Thursday, November 15, 2012

Sweet Treats - Cupcakes

In October I spent two Saturday's in a row baking cupcakes. I usually don't bake but it was nice to make something sweet instead of savory. The first weekend I made vegan banana chai cupcakes and brought them to the Vegan Bake sale at Counter Culture, rumor is - the bake sale raised quite a bit of money for the Sara animal shelter. I also brought a couple to a halloween party I attended. The cupcakes got great reviews, I would giggle to myself and then tell everyone "guess what, they're vegan!"

 The recipe for the vegan banana chai cupcakes was one I have had for awhile, but I haven't made in a while because I really had no reason to. As much as I love sweets, I can't eat 24 cupcakes before they go bad.

The vegan banana chai cupcakes comes from Key Lime Pie Kitchen. I haven't checked out this blog recently though, I'll have to put that on my to-do list.

As most people know, baking usually needs to be precise, so I (for once) followed this recipe to the "T."

Vegan Chai Cupcakes
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground ginger ( I used fresh grated)
2/3 cup canola oil ( you can also substitute coconut oil for this)
1 1/3 cups soymilk (almond)
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
3 medium bananas (make sure they are pretty ripe so they are easy to mash)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line muffin tins with paper liners. 
In a mixing bowl combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, sugar, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and ginger. 
In another bowl combine oil, milk, vanilla and mashed banana. I recommend putting the banana in the bowl first and mashing it before adding the other liquid ingredients. 
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients in. Stir till combined, but try to not over mix. Fill the cupcake tins 2/3 full and put in the oven for 18 minutes. 
I had a lot of leftover batter so I made mini cupcakes - these went in the oven for a little bit shorter time. I just kept checking with a toothpick until it came out clean, about 10-15 minutes. 
Cinnamon- Chocolate Frosting: 
1/2 cup vegan margarine (I used a coconut spread)
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt
Powdered Sugar
Almond Milk (or soy, rice, etc)
1 tsp vanilla extract
With an electric mixer beat together the margarine, coca powder cinnamon and salt. Starting with 1 cup of powdered sugar, start pouring 1/2 cup in slowly while mixing. Then add a splash of the milk. Repeat this until the frosting is thick. It will take a lot more powdered sugar than you would expect. 
Once the cupcakes are cool, add the frosting. Then eat them and share with your friends. 
Frosting cupcakes is one of my least favorite things, the frosting gets everywhere and you keep having to lick your fingers (ok I'm not complaining about that). Seriously, frosting gets messy. When it came time to make cupcakes for my friends birthday I came across for a recipe called "self-frosting nutella cupcakes." My friend loves nutella, so it was perfect!
(Not perfect, but i'll explain when I get there)

These are easy cupcakes you can make with few ingredients and not a lot of time.  You can easily make these cupcakes vegan as well, I just didn't want to try anything because they were for my non-vegan friend and I was in a hurry. So they were half vegan. :)

1/4 cup butter (The coconut spread I used for the other cupcakes)
1/4 cup canola oil
3/4 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk

Preheat the oven to 325 and line muffin tins with paper liners. Combine the butter, oil and sugar in a bowl and beat till light and foamyish. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until smooth. In another bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt and then add it to the wet ingredients. Beat on a low speed until just combined. The original recipe did not include the milk. When I combined all the ingredients the mix seemed really thick so I decided to add milk to make it a bit thinner.

Fill the cupcake liners 2/3 of the way full. Next put some nutella in a bowl and put it in the microwave for 10 seconds. (this will make the nutella soft so that you can make swirls in the batter).
Plop a spoonfull of the nutella into each cup of batter and then swirl with a toothpick, bamboo stick or knife. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the cupcakes are springy to the touch.

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