Tag Archives: vegan 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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Come on in to the New Cupcake Shop!

So I keep telling you guys about how we’re changing the Bake it Pretty shop into a cupcake bakery, but so far you don’t have any proof.  For all you know, I could be making the whole thing up as a clever ruse to explain away the fact that I have been blogging with an unforgivable lack of frequency.  Well, speculate no further!  Here, at long last, are some pictures of the brand new bakery.

New Cupcake ShopThat’s me behind the counter.

New Cupcake Shop
That’s a shot of the interior of the shop, to give you some perspective.

New Cupcake Shop
Our first day’s offerings.  The “Southern Culture”, “Salty Dog”, and the “Chocolate Cupcakes with Toasted Coconut” came from my bakery.  We had some very happy vegan customers who wandered into the cupcake shop assuming there wouldn’t be anything they could eat!

New Cupcake Shop

On the right is a close-up of the Southern Culture cupcakes.  The pink lemonade frosting was a big hit!

New Cupcake Shop

These were called “Inner Beauty,” and they were a chocolate cake with raspberry buttercream filling, and topped with a double chocolate ganache.

New Cupcake Shop This is a closeup of the “Salty Dog” cupcakes (you can find the recipe for them here) .  In the background, you can see the Chocolate Cupcakes with Toasted Coconut.  They were in black and white polka dot wrappers that were so cute.

New Cupcake Shop

Just look at that full, happy bake case!  We have learned a lot about running a bakery (already!), and I’m sure we’ll learn a whole lot more.  But we’re having such fun, and I can’t wait to share more with you guys.  Oh, and if you’re in the Asheville area, be sure to stop into Bake it Pretty to get some vegan cupcakes!

Love,

Ian

Oh yeah, P.S.  If you follow the Bake it Pretty Blog, you may recognize a lot of these pictures from over there.  Thanks to Amanda for letting me use them!

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Chocolate Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream

Strawberry Cupcakes

So last week was Jason’s sister Janell’s birthday.  And what she wanted from us was cupcakes.  Specifically, she wanted chocolate and strawberry cupcakes.  No problem, right?  So I was like, hey, why don’t we make chocolate cupcakes and fill them with a fresh strawberry mousse (from scratch, with no recipe)?  What could possibly go wrong, right?

Ha ha ha.

So after several very unsuccessful attempts at making mousse, we gave up.  We decided, instead to give them a strawberry jam filling, and top them with strawberry buttercream.  And after all my failed attempts at mousse, we had run out of fresh strawberries.  So we used straight up artificial flavoring in the icing.  I know we try to be all natural whenever we can, but this frosting was good!

Strawberry Cupcakes

Oh, and a few weeks ago, when our friend Flapjack was in town, he brought us cupcakes with strawberry jam baked into the middle of them.  It turns out that, if you put a teaspoon or so of jam on the top of your cupcakes before you bake them, it will magically end up in the middle of the cupcakes when they are done.  So we tried that with these cupcakes, and it worked like a charm.

Strawberry Cupcakes

I’m happy to report that Janell loved them, and she had a great birthday!  I would be happy to post the recipe for these if you guys are interested, so let me know!

Strawberry CupcakesLove,

Ian

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Lavender Cupcakes with Fluffy Lemon Buttercream

You guys, I am so sick.  I’ve been trying to get in the kitchen for two days now trying to bake something to blog about.  And, well, I just keep ending up on the couch watching old Glee episodes.  (Oh, so we just got Netflix and we’re streaming all of these TV shows we never saw since we don’t have cable or whatever.  And everyone kept saying that I would love Glee, and I was all like “yeah, whatever”.  But it turns out that, um, duh.  It’s a show about queer (and queer-ish) kids who break into song to impress their totally hot teacher.  OF COURSE I love it.  But that’s neither here nor there.)

Violet Cupcakes with Fluffy Lemon Buttercream

So anyway, I really want to be baking for you guys, but I am just exhausted.  But I really need to post something, so I thought I’d share one of the recipes from the the Violet Candy Contest from a month or so ago.  The winning entry was from Michael, and he wrote, “First, I would make a fresh lavender cupcake. For the top, I’d make a lemon buttercream frosting. To decorate them, I’d crush some of the violet candies together with some fresh lavender to make a shiny/sparkly Violet/Lavender dust to sprinkle on top of the buttercream and top each with one of the violet candies. Mmmm, my mouth is watering.”

So we came up with this:

Violet Cupcakes with Fluffy Lemon Buttercream

And here’s how we did it.  If you want to make Lavender Cupcakes with Fluffy Lemon 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 tablespoon dried lavender flowers
1 cup almond milk
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1/3 cup canola oil
3/4 cup white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons orange extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

So then, you:
1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line your muffin tin with the cutest, springiest liners you can find.  We got ours here.
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.  Place the dried lavender in a clean coffee grinder, and pulse once or twice until the lavender is in much smaller pieces, but has not turned to powder.  This takes a lot less time than you may imagine, so be careful.  Alternatively, you can just place the flowers on a cutting board and chop them carefully with a very sharp knife.  Either way, add the chopped lavender to the dry mixture and whisk to combine.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. Fill your baking cups two-thirds of the way full with batter (usually about a scant quarter cup of batter per cupcake).
8. 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.

Now, let your cupcakes cool completely. Once they are totally cool (like you), start making your frosting. Don’t start it before your cakes have finished cooling, because the frosting doesn’t want to sit around waiting for the cupcakes.

Violet Cupcakes with Fluffy Lemon Buttercream

Now let’s make some Fluffy Lemon Buttercream!  You’re gonna need:

1/2 cup nonhydrogenated shortening
1/2 cup margarine
4 cups confectioner’s sugar
4-5 tablespoons soy milk
1/2 teaspoons lemon extract
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Drop of yellow food coloring (optional)

So now you:
1. Beat together the shortening and margarine with a stand mixer or hand mixer until it is just combined and all the same color.
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. Keep beating, and the crumbs will start to disappear and the mixture will sort of homogenize.  That’s what we’re going for.  It takes a few minutes — maybe seven on the outside. Don’t be afraid to run your mixer that long, it loves it.
4. Once combined, drizzle in four tablespoons of milk and all the extracts, and beat for about a minute.  Now scrape down the sides and assess.  Does this frosting look really thick?  If so, add another tablespoon of milk.  Be careful not to make it too thin, though.  Anyway, beat the whole thing for another 2-5 minutes, until it’s all nice and fluffy.
5. Taste your frosting. It should be slightly firm, but very creamy, with a strong lemon flavor. If it is not like that, add more lemon extract, about quarter teaspoon at a time until it is awesome.  Now add a tiny, tiny bit of food coloring, if you want.  Totally up to you.

Violet Candies
So what we did next was make the Violet/Lavender Glitter, and if you want to do this, you’re gonna need:

1 tablespoon dried lavender flowers
Scant 1/4 cup violet hard candies

So you’re gonna:
1.  Combine both ingredients in a clean, dry (!) coffee grinder or food grinder.
2.  Pulse just once or twice to start to crumble the candies.  Be very careful at this point, as the line between crushed candies and dust is really fine one.  You can always pulse a few more times, if you need to.
3.  Now transfer the mixture to a fine mesh sieve over a small bowl, and shake really, really well.  You want to remove as much dust as you possibly can.  Trust me on this, you guys.  Dust, even candy dust, is not appealing on cupcakes.
4.  Sprinkle the mixture really sparingly over the top of your frosted cupcakes before the icing has totally set.
5.  If desired, you can top each cupcake with a single violet candy.  Awwww.

Violet Cupcakes with Fluffy Lemon Buttercream

Oh, and you know what these would be good for?  Mother’s Day.  I mean, doesn’t your mom like flowers and sugar?  You know she does.  And she especially loves anything you made.  She told me that.  So go bake for your mom.  Or, if you’re a mom, make someone bake for you.  You deserve it!  Or that could just be the cold medicine talking.

Love,

Ian

One more thing:  Michael lives locally, and we dropped off his cupcakes to him a couple of weeks ago.  The next day, he posted this on our Facebook page:  “THANK YOU FOR THE DELICIOUS CUPCAKES! They were fantastic. LOVED the lemon buttercream. I also LOVED the size of them. Just perfect!”

Well, you’re absolutely welcome, Michael.  We’re so glad you liked them!

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The Winner!

Contest Collage

Well, I’ve had my coffee, tallied and re-tallied the scores, and I am happy to announce that the winner of the Violet Candy Contest, with 102 votes, is Michael with his Lavender Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream and Violet and Lavender Sprinkles!  Congratulations, Michael!

Lavender Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream and Lavender and Violet Sprinkles

Lavender Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream and Lavender and Violet Sprinkles

And coming in a very close second, with 91 total votes, is Mickey and her Meyer Lemon Cupcake with Vanilla Bean Buttercream, Strawberry Filling, and Fresh Thyme.

Meyer Lemon Cupcake with Vanilla Bean Buttercream, Strawberry Filling, and Fresh Thyme

Meyer Lemon Cupcake with Vanilla Bean Buttercream, Strawberry Filling, and Fresh Thyme

And Gertie’s Rosewater Red Velvet Cupcakes with Orange-Vermouth Icing, Edible Glitter and King Cake Babies was really great, too.  Really.  Thank you Gertie for spicing up the contest with a lot of color and imagination!

Rosewater Red Velvet Cupcakes with Orange-Vermouth Icing, Edible Glitter, and King Cake Babies

Rosewater Red Velvet Cupcakes with Orange-Vermouth Icing, Edible Glitter, and King Cake Babies

Congratulations to all of our finalists for doing an awesome job!  When you can, please email us your addresses, so we can get your prizes in the mail.

And thanks to everyone who voted, you made this a really fun contest for everyone involved!

Looking forward to our next contest,

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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Gluten Free Cupcakes and More!

Hey, everybody!  It’s a short post today.  We just added some gorgeous gluten-free cupcakes on our Etsy site; check them out!  Gluten-free baking presents some challenges, but we spent a lot of last year perfecting our gluten-free recipes–and we’re really proud of them!  We’ll be posting a big, beautiful blog post about gluten-free yumminess very soon—stay tuned!

gluten free vegan cupcakes

Today we’re baking the three finalists’ ideas from our Violet Candy Contest!  We’ll post photos of the three finalists (with their recipe ideas) tomorrow, so you can vote on your favorite.  We’ve had a lot of fun choosing the three best ideas, but the winner is up to you!

Ya’ll come back now, ya hear?

Hugs and cupcakes and rainbows,
Jason

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