Frosting, Roasted Peanuts, and Fleur de Sel; and Moonshine Cupcakes with Raspberry Mousse Filling, and Fluffy Meyer Lemon and Raspberry Buttercream.

Champagne and Cupcakes Party

Now, I recognize that moonshine is a pretty esoteric ingredient, so I’m going to post about the chocolate & peanut butter one first.  But don’t worry, I’ll post the moonshine cupcake recipe sometime soon.  But here, today, right now, is the recipe for:

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Fudgy Peanut Butter Frosting, Roasted Peanuts, and Fleur de Sel

Get this stuff together:

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons Dutch process cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup almond milk
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1/3 cup canola oil
3/4 cup white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

So you want to:
1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line your muffin tin with cute liners.
2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Sift in the cocoa.  Seriously, you guys, sift it.  I wouldn’t say that if it wasn’t important.  Now whisk this mixture together for about thirty seconds, to make sure it’s evenly mixed.
3. Pour the almond milk into a glass measuring cup and add the vinegar to it. Let this mixture sit a few minutes, until the almond milk looks slightly curdled.
4. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the oil and sugar until very well combined. Add the extracts. Now beat in the curdled almond milk.
5. Slowly pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and beat with a whisk until the batter looks very smooth. Don’t worry about over-mixing; it’s better to beat it until there are no lumps left.
6. Fill your baking cups two-thirds of the way full with batter (usually about a scant quarter cup of batter per cupcake).
7. Bake at 350ºF for twenty minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the biggest cupcake comes out mostly clean. A few moist crumbs on the toothpick are absolutely fine.

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes

Now let’s make frosting!  This recipe started out as one from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, by Isa Chandra Moskowitz.  I, um, fudged with it (ha ha) to make it much thicker.  In the end we liked how it is really fudgy and rich, but at the same time somehow fluffy.  And don’t doubt the molasses.  We almost didn’t add it because it sounded really weird.  But it made the frosting taste like peanut butter cookie dough, in a totally amazing way.  So here’s the recipe for

Fudgy Peanut Butter Frosting

Get yourself:

1/4 cup nonhydrogenated margarine
2 tablespoons nonhydrogenated shortening
1/3 cup creamy, no-stir, all-natural peanut butter
1 tablespoon molasses
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons rice milk (or almond, or coconut, or whatever)

So then you want to:
1.  With an electric handheld or stand mixer, cream together shortening and margarine until smooth.
2.  Add peanut butter, molasses, and vanilla, and beat until very smooth (about 2 minutes).
3.  Beat in sugar; mixture will be very stiff.
4.  Beat in milk, a little at a time, until frosting is pale tan and fluffy.  This may take up to five minutes.  If after that long it is still too thick, add a little more milk, 1/2 teaspoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached.

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Fudgy Peanut Butter Frosting

Now for the rest, you need:
1/4 cup chocolate chips
1 teaspoon nonhydrogenated shortening
1/3 cup salted peanuts, finely chopped
1 teaspoon fleur de sel (more or less to taste)

So then:
1.  In a double boiler (or a bowl set on a pot of steaming, but not boiling water), melt together chocolate and shortening until totally combined and smooth.
2.  Add melted chocolate to a piping bag fitted with a small writing tip.  Place cooled, frosted cupcakes on a cooling rack, and use the piping bag to make thin drizzles of chocolate over the cupcakes.  The easiest way to do this is to just make long, fluid strokes back and forth over the whole batch of cupcakes, and wipe your counter when you’re done.
3.  IMMEDIATELY sprinkle your cupcakes evenly with roasted peanuts and salt.  Sorry for the intense emphasis, but it’s super-important that you do this before the chocolate sets, or your nuts won’t stick.  And don’t you want your nuts to be sticky?  Sorry.
4.  Place your cupcakes in the freezer or refrigerator until the chocolate is totally set and firm before serving.

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Fudgy Peanut Butter Frosting, Roasted Peanuts, and Fleur de SelOK, so here’s a couple of things you should know about these cupcakes.  First, don’t be afraid of the salt.  Really.  If anything, the people at the party said that they wished that there had been more salt on the cupcakes.  So start with 1 teaspoon, but don’t hesitate to go a little heavier!

Also, these cupcakes are very, very intensely chocolatey.  If you don’t love dark chocolate, you may want to reduce the cocoa in the cake by two tablespoons.  Up to you, and I really liked how intense they were, but they would not be appropriate for, say, a kid’s birthday party.  So know that.  But if you’re having a Champagne and Cupcakes party (and you totally should), these are a very sophisticated, adult tasting cupcake.

This is what they looked like at the party:

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Fudgy Peanut Butter Frosting, Roasted Peanuts, and Fleur de Sel

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Fudgy Peanut Butter Frosting, Roasted Peanuts, and Fleur de Sel

And this is what I looked like at the party:

Ian, Amanda, and Lee Ann at the Champagne and Cupcakes Party

And this is what Kristina looked like at the party:

Kristina at the Champagne and Cupcakes Party

And this is what Courtney looked like at the party:

Courtney at the Champagne and Cupcakes Party

And, of course most importantly, this is what the Lady Madonna looked like at the party:

Lady Madonna

She loves cupcakes, but keep her away from the champagne.  Ahem.

So now, if I have inspired you to throw a cupcake party, my work here is done.  If not, at least consider making these cupcakes, since they are totally awesome!  If nothing else, make the frosting and eat it with a spoon.  It may not make you feel good in the long run, but it’s totally satisfying in the moment.  Take it from one who knows.

Love,

Ian

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Gluten-Free Cupcake Recipe

Violet Tendencies

So yesterday I promised you guys a recipe for gluten-free cupcakes, and look at me delivering today!  Last year, Jason and I briefly lived with my best friend Rachael in California.  She is gluten intolerant, we are vegan, and we all love baked goods.  So, I set out to perfect some vegan, gluten-free baked goods.  I bought a couple of gluten-free vegan cookbooks (including one put out by a pretty famous bakery, ahem), and found them really, really lacking.  They both seemed to call for a whole lot of incredibly expensive ingredients (like whole cups of agave and maple syrup and coconut oil).  And while I’m certainly not rolling in money, I am totally willing to spend it if it means making great food.  But, these recipes, even with all of their expensive ingredients, left us all with a bad taste in our mouths.  Groan.

So, through lots of trial and error, buying and discarding many very expensive flours, and making several batches of cupcakes that were so rubbery they literally bounced, we finally came upon an alternative flour combination we think works really well.  We basically shoot for 2/3 or so of the total flour mixture coming from white rice flour, and the remaining being chickpea flour.  So, with that in mind, here is our recipe.

Gluten-Free Meyer Lemon Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Buttercream

You’re gonna need:

3/4 cup white rice flour
1/2 cup chickpea flour
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
2 tablespoons arrowroot powder (or cornstarch)
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup almond milk
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
1/3 cup canola oil
3/4 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon meyer lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon pure orange extract
1/2 teaspoon pure lemon extract
Strawberry preserves

So then, you:
1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line your muffin tin with subtle, classy type liners.  We got ours from Bake it Pretty.
2. In a large bowl, combine the flours, xanthan gum, arrowroot, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk this mixture together for about thirty seconds, to make sure it’s evenly mixed.
3. Pour the almond milk into a glass measuring cup and add the vinegar to it. Let this mixture sit a few minutes, until the almond milk looks slightly curdled.
4. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the oil and sugar until very well combined. Add the extracts and meyer lemon zest. Now beat in the curdled almond milk.
5. Slowly pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and beat with a whisk for one minute.  As the xanthan gum starts to really activate, it’ll really thicken your batter.  So make sure you beat it until it starts to look much thicker.
6. Fill your baking cups two-thirds of the way full with batter (usually about a scant quarter cup of batter per cupcake).
7. Bake at 350ºF for twenty minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the biggest cupcake comes out totally clean.  Gluten-free batter tastes gross until it is fully baked, so make sure that your cupcakes are totally done.
8.  As your cupcakes are cooling, place about 1/4 cup of strawberry preserves in a bowl and beat with a fork until the preserves are really smooth.  Place in a small Ziploc bag.
8.  When your cupcakes are totally cooled, use the handle of a wooden spoon to create a well in the center of each cupcake.  Cut the tip off the Ziploc and use that to pipe a little of the preserves into the well in each cupcake.  Wipe the tops of your cupcakes to make sure you have a smooth, flat surface for icing.

Now let’s make icing!

Violet Tendencies

Vanilla Bean Buttercream

You’re gonna need:

1/4 cup nonhydrogenated shortening
1/4 cup nonhydrogenated margarine
3 cups confectioner’s sugar
2 tablespoons nondairy milk (coconut milk is nice here)
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 vanilla bean pod

So you’re gonna:
1.  With a stand mixer or hand mixer, beat the margarine and shortening until thoroughly combined and fluffy.
2.  Sift in 1/3 of the total powdered sugar.  Add 1 tablespoon of milk, and beat until thoroughly combined, scraping down the sides as needed.
3.  Repeat this process twice more, once with milk and once with vanilla; beat until fully incorporated after each addition.
4.  Now for the vanilla bean!  Take 1/2 the vanilla bean pod and cut it lengthwise into two pieces with a sharp knife or kitchen scissors.  Then, with a spoon or dull butter knife, scrape the entire contents of the pod into your frosting.  It should look like a whole bunch of little tiny black specks.
4. OK, so now you want to beat the whole magilla for 3-5 minutes until thoroughly combined and fluffy.  Please make sure you beat it for at least three minutes, as it really does get softer and fluffier the longer you beat it.  And this frosting really wants to be fluffy.  So beat.

We piped ours with a jumbo round tip, as described here.  We then placed a candy violet and some fresh thyme on top of each one.  We thought they came out pretty cute.

Violet Tendencies

But, since the candy and the thyme are both pretty much for garnish, you can totally get away with not including them.  Maybe cover the top with some fondant flowers, some pretty sprinkles, or a jumbo candy pearl.  Just try to keep the overall look classy.  Like you, you classy lassie.  Or laddie.  Or whatever.

So, like I said yesterday, these cupcakes were a big hit (not to mention winning 2nd place) at the Cupcakes for Cures competition last Saturday.  So you can be sure that they are good.  And, other than using some alternative flours, they are a pretty painless introduction into the world of Gluten-Free baking!  Go bake!

Love,

Ian

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Mojito Cupcake Recipe

First of all, I’m not going to apologize over the quality of our pictures today.  Because, even if most of the pictures of our recent Champagne and Cupcakes party were a bust, the party itself was still awesome.  It occurs to me that I didn’t tell you the impetus behind the party.  This Saturday, we are competing in a contest called Cupcakes For Cures, which is a fundraiser for cancer research.  My work is one of the sponsors of the event, so we get two free entries.  Which is awesome, actually, since the entries are, like, $50.00 each.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s totally worth fifty bucks to support cancer research, we just don’t have the money laying around.  But Amanda, my boss, awesomely gave me two of our entries for free.

Jason, Alison, and Courtney

So, the contest is separated into different categories, and they are: Gluten-Free, Special Occasion, Cocktail or Beer, Local Food, and Wedding.  Almost right away I decided that we should try to make a Mojito Cupcake.  I’m not sure why, exactly.  Just the combination of rum, mint, and lime sounded awesome to me.  We were unsure about the other entry, though.  After some serious thought, we came up with a couple.  First was a gluten-free version of Mickey’s Meyer Lemon and Vanilla Bean Cupcake with Fresh Thyme for the Gluten-Free category.  The second, in the local foods category, was a Local Moonshine Cupcake with Local Raspberry Mousse Filling, and Meyer Lemon and Raspberry Buttercream. (We intentionally made them pretty similar, so that it would be easier to decide which was better.)

So we made all three cupcakes (along with a chocolate peanut butter, which is Jason’s favorite) and had a party to see which ones people liked best.

Champagne and Cupcakes Party

We were almost positive that we were going with the mojito cake, so we were glad when people seemed to unanimously agree that it was competition-worthy.  People were much more torn about the other entry, though.  There were certainly camps for both the Gluten-Free and the Moonshine.  I’ll post more about those cakes in the next day or two.  But today I wanted to give you the recipe for the Mojito Cupcakes.  Oh, and for the contest, we’re calling these “I Got My Mojo Workin’.”  Anyway, here’s the recipe:

Mojito Cupcakes

I Got My Mojo Workin’ – Spiced Rum Cupcake with Fresh Mint and Lime Buttercream

You’re gonna need:

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons arrowroot powder (or cornstarch)
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup almond milk
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1/3 cup canola oil
3/4 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons spiced rum [we used Sailor Jerry’s]

So you’re going to:
1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line your muffin tin with liners that somehow evoke mojitos.  Maybe something tropical, or something lime green, or, well, you can figure it out.
2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, arrowroot, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk this mixture together for about thirty seconds, to make sure it’s evenly mixed.
3. Pour the almond milk into a glass measuring cup and add the vinegar to it. Let this mixture sit a few minutes, until the almond milk looks slightly curdled.
4. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the oil and sugar until very well combined. Add the rum. Now beat in the curdled almond milk.
5. Slowly pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and beat with a whisk until the batter looks very smooth. Don’t worry about over-mixing; it’s better to beat it until there are no lumps left.
6. Fill your baking cups two-thirds of the way full with batter (usually about a scant quarter cup of batter per cupcake).
7. Bake at 350ºF for twenty minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the biggest cupcake comes out mostly clean. A few moist crumbs on the toothpick are absolutely fine.

Mojito Cupcakes

Now, set your cupcakes aside and start making your rum glaze.  The recipe I used for the rum glaze is from the cupcake villains blog.

According to the Cupcake Villains, for the Rum Glaze, you need:

1/4 cup dark rum
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons margarine

So then you:
1.  Simmer together the rum and sugar until the sugar is full dissolved, and let cook together for a minute longer.
2.  Pull off heat, and mix in the vanilla and margarine until the margarine is fully melted.
3.  Drizzle a tiny bit (maybe a half a teaspoon) over the top of each cooled cupcake.
4.  Place cupcakes in the refrigerator or freezer to let the glaze set up a little.

Mojito Cupcakes

Now, let’s make the frosting!  For Fresh Mint and Lime Buttercream Frosting, you need:

One bunch fresh mint
1-3 tablespoons lime juice
1/4 cup nonhydrogenated shortening
1/4 cup margarine
2 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar
Fresh limes, sliced very thinly
Paper straws, cut into one inch segments (you can find paper straws here)

So you’re going to:

1.  In a food processor or blender, blend all the mint leaves with one tablespoon of lime juice for three to four minutes, until mint leaves are very well minced.
2.  Scrape mint and lime mixture into a fine mesh sieve over a mixing bowl.  With a rubber spatula, press the mixture firmly to release the liquid.  Continue this until there is no more liquid being released.
3.  Measure this liquid, and add more lime juice until you have two tablespoons of total liquid.
4.  With a stand mixer or hand mixer, beat your margarine and shortening until thoroughly combined and fluffy.
5.  Sift in 1/3 of the total powdered sugar.  Add 1/3 of the mint/lime juice , and beat until thoroughly combined, scraping down the sides as needed.
6.  Repeat this process twice more, until all of the sugar is combined.  If the frosting looks really stiff, you can add up to one tablespoon more of lime juice, but make sure it doesn’t get goopy.  You definitely want it to stay firm.
4.  Now you’re going to beat the frosting for 2-3 minutes until thoroughly combined and fluffy.  This frosting really wants to be stiff, so it can hold the garnishes upright.  If you don’t care about garnishes, and you want really fluffy frosting, go ahead and beat the frosting for 3-4 extra minutes.
5.  Add a very small amount of green gel food coloring, and beat just until thoroughly combined.  This stuff is potent, so start with too little and  allow your frosting to get darker incrementally until the desired color is reached.
6.  Pipe your frosting on the cupcakes with a jumbo closed star tip, and garnish with a slice of lime and a paper straw segment.

Mojito CupcakesNow go throw a party!  And invite us (I mean, we did invite you to ours, after all).   And stay tuned for more Champagne and Cupcake Party recipes in the coming days!

Love,

Ian

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Chocolate Cupcakes with Orange Buttercream

Chocolate Cupcakes with Orange Buttercream

Our friend Noah accidentally put his hand through a glass door a few days ago.  It was even more awful than it sounds.  Like, there were ambulances and emergency surgeries involved.  And do you know what his doctor recommended for his recovery?  Vegan cupcakes.

OK, his doctor didn’t really recommend that at all.  But Jason decided that that’s what he needed.  So we made him some Chocolate Mint Cupcakes and some Chocolate Cupcakes with Orange Buttercream.  And while I have no evidence that the cupcakes have actually helped his recovery, we’re pretty sure they boosted his morale.

So I thought we should post the recipe for the Chocolate Orange cupcakes here.  If you are interested in the Chocolate Mint cupcake recipe, we posted it a few weeks ago, that time with White Chocolate Nautical Shapes on top.  That recipe can be found here.

So for the Chocolate Cupcakes with Orange Buttercream, you’re gonna need:

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup Dutch process cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup almond milk
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1/3 cup canola oil
3/4 cup white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

So then, you:
1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line your muffin tin with liners that seem to say “get well soon,” or whatever.
2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Sift in the cocoa.  Seriously, you guys, sift it.  I wouldn’t say that if it wasn’t important.  Now whisk this mixture together for about thirty seconds, to make sure it’s evenly mixed.
3. Pour the almond milk into a glass measuring cup and add the vinegar to it. Let this mixture sit a few minutes, until the almond milk looks slightly curdled.
4. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the oil and sugar until very well combined. Add the extracts. Now beat in the curdled almond milk.
5. Slowly pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and beat with a whisk until the batter looks very smooth. Don’t worry about over-mixing; it’s better to beat it until there are no lumps left.
6. Fill your baking cups two-thirds of the way full with batter (usually about a scant quarter cup of batter per cupcake).
7. Bake at 350ºF for twenty minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the biggest cupcake comes out mostly clean. A few moist crumbs on the toothpick are absolutely fine.

For the Orange Buttercream Frosting, you need:

1/4 cup vegan margarine
1/4 cup non-hydrogenated shortening
2 cups vegan powdered sugar
3 tablespoons almond milk
1  teaspoon pure orange extract
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Small drop of orange gel food coloring (optional)

So you’re going to:
1.  With a stand mixer or hand mixer, beat the margarine and shortening until thoroughly combined and fluffy.
2.  Sift in 1/3 of the total powdered sugar.  Add 1/2 tablespoon of milk, and beat until thoroughly combined, scraping down the sides as needed.
3.  Repeat this process twice more, until all of the sugar and milk are combined.
4.  Add the extracts, and beat for 2-3 minutes until thoroughly combined and fluffy.  The longer you beat the frosting at this point, the softer it will become.  So, if you really like fluffy frosting, you can beat it for up to six minutes.  If you want it to be more structural and able to hold its shape, stop after two minutes.
5.  Add a very small amount of orange gel food coloring, and beat just until thoroughly combined.  This stuff is potent, so start with too little and  allow your frosting to get darker incrementally until the desired color is reached.
6.  Add the finished frosting to a piping bag fitted with a jumbo round pastry tip.  Hold the tip about 1/4 inch from the surface of the cake, and squeeze. When the icing is covering the cake, release pressure on the bag, then pull up about a quarter inch, and squeeze again.  When your icing looks about half as big as the first dollop, release pressure on the bag and then pull up to create a small peak.  Let the frosting set for at least ten minutes in the refrigerator before serving, so that it’ll hold its shape.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Orange Buttercream

Chocolate Cupcakes with Orange Buttercream

Do you know someone who’s sick?  I mean, come on, it’s March.  Of course you know someone who’s sick.  So go make them some Chocolate Cupcakes with Orange Buttercream, and watch them get better before your eyes.  Or at least watch them be all grateful, which is pretty rewarding, too!

Love,

Ian

Oh yeah, P.S.  It’s totally St. Patrick’s Day.  So, um, happy St. Patrick’s Day.  We’re honestly not really big on this particular holiday, so we didn’t make anything special for it.  I know you were hoping for Vegan Corned Beef and Cabbage Cupcakes.  Sorry.  Maybe next year!

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Filed under chocolate, comfort food, cupcakes, cupcakes, ingredients, recipes

Chai Cupcakes with Cinnamon Buttercream

Chai Spice Cupcakes with Cinnamon Buttercream

So we had a really busy weekend.  In addition to finishing the Violet Candy Contest, we had four orders for cupcakes and an order two dozen doughnuts go out this weekend.  Yeesh.  But it’s always awesome to be busy doing what we love.

Something was interesting about our orders this weekend:  we got two orders for Chai Spice Cupcakes with Cinnamon Buttercream.  People often favorite these on Etsy, and even include them in treasuries fairly often, but this was the first time we’d sold any.  And to sell two batches in one weekend is pretty awesome.  So we decided to post the recipe here, so you could make them at home.

Chai Spice Cupcakes with Cinnamon Buttercream

Chai Spice Cupcakes with Cinnamon Buttercream

You’re gonna need:

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons arrowroot powder (or cornstarch)
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup almond milk
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1/3 cup canola oil
3/4 cup white sugar

Chai Spice Cupcakes with Cinnamon Buttercream

So then, you:
1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line your muffin tin with cute cupcake liners.
2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, arrowroot, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt. Whisk this mixture together for about thirty seconds, to make sure it’s evenly mixed.

Chai Spice Cupcakes with Cinnamon Buttercream
3. Pour the almond milk into a glass measuring cup and add the vinegar to it. Let this mixture sit a few minutes, until the almond milk looks slightly curdled.
4. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the oil and sugar until very well combined. Add the vanilla. Now beat in the curdled almond milk.

Chai Spice Cupcakes with Cinnamon Buttercream

Chai Spice Cupcakes with Cinnamon Buttercream

5. Slowly pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and beat with a whisk until the batter looks very smooth. Don’t worry about over-mixing; it’s better to beat it until there are no lumps left.
6. Fill your baking cups two-thirds of the way full with batter (usually about a scant quarter cup of batter per cupcake).
7. Bake at 350ºF for twenty minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the biggest cupcake comes out mostly clean. A few moist crumbs on the toothpick are absolutely fine.

Chai Spice Cupcakes with Cinnamon Buttercream

Now let’s make frosting!  You need:

1/4 cup nonhydrogenated shortening
1/4 cup margarine
2 cups confectioner’s sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons almond milk

So now you:
1. Beat together the shortening and margarine with a stand mixer or hand mixer until it is all fluffy.
2. Sift in 1/3 of your confectioner’s sugar, along with the cinnamon (and yes, you have to sift it.  Lumpy frosting is for chumps).  Drizzle in 1 tablespoon of milk.
3. Beat until the sugar and milk are incorporated into the fats, and the whole thing looks like really runny frosting.  Repeat this in two more steps, until all of the milk and all of the sugar are just combined.
4. Now, you’re going to beat the whole thing for about two minutes, until it’s all nice and fluffy.
5. Taste your frosting. It should be firm, but creamy, with a pretty strong cinnamon flavor. If it is not like that, add more cinnamon, a dash at a time until it is awesome.
6.  Now put your frosting in a piping bag fitted with a giant closed star tip, and frost your cupcakes.  We finished them by lightly sifting powdered cinnamon over the tops of the cupcakes.  This is, of course, totally optional.  Do what you want.

 

Chai Spice Cupcakes with Cinnamon Buttercream

OK, so seriously guys?  Yum.  I am not even usually crazy about all those warm spices, and I love these things.  And Jason, who goes crazy for chai in the first place, well, he goes even crazier for these.  Don’t the people in your life deserve Chai Spice Cupcakes?  They do, I promise.

Love,

Ian

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Violet Candy Contest Update

Hey everyone!

We have had an awesome response to the Violet Candy Contest so far, with more than sixty five votes!  So here’s how it’s breaking down so far:

Mickey's Meyer Lemon and Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

Mickey’s Meyer Lemon Cupcakes with Strawberry Filling, Vanilla Bean Buttercream, and Fresh Thyme are in first place with 36 votes!

 Lavender Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream and Crushed Lavender SprinklesMichael’s Lavender Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream and Crushed Lavender Sprinkles are running a very close second with 31 votes.

Gertie's Very Bright Red Velvet and Orange CupcakesAnd Gertie’s very bright Rosewater Red Velvet Cupcakes with Orange Vermouth Buttercream, King Cake Babies, and Edible Glitter?  Well . . . um . . . we love you Gertie!

So, as you can see, the competition is very, very close right now.  So click here to vote, and keep voting through Sunday at midnight!  We can’t wait to see who wins!

Love,

Ian

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