Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Great B-day Cupakes

April is a busy month in our house. My husband, both of our kids and my mom have birthdays. So far, we've made it through two of them, and the cupcakes for my daughter's b-day were a hit, so I thought I'd share the recipe. More than one person coming to the party was allergic to eggs and dairy, so I decided to try out a new vegan chocolate cupcake recipe I found online, and it was great. I even replaced 1/3 of the flour with whole wheat, and it was unnoticeable. I love real buttercream, so I made two versions of frosting, one with butter, and one with earthbalance margarine. I generally stay away from food coloring, but my daughter kept pointing to colorful cupcakes everywhere we turned over the past month, and asking for them for her birthday, so i gave in.....

Vegan Chocolate Cupcake
I found this recipe on Love and Olive Oil
makes 12 cupcakes or 36 mini's

1 cup coconut milk
1/3 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour (or use 1/2 cup whole wheat and 1/2 cup all-purpose flour)
2 tablespoons almond meal
1/3 cup cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin pan with paper liners.
  2. Whisk together the coconut milk, sugar, oil, and vanilla extract until incorporated. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, almond meal, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Make a well in the center of dry ingredients and pour in coconut milk mixture. Stir until just smooth (do not overmix).
  3. Pour into liners, filling each with 3 tablespoons of batter (cups should be no more than 2/3 full). For mini cupcakes, fill each with 1 tablespoon batter. Bake 18-20 minutes (or 10-12 for minis), or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely.
Vegan Frosting:
1cup non-hydrogenated margarine, room temperature
2 cups confectioners' sugar (or enough to make it sweet and fluffy)
1to 2 tablespoons soy milk (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cream butter until smooth and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Add 1 cup powdered sugar and beat until combined. Mix in vanilla and milk. Continue adding sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition (depending on the temperature of your butter, you may need more or less sugar/cream to achieve the proper consistency). Continue beating until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Spread or pipe onto cooled cupcakes.

Buttercream recipe (swiss meringue)
Seen at top, and yes, I'll admit it's from  Martha Stewart

4 large egg whites
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into tablespoons
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) strawberry jam, pureed in a food processor
  1. In the heatproof bowl of an electric mixer set over a saucepan of simmering water, combine egg whites and sugar. Cook, whisking constantly, until sugar has dissolved and mixture is warm to the touch (about 160 degrees).
  2. Attach the bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat the egg-white mixture on high speed until it holds stiff (but not dry) peaks. Continue beating until the mixture is fluffy and cooled, about 6 minutes.
  3. Switch to the paddle attachment. With mixer on medium-low speed, add butter several tablespoons at a time, beating well after each addition. (If frosting appears to separate after all the butter has been added, beat on medium-high speed until smooth again, 3 to 5 minutes more.) Beat in vanilla. Beat on lowest speed to eliminate any air bubbles, about 2 minutes.

    To make chocolate buttercream, as seem below, just melt 12 ounces or more of good dark chocolate and beat into the buttercream.
    The yellow cake I used was also a new recipe found online, and uses an oil base, rather than butter, so it stayed moist for days afterward.
    Do you have any great cupcake recipes?

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