Okay, so I admit that I kind of disappeared for a week. I thought I’d make it up to you with some cupcakes. Who can say no to that?
Not to worry, though- I went MIA for a good reason. A very good reason…
To catch you up- Friday was Mike’s birthday, so I had planned to do a birthday cake post. Unfortunately, my red velvet beet cake was a complete flop (which is sad, because I had so many ”hilarious” beet puns I was planning on using, but oh well…). This isn’t to say I’ve completely given up on the recipe- I’m definitely going to give it another go at some point, but for now I need a bit of break from beets. To be continued…
So anyway, I had planned to give it another go on Saturday with a more no-fail, ‘classic’ cake recipe that I’ve made multiple times. However, fate (or actually, Mike) had a different plan… Seeing that it was a gorgeous day and he actually had the weekend off (which never happens), he thought we should go for a hike…
Can you guess what happened at the top of the mountain? No, I didn’t collapse from a combination of being incredibly out of shape and taste-testing too many cakes. Mike proposed!!
YAAYY! It was preeeetty much perfect: He had packed a cute little picnic with all the fixins’ (a blanket, falafel pitas, dog treats, boxed wine… what, you don’t bring wine on hikes with you?). We rested and had lunch at this clearing overlooking a gorgeous view of the valley. And just as we’re taking some pictures of the view… BAM. Proposal. He even hid a mini-champagne bottle in our lunch bag when I wasn’t looking. And so the celebration commenced!
Did I mention the engagement ring is conflict-free? Doesn’t get much better than that.
Needless to say, the last few days I’ve been caught up in the post-engagement bliss and have been incessantly planning, talking, or thinking about weddings. Since Mike and I are planning a vegan/eco-friendly wedding, I thought you all might be interested in coming along for the ride over the next year or so. Typically vegan and eco-friendly weddings can get bad wrap for being overly expensive or just simply not enjoyable (“Wait… you won’t be serving ANY meat?! Or cheese?!”) I plan to attempt to break those stereotypes.
From now on, I’ll be mixing in some wedding-planning posts along with the usual recipe posts. I hope you all enjoy!
I welcome any questions, comments or suggestions from other vegan-fiancés or experienced planners!
For today, though, it’s time to eat cupcakes. Got a birthday? Got an engagement? Got a sweet tooth? Well, this one’s for you!
Classic Yellow Cupcakes: Filled with Mixed Berry and Topped with Chocolate Frosting
…Now that’s a mouthful. Literally! (Okay, bad joke…)
- 1.5 cup all-purpose white flour
- 1.25 cup sugar
- 1.25 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1.5 tablespoons ground chia seeds
- 4.5 tablespoons warm water
- 0.75 cup milk
- 1 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 0.5 cup unflavored vegetable oil or melted vegan butter (like Earth Balance)
- 0.5 cup water
- 2.5 tsp vanilla extract
Mixed Berry Filling
- 0.25 cup mixed berry jam, or jam of your choice.
- 1 cup unsweetened chocolate chips
- 1 can full-fat coconut milk, refrigerated overnight.
- 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
- Optional: 1/4 cup vegan butter at room temperature (like Earth Balance)*
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Line your muffin tins with paper liners.
- In a medium bowl, mix the dry ingredients: the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- In a small bowl, make your chia egg: mix the ground chia seeds with the 4.5T of warm water until it is a gelatin-like consistency.
- In a large bowl, mix the milk and the vinegar. Let it sit for a few minutes (this will make a “buttermilk”).
- Add the rest of the wet ingredients to the buttermilk: oil, vanilla, and the rest of the water. Mix in the chia egg, making sure to mix it until it’s free of lumps.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix. Again, try to make sure it’s free of lumps, but don’t over-mix it, either.
- Fill the muffin tins with the batter, about 3/4 of the way to the top.
- Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean (about 35-40 minutes).
- In a double boiler, melt the chocolate chips (or use a microwave for about 15-30 seconds).
- Carefully remove the coconut milk from the fridge and open it. Use a spoon to separate the hardened white coconut cream from the coconut water. Throw the coconut water away or save it for later recipes.
- Add the coconut milk-cream, chocolate, and sugar (and Earth Balance, if using*) to a bowl and use a hand blender to blend until smooth.
- Place back in the fridge, covered, until ready to use.
- When the cupcakes are finished cooking, remove from the oven and place on a wire rack. Let them cool for a couple minutes, just until they are cool enough to handle.
- Use a fork to puncture a few holes in the middle of the cupcakes.
- Drop a dollop (about 1 tsp) of jam into the center of each cupcake, letting it melt into the punctures.
- Frost and decorate your cupcakes (the fun part!)
- Eat (okay, the really fun part!)
Note: The Earth Balance is only required if your coconut milk does not separate easily. Sometimes you get a “dud” coconut milk, which doesn’t harden as it should. If this is the case, take out as much of the “cream” as you can from the coconut milk, and use the Earth Balance to make up the difference. Make sure to let the frosting sit in the fridge for at least an hour (or longer) to firm up.
Makes 12 tasty cupcakes.