VEGAN Snickerdoodle

First of all, I’d just like to thank everybody who voted for me and who spread the word about me in the Manliest Cupcake Contest!! I really appreciate all of your love and support!!

However… I didn’t win….

BOO!

BUT— I think I was the 3rd pick for the People’s Choice??? It was hard to tell because it was a poll and the numbers kept changing. Before they ended it my cupcake was in third so I’m going with that : )

Onward and upward!!!

VEGAN.

A lot of people, or bakers I should say, are intimidated by this word. You hear vegan and you say to yourself: Wait–I can’t put butter into a cake recipe? How am I going to do that? No eggs??WHAT?!!? I felt like this before and despite many requests from family and friends to do vegan recipes, I chickened out.

So, I am here to say that if I can do it, you can do it. And I did it surprisingly well!!!

VEGAN= no dairy. No products that come from animals. That means no: eggs, milk, butter, cream cheese, milk chocolate, whipped cream, etc. (see what I mean about intimidating??)

The thing is though–its not about NO’ s— it’s about SUBSTITUTION.

Eggs are meant to bind ingredients together– in vegan recipes they often use applesauce, or honey, or other binders. Same with butter– use oil. (vegetable or canola)

Cream cheese= tofu cream cheese. (don’t be scared it’s good!)

chocolate= is tricky. You really have to read the labels. You can buy special chocolate but that does get pricey.

Bottom line– vegan IS doable!! Try it!!! Here’s a website that has some great baking substitutions: the vegan wolf

Ok that was a bit wordy… now the goods!

VEGAN SNICKERDOODLE CUPCAKES

Absolutely delicious. One of the best I’ve ever made. One of the best I’ve ever had in my life!!!

I could also tell that these were amazing by the taste buds of my sister–the pickiest eater on the planet: (like for real–ask my family)

Here’s how it went:

J Rose: Can I have one of your cupcakes?

Me: yea here.

J Rose: These are really good! What are they?

Me: vegan snickerdoodle.

[she stops chewing and looks at me]

J Rose: like vegan, vegan?

Me: uh huh.

J Rose: (pauses and takes another bite) : F*** it! These are amazing!

the end.

(sorry mom for swearing) 🙂

the recipe: from CHOW

Vegan Snickerdoodle Cupcakes

(makes 1 dozen)

you need:

  • 1 c soy milk
  • 1 t apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 c + 2 t vegetable oil
  • 1 1/4 c flour
  • 2 T cornstarch
  • 3/4 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 3/4 c sugar
  • 2 t vanilla extract (you know I’m going to say Mexican vanilla!)
  • 2 T cinnamon
  • 2 T brown sugar

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a cupcake pan with paper liners.
  2. Mix together soy milk and vinegar and set aside for 1-5 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and white sugar.
  4. In a small bowl, mix together the cinnamon, brown sugar and 2 t of the vegetable oil.
  5. Add the remaining oil and vanilla extract to the soured soy milk. Stir together and add to the dry ingredients. Mix together to form a smooth batter. Pour into the lined cupcake pans.
  6. Spoon a heaping 1/2 t full of the cinnamon mixture into each cupcake. Make a zigzag with a bamboo stick or toothpick. It should look like this:
  7. Bake for 19-22 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  8. Allow to cool completely and frost with vanilla frosting (wait for it…) and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.

Frosting: super easy

Take a 1/2 cup of Earth Balance (or any other soy based “butter” product) and 1 t vanilla and beat it with enough powdered sugar to get the right consistency and taste. If it gets too thick, you can add a little soy milk. Done!

Note that I took these pictures at night using my IPhone and my husband’s IPhone with the flashlight app. We are crafty. he he….

So there you have it. VEGAN. I did vegan. I actually baked and produced an edible vegan something. Be inspired people!! You can do this too!!!!

UP NEXT: I try to make cake pops. again. and again.. and again… until I get it!!!

The Manliest Cupcake

Well, if you follow me on Facebook (like me!), you may remember my question to the world: “When you hear the words “manly cupcake” what flavors come to mind? Besides beer?” Many of you wrote me with great suggestions and I was so glad….

Because I’m entering myself into a “manly cupcake” CONTEST!!!!

It is sponsored by C & C Bakery (click here to VOTE FOR ME!!!) out of Vancouver. This is the second year that they have hosted the “Manly Cupcake Contest.” The contest is to increase awareness of prostate and testicular cancer. Everyone knows someone who has had cancer, or who has been affected by cancer. I have had friends and family members battle cancer, and I thought that this contest was not only a major culinary contest and an amazing opportunity for me to challenge myself—it also had a cause. It had a message– and all of these cupcakes entered into the contest send a very clear message that we will fight against cancer!!

The concept of the contest is centered around the Movember Foundation:

“The Movember foundation, started in 2003, encourages men of all shapes and sizes (as well as their female counterparts) to grow the most manly mustache they can muster. Through this act, men and their supporters will ban together to raise money and awareness for all types of male health problems. Hopefully, in years to come, prostate and testicular cancer will be talked about freely, and funding for these men health issues will start to really flow.” –from the C & C Cakery website.

Thus, the theme for this contest is: Mos of the Movies (mustaches in the movies)

Click this manly cupcake for the official rules:

Now for the goods!

What do you think?? Can you tell who this is???

YOSEMITE SAM!!!

I know I know–he’s a cartoon character. But he’s been in movies! Kids movies! Hah!

I made the stache and eyebrows from fondant but using a circle cookie cutter and a paring knife. It’s been awhile since I’ve gotten out the ol’ fondant roller, and it was actually kind of nice to make something so smooth and clean with fondant! I know I’m lame….

The flavors of the cupcakes was also part of the challenge. That’s why I needed some help developing my manly flavors!!

With the help of you all, plus my hubbie and sister as taste tasters, I would like to unveil the:

Brown Sugar Brown Butter Beef Jerky Cupcake with BBQ Cream Cheese (that’s a mouthful…..)

the Cake:

adapted from Tastespotting.com

  • 1/2 c unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 c light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 2 1/2 c flour
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 2 t baking powder
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 1 c buttermilk
  • beef jerky. you can use slim jims if you want… but I used some nicer quality stuff so that it was more tasty

Steps:

  1. In a small saucepan, cook the butter on medium heat for about 6 minutes, until the foam subsides and the butter turns brown and it smells like nutty caramel. It will make a lot of gurgly noises too–don’t be alarmed. Be sure to swirl the pot around every so often so that it doesn’t burn. Remove it from the heat and allow to cool and harden slightly in a bowl in the freezer for about 15 minutes.it should look like this:[insert butter ]
  2. Preheat the oven to 375 and put liners into the cupcake pans.
  3. In a large bowl or stand mixer, cream together the brown butter and sugar.
  4. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until combined
  5. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon.
  6. Alternately add the dry ingredients and milk in thirds to the butter mixture, making sure not to over mix the butter.
  7. Grate enough of the beef jerky to make about 5 tablespoons. Cut up the rest of the jerky into tiny pieces and add all of the jerky to the batter–stir well.
  8. Pour the batter into the cupcake liners. Bake the cakes for about 18 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool completely.

Now the BBQ cream cheese:

adapted from multiple cream cheese recipes on allrecipes.com

  • 8 oz cream cheese—softened
  • 1/4 c butter–softened
  • 1 c sifted powdered sugar
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • 1 T BBQ sauce

Steps:
In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter until creamy. Mix in the bbq sauce and pinch of cinnamon, then gradually stir in the powdered sugar. Store in the fridge after work.

Ta da!!!! Now that I’m entered into the contest please please please VOTE FOR ME!!!! It’s a public contest, baker contest, and C & C contest. What that means is that the public can vote= the People’s Choice. All contestants get to vote on the other contestants = baker contest. And the final winner is chosen by the C & C Cakery. You can vote HERE!!

Voting is from November 21st to the 25th!!!

If you would like to donate to the cause, check out the Movember Charity Page to donate.

Check out the prize sponsors!

Thanks everybody!!! xoxoxo

UP NEXT: vegan snickerdoodle…surprisingly tasty for a non vegan : )

Buckeye Cupcakes!

If you don’t know what a “buckeye” cookie/brownie/whatever is… I feel bad for you.

It is the most scrumptious combination of peanut butter and chocolate!!!

Usually the cookies are just peanut butter balls dipped in chocolate. We call them buckeye balls and we make them for Christmas sometimes. MMMMM

Well I thought why not make it into a cupcake? I saw this picture when I was doing my usual cupcake research of a towering mound of frosting on top of a cupcake that was then dipped in chocolate so it had a hard shell. Light bulb!!

These may look a little plain, yes I agree, but they were sooooo scrumptious. Seriously.

If you like chocolate and peanut butter, you need to make these. (and then leave me a comment!lol 🙂 )

I used a special chocolate cake recipe that was given to me by my aunt that I’ve used for years…it tastes like a brownie!!! But you can use any chocolate cake recipe, really. The good stuff is the frosting:

Peanut Butter Buttercream Frosting

also available here

  • 8 T unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 c smooth peanut butter
  • 3/4 c confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 pinch table salt
  • 1/2 t vanilla extract
  • 1 T heavy cream
  1. In standing mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat butter and peanut butter at medium-high speed until smooth. (you can use a hand mixer too if you want).
  2. Add the confectioners’ sugar and salt, beat at medium-low speed until most of the sugar is moistened.
  3. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat at medium speed until the mixture is fully combined.
  4. Scrape bowl again, add vanilla and heavy cream and beat at medium speed until fully incorporated, then increase speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes–scraping down the bowl when needed.

Super easy!!! Then I put the frosting into a piping bag (or ziplock if you want) and piped the frosting onto the cupcake, trying to make them as high as I could. Then put them in the fridge while you make the chocolate shell.

Now this was the key part because I definitely wanted there to be a crunch when you bit into the cupcake. No ordinary ganache would work because it would soften and it wouldn’t be the same. I needed the special stuff they put on Dairy Queen dilly bars or ice cream sundaes!!!

Did you know that that stuff is INCREDIBLY easy and cheap to make????

Chocolate Shell recipe

Here’s where I found it

1/2 c semi sweet chocolate

2 T butter

That’s it. Literally. Just melt it together and dip or pour or drizzle or spoon a mouthful and it will harden!!! Where has this been all my life?!?!

After I dipped the “cones” as I was calling them into the chocolate, I put them back into the fridge to make sure they were good and hard–like about an hour?

The result: I became addicted to these. Especially the frosting. And I got really silly with them after I ate too many. You’ll see.

I couldn’t resist!

Ok here’s when I start to lose it. I put the cupcake into one of those funny cupcake holders that has feet.

Haha! That is so cute huh? But then I thought it should have eyes or something I mean he can’t even see!

Yes! Super cute!

Man down.

K then I went over the deep end.

We ate stew together.

And he helped me do my nails.

Then I remembered that I had a leftover cupcake from Sprinkles….. a sweet little chai cupcake.

And he left me for her. : (

I know it’s inappropriate but I couldn’t resist!!! Cupcake ❤ !!

UP NEXT: pumpkin spice cake pops and vegan snickerdoodle… and I’m entering a cupcake contest!!!!

the Ultimate Vanilla Cupcake

Today is National Vanilla Cupcake day!

Perfect timing, since I’ve been meaning to play around with a vanilla cupcake recipe or too. I feel like vanilla is something that everyone knows what it is and what it tastes like, but we can’t really distinguish between good vanillas and imitation vanillas. We need to appreciate and worship vanilla!!!

In my research I came across a recipe for the Ultimate Vanilla Cupcake made by Stef at the CupcakeProject.com.  This recipe has been tested by 50 bakers (now 50+!) and she has deemed it the Ultimate.

And I agree!!

Truly amazing. Beautiful. Luscious. Expensive….

Let’s start at the beginning shall we?

Here is a vanilla bean:

Yes it really looks like this. And yes, it may cost you up to $8 for one of these little babies. But it’s worth it!!!

What you want from this ugly brown stick is the inside!!!

Let’s do this!

Cut the vanilla bean down the middle

Spread it open carefully with a knife to reveal the seeds. All that black gunk is the precious vanilla goodness!

Scrape the seeds out with the knife into the bowl

Annnnnd that’s what you paid for! In this picture I’m scraping the seeds into a bowl of sugar that I’m using to make the cake batter.

It’s probably a good idea to do all that prep work before you start to make the cake batter. Then you’ll have everything ready to begin.

Now back to my lovies

Here is the recipe:

The Ultimate Vanilla Cupcake

reprinted from thecupcakeproject.com

Ingredients:

  • 1 c granulated sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 3/4 c cake flour
  • 1 1/2 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/4 c unsalted butter @ room temp
  • 2 eggs @ room temp
  • 1/3 c full-fat sour cream
  • 1/4 c canola oil or vegetable oil (i used veg)
  • 1 T PURE vanilla
  • 2/3 c whole milk ( i used buttermilk)

And begin!

  1. Preheat oven to 350. In a small bowl, combine sugar and vanilla bean seeds (see above). Use the back of a spoon and gently break up any clumps of seeds to better infuse the vanilla flavor into the sugar. Set aside.
  2. In a mixing bowl, mix together cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. Add the vanilla bean sugar and mix until combined.
  4. Add butter and mix on medium-low speed for 3 minutes. Because there is so little butter, you’ll end up with a very fine crumb texture.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together eggs, sour cream, oil, and vanilla extract until smooth.
  6. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined.
  7. Slowly add the milk and mix on low speed until just combined. the batter will be liquid–it’s  ok!
  8. Fill cupcake liners just over 1/2 full.
  9. Bake for 14 minutes and then test to see if they are done=toothpick comes out clean. The cupcakes should appear white with specks of vanilla bean in them. They should not be golden brown!
  10. When they’re done, immediately remove them from the tins and cool completely.   Ta da!!!

So now for the frosting. Who knows what meringue buttercream is????

Anyone? Anyone?

Basically is it frosting that combines boiled sugar and whipped egg whites that you add butter too. It is amazing. I never knew this was out there. Now this frosting fills a buttery void in my life. 🙂

There are many recipes like this out there. I kinda made my own but adapted some of it from ButterYum. Check it out!!

This is what it should look like:

See the little black spots?? that’s the vanilla!!!This stuff is amazing. Totally amazing. It’s a little tricky because you have to watch the sugar and balance the timing with the egg whites. But don’t be discouraged! You can do it and it’s completely worth it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well, there you have it. Happy Vanilla cupcake day! Hope your day is filled with vanilla goodness 🙂

UP NEXT: Buckeye brownie cupcakes and CAKE POPS ON THE WAY!!!

samoas + cupcakes made with WINE

First up! SAMOAS cupcakes

 

Inspired by the deliciously scrumptious addicting Girl Scout Cookie: the Samoa.

Brown butter brown sugar cake + caramel filling + ganache frosting + toasted coconut.

These were really good! The brown butter brown sugar cake smelled soooo good in the oven it was killing me! They came out a bit crumbly but with the caramel and ganache they were awesome. Totally like a cookie.

AND THEN ADAM POURED A GLASS OF WINE……………………

 

He mixed dark cherry wine and almond wine together and took a sip. I watched him as his eyes got really wide and then he handed me the cup (which was a coffee mug by the way, not a wine glass lol). After I took a sip I gave him the same look and said “we should make this into a cupcake!!!!”

Thus, the dark cherry almond wine cupcake was born.

Now, if you don’t like wine, you will probably will not be a fan of these. Because they definitely taste like BOOZE! Which is amazing!!! The color they turned when they came out of the oven was a little grayish blue and kinda un-appetizing. But the taste with the ganache and whip was so unique!! I was so proud!

The wine was from Heritage Cellars in the Chatauqua Region of NY. We do a Chocolate and Wine tour weekend every year for Valentine’s day and stock up on wine. The Dark Cherry and Almonderia wine were ones we just had to buy!!

I basically added a cup of the mixed wine to a vanilla cake batter and just figured whatever happens, happens. And it happened. They turned a gray blue……

(no pics sorry–again–sometimes I’m a loser I apologize)

So then I thought let’s add chocolate. Ganache is pretty much the best thing on earth to add to a cupcake. I made dark cherry ganache by adding about a tablespoon to the ganache while I was mixing it. Click here for the ganache recipe!

Annnnd I like whip cream. A lot. Homemade. NEVER REDI WHIP OR COOL WHIP. I know that makes me sound snotty but seriously. Nothing compares to the homemade stuff. This time I added about a tablespoon of the Almonderia wine while mixing.

The result: boozey cupcakes.

I’m thinking next time I may cook the wine first, to get some of the alcohol taste out. They did really taste (and smell) like wine so I’m thinking it might be a good idea to cool it down a bit and make it more PG rated. Otherwise, they were pretty tasty and I was so excited that it actually worked!!!

UP NEXT: be sure to check back on NOVEMBER 10th for the Ultimate vanilla cupcake!!

peanut butter caramel apple cupcakes

Ummm so how is it NOVEMBER already?!?

I love the fall. I love apples. I love pumpkins. mmmmmmmmmm

I wanted to make something different for this fall season. Apple cupcakes are pretty popular, like caramel apple or apple pie. But I thought, why not add peanut butter? That pretty much makes anything better : )

My thought process was: ok you dip apples in peanut butter. you dip apples in caramel sauce. Let’s combine it!!!

Here’s how they came out:

 

Peanut butter cupcakes + baked apple filling + cream cheese frosting + more baked apples + caramel + chopped peanuts= bowwmmm chica booowmm bowwmm

These were huuuuge hit with my family. They didn’t last long : )

Peanut Butter Caramel Apple Cupcakes

adapted from Sallys Smorsels

you need:

  • 1 1/2 sticks of butter
  • 1 1/3 c sugar
  • 2/3 c peanut butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 c sour cream
  • 1/2 t vanilla
  • 1 3/4 c flour
  • 3/4 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/4 t baking soda
  • 1 1/2 c apples chopped–sprinkled with a little cinnamon/sugar and cooked in butter
  • caramel sauce— recipe here

Here’s how to make them:

  1. Mix butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the peanut butter and mix well.
  2. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing between each.
  3. Add the sour cream and vanilla–mix
  4. Add the dry ingredients and mix until combined.

Now to assemble them in the pan:

  • line cupcake tin with liners and put a little of the batter into each

  • add a small amount of cooked apples

  • add a drizzle of caramel

  • add another dollop of batter and smooth to cover

  • BAKE at 350 for 23 minutes. Cool completely.

You can also bake the cupcakes without the apples/caramel combo in the middle and just do the pb cupcakes. Then once they’re cooled, fill them with the apple/caramels that you cooked, and then frost. Either way, they are delicious. I did both–and it just depends on your texture preferences. The ones with apples baked in the center are definitely more moist– just make sure you strain the apples after you cook them and before you add to the cupcake. Otherwise its too liquidy.

For the frosting, I made the cream cheese buttercream I mentioned here and ladled more apples on top, drizzled with caramel, and then sprinkled chopped peanuts on top.

WARNING: you may be in a coma after you eat this. And you definitely need milk on hand!

i ❤ wegmans….

I’m trying to experiment with photography ideas. My kitchen has limited  sunlight and I usually use my Iphone for pictures, or my digital camera. But I’m getting bored with the plain cupcake on a plate deal. Ideas are appreciated!!!

NEXT UP: samoas cupcakes, apple muffins, and NATIONAL VANILLA CUPCAKE DAY IS NOVEMBER 10TH!! CHECK BACK FOR AN AMAZING VANILLA RECIPE!!!