vegansaurus!

11/10/2011

Denver Avocado Takedown report: Vegans rule!  »

A month ago, I asked you to help me win the Denver Avocado Takedown for the vegans. The bad news: I didn’t win. The better news: Vegans totally took over. And vegans totally won!!

I’ll tell this story mainly in photos.


I spent the whole weekend cooking. 250 cupcakes. Notice the *free* case of Avocados from Mexico (TM) in the background. This is the pile I started with.


Thanks, Kitchen Robot, for pureeing the green stuff so well!


Oh hell yeah. Mini avocado-lime cupcakes, based on a recipe from Big Vegan (review here), and decorated to adorable perfection (thanks YouTube!). I made my own colored sugar. It’s dead easy: Mix sugar with food coloring in a bowl; use a spoon. DONE!


If there was a prize for presentation, we woulda won. That’s my husband Danny in his new Vegansaurus shirt. Note the awesome sign he colored for us. Note the lights and cupcake tree. Yup. Also note that the Vegan Van was next to me. Love it! There was a vegan to my left as well! And so many more! Somehow we took over!


This is a plate of only the vegan food on hand. Out of 23 entries, 13 had vegan options. HOLY SHIT WE OUTNUMBERED THEM! One chick with non-vegan cupcakes was totally apologizing to me.

That’s me near the center with the Vegansaurus shirt peeking from my apron, waiting to hear about first place. Eek!

In the end, the judges gave third place to a vegan dish, and the people gave vegans both first and third places. WE WIN!

I got to go home with a zillion leftover cupcakes, an avocado apron, totebag, and peeler, and an awesome good time. Dudes, it was a glimpse of the future: WE OUTNUMBERED THEM! VEGAN WAS NORMAL!

Some recipes will be online soon; I’ll update with a link.

10/28/2011

There’s going to be a vegan cupcake and cupcake-themed art party in LA!  »


Cupcakes and art happen to be two of my favorite things (along with elephants, Netflix, and Fla-vor-ice) so I’m so jealous of you L.A. folks! Urban Food Crawl, a vegan food tour company, is hosting Cupcakes + Art: a vegan cupcake competition and cupcake-themed art show! Deets from Urban Food Crawl:

Cupcakes & Art
Sunday, Nov. 6, 3 p.m. at Hold Up Art, 358 E. 2nd St. Los Angeles

The $35 ticket includes entrance to the event, where you’ll be tasting and judging cupcakes from 10 local bakers. Proceeds from the art sales will go to the winning baker’s charity of choice! Stay tuned to our blog for more info on the participating bakers. There are a limited number of tickets available!

Oy, I’m so jealous! You can see the list of bakers and artists on their event page—it includes BabyCakes LA! So. Jealous. Is anyone going? I want a full report! Also, we are sending someone so you’ll get a full report, too. We can give full reports to each other. Good times! Also, they’ll be lots more Urban Food Crawls, so stay tuned to their site to eat so much more. Yay LA!

10/25/2011

In between doing very important things on my day off (watching Mad Men on Netflix, checking Facebook, napping) I came across Gluten Morgan’s video on the Whole Foods twitter feed.  GLUTEN-FREE VEGAN SPICE CUPCAKES. For real? Yes! Do it! Make them! I know I’m going to later this week. I bet they’d be incredible with cream cheese frosting.

Excuse me while I stalk check out her website and watch all of her videos on YouTube. It doesn’t look like all the recipes are vegan, but you could veganize them! And then send us the recipe!

Some spooky pumpkin cupcakes from reader Jessica E.! Well, they are cuter than spooky. But cute things taste better than spooky things. That’s a fact.
Jessica got the recipe for the cupcakes from VegWeb. As for the frosting:

1/4 cup room temperature vegan butter1/3 cup room temperature vegan cream cheese 2 cups sifted powdered sugar 2 teaspoons of vanilla. 
Thoroughly mix all ingredients and voilà, heaven. 

She says the fondant was store-bought but she did all the sculpting and coloring! Super-cool. 

Some spooky pumpkin cupcakes from reader Jessica E.! Well, they are cuter than spooky. But cute things taste better than spooky things. That’s a fact.

Jessica got the recipe for the cupcakes from VegWeb. As for the frosting:

1/4 cup room temperature vegan butter
1/3 cup room temperature vegan cream cheese
2 cups sifted powdered sugar
2 teaspoons of vanilla. 

Thoroughly mix all ingredients and voilà, heaven. 

She says the fondant was store-bought but she did all the sculpting and coloring! Super-cool. 

10/24/2011

Product Review: Galaxy Nutritional Foods’ new vegan cream cheese!   »


[Totes awesome Instagram pic of the whole operation]

I got a chance to sample Galaxy Nutritional Foods new vegan cream cheese and I give it all my thumbs up! It’s yummy! First I made a bagel with the chive and garlic flavor, complete with tomatoes from my parents’ community garden plot, and it was tasty. I will say that it wasn’t garlicky enough for me—if you tell me it has garlic, it has to be garlicky with a capital HOLY MOLY. But it was good and didn’t have that kind of weird aftertaste some vegan cream cheeses have, you know?

BUT THEN! I decided to take the plain cream cheese they sent me and make vegan red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting! MINI red velvet cupcakes! I made mini bundt cakes too but I can’t figure out how to make them look nice with frosting; they are more glaze-friendly. Now, if there’s one thing I hate, it’s red velvet cupcakes with VANILLA frosting. BLEH! It’s GOT to be cream cheese. I used this recipe and it was good for the cake but I don’t recommend the cream cheese frosting recipe that goes along with it. The frosting recipe doesn’t have any sugar in it and kind of tasted crazy. I looked at every other cream cheese frosting recipe on the internet and they all had two to eight (eight!) cups of confectioners sugar in them, so I added about a cup to my butter-and-cream-cheese mixture. MUCH IMPROVED! My final decision: YUM! Excellent cream cheese frosting! My omni sister loved it too, and my mom said it was delicious and it’s the only red velvet cake she’s ever liked! High praise.


[The only mini cupcake papers we could find in our house were Halloween-themed! SPOOKY!]

The thing I like about this vegan cream cheese is that it’s like kind of tangy—you know how real cream cheese is a bit tangy? Like plain-yogurt-tangy? Yeah, it’s like that. Tofutti and those others totally lack that. Maybe it’s because this is the first vegan cream cheese that’s cultured? Could be! You know how science is! I think this cream cheese would be really good for making those simple cream cheese-based cheese cakes; those should be a bit tangy.

My sister said you can’t tell how small and adorbs the cupcakes are so we took a pic with Mitsy to show scale:

Oh, Mits. 

10/06/2011

Vegan MoFo: cupcakes for breakfast!  »

So yeah, I eat cupcakes for breakfast like it ain’t no thing.
This is the Caramel Apple Spice Cupcake from my much-loved copy of Veganomicon. I made a few minor tweaks to the recipe.

For the cupcakes!
Ingredients
2 tart, firm apples (I used Gala)
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. vegan margarine (I used Earth Balance)
1 cup “milk”
1 Tbsp. lemon juice (bottle FTW!)
1/3 cup canola oil
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. lemon extract (because it’s easier to keep around than lemon zest)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg

Instructions
Preheat your oven to 350°F, and line your muffin tin with liners. Dice the apples into little pieces (next time I would use a food processor to get them reeeeeeaalllllly little).

Heat a skillet over medium heat, and stir in brown sugar and margarine until it starts bubbling, when you’ll add those apples. Cook and stir every so often until the water has mostly evaporated and the apples are kinda brown. This might take 15 minutes, so be patient. Then cool for a bit while you perform the next steps.

Whisk your “milk” and lemon juice in a big bowl, and let it sit for a few minutes to witness the miracle known as “curdling.”

Beat in oil, sugar, and extracts. Dump in the dry ingredients and stir only until moistened. Fold in the apples and whatever mystery liquids remain in your skillet (you thought I forgot about them, didn’t you?). Pour batter into your cupcake liners, and bake for 20-22 minutes until they pass the toothpick test. While they cool, make your frosting.

For the caramel-penuche frosting!
Ingredients
1/2 cup sugar
3 Tbsp. vegan margarine
1 Tbsp. molasses (god, I love when I get to use molasses, don’t you?)
1/2 cup “milk”
pinch of salt
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Instructions
Put everything except the powdered sugar and vanilla into a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.

Keep stirring once in a while until it’s been boiling and foaming (much like rabies!) for eight minutes or so. Remove from heat, but don’t let it cool too long because this frosting is more of a bitch to work with the cooler it gets.

Beat the mixture with the vanilla and half the powdered sugar for a few minutes. Then add the rest of it. Electric beaters produce best results for me, but go for it by hand if you have guns of steel. Spread it onto your cupcakes stat. Eat for any and every meal of the day, upside-down with a spoon; you’ll see why.

10/03/2011

Day of the Dead cupcakes from Lux Hippie! So pretty, right? So pretty. It’s a bit early for the holiday but you know me, I love to get a head start! JK, I’m the worst. I will prob make these in January. Like, 2015. 
[via Finding Vegan, my favorite site!]

Day of the Dead cupcakes from Lux Hippie! So pretty, right? So pretty. It’s a bit early for the holiday but you know me, I love to get a head start! JK, I’m the worst. I will prob make these in January. Like, 2015. 

[via Finding Vegan, my favorite site!]

09/16/2011

Check out the adorable dino cupcake that Jessica at Bake the Day made! How adorable is that!? And more importantly, delicious! I’ll marry her and that damn cupcake, even if I have to move to Hawaii to do it! Especially if I have to move to Hawaii to do it! Actually, that might be my new game plan.
Jessica says:
I made them long before the East Coast had its great blackout recently with Hurricane Irene and sadly I had to throw out a few when our electric stopped the fridge [Ed.: NOOOO!!!]. They are a vanilla cupcake with a chocolate cookie crumb bottom and a ganache center, with vanilla buttercream and specks of colored sugar throughout, and a chocolate dino chilling out on top. Everything is homemade, and the cupcake was supposed to be grass, soil, and magma center, respectively. Hope you enjoy it!
Um, we do. WE DO.

Check out the adorable dino cupcake that Jessica at Bake the Day made! How adorable is that!? And more importantly, delicious! I’ll marry her and that damn cupcake, even if I have to move to Hawaii to do it! Especially if I have to move to Hawaii to do it! Actually, that might be my new game plan.

Jessica says:

I made them long before the East Coast had its great blackout recently with Hurricane Irene and sadly I had to throw out a few when our electric stopped the fridge [Ed.: NOOOO!!!]. They are a vanilla cupcake with a chocolate cookie crumb bottom and a ganache center, with vanilla buttercream and specks of colored sugar throughout, and a chocolate dino chilling out on top. Everything is homemade, and the cupcake was supposed to be grass, soil, and magma center, respectively. Hope you enjoy it!

Um, we do. WE DO.

08/04/2011

Vegan gay pride cupcakes! From Vegansaurus fave the Chubby Vegan. These are too adorbs. Check the original post for an inside view! Trippy.
I don’t know about you but I for one am totally gay for these cupcakes!

Vegan gay pride cupcakes! From Vegansaurus fave the Chubby Vegan. These are too adorbs. Check the original post for an inside view! Trippy.

I don’t know about you but I for one am totally gay for these cupcakes!

07/11/2011

Guest recipe: Chocolate espresso cupcakes!  »


Last week I upset everyone by posting the above picture without the recipe. To make it up to you, I got the recipe from Alexis:

The recipe is easy, and I don’t have a mixer. Making it jumbo-size allows the cake to be intensely moist.

The cupcakes
Ingredients
1 1/2 cups organic unbleached all-purpose flour
1 Tbps. baking soda
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I use Valrhona)
1 cup sugar (I use half-white and half-brown, or caster sugar)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup vegan chocolate morsels
1 cup coconut milk

3 Tbsp. espresso powder

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 Tbs. organic white wine vinegar

Instructions
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line jumbo cupcake pans with liners—this will make six.

 Sift all of the dry ingredients and whisk together. In a separate small bowl combine coconut milk, espresso powder, and vegetable oil; after mixing, add the vinegar. Add wet to dry and mix with a spatula. Add chocolate morsels.

Fill the cupcake pans a little above halfway. Bake 15 minutes, or use toothpick to check.

The frosting
Ingredients
1/3 cup vegan chocolate chips
3 Tbsp. coconut oil
2 cups organic powdered sugar
1/4 cup hot water
Vanilla bean extract to taste.

Instructions
Melt the chocolate chips and coconut oil in the microwave, and stir. Add the powdered sugar, then the hot water and more powdered sugar if needed. Stir to get rid of lumps, and add the vanilla extract. It will be a little runny, but it pours really well and hardens perfectly. I frost when the cupcakes are still warm, about three minutes out of the oven.

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