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
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

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
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.

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.


Vegansaurus NYC: Cowgirl’s Baking!  »

Cowgirl’s Baking
! Ever heard of it? It’s in Manhattan. I was in the city yesterday and happened by—the same day Laura and I had been talking about this place! See, they had a vegan hot dog eating contest over July Fourth and Laura wanted me to write about it and I was like, Laura, it’s not July Fourth anymore! And she was like, Megan, vegan hot dog eating contest! And then by chance, I walk by. The world is a funny place.

The main thing I had heard about Cowgirl’s Baking is that they sell vegan funnel cake! OMG DON’T DIE! Yes, as you may have guessed, it was delicious. A lot oilier than I remember, but I don’t think I’ve had a funnel cake in like 10 years? It was GOOD. Funnel cake is GOOD. I was HAPPY.

Funnel cake was all I was prepared to buy yesterday (I was actually on my way to dinner—ha!) but I will definitely go back! They have many savory items I want to try, including cheddar biscuits. I love a good biscuit! They also have about a million cupcakes. I want them all.

They have little places to sit but they seriously need some AC like whoa. You should definitely make the trip here one day, for lunch AND dessert. I may even be there when you go! I’ll be the extra-good-looking one. Say hi.


Vegan chocolate espresso cakes from Alexis J! The chocolate and coffee combo is my absolute favorite. Especially when it’s gooey! And these look gooey. So basically, I’d probably kill you for a bite of one. That tells you a lot about those cupcakes and about me. Probably more about me. 

Vegan chocolate espresso cakes from Alexis J! The chocolate and coffee combo is my absolute favorite. Especially when it’s gooey! And these look gooey. So basically, I’d probably kill you for a bite of one. That tells you a lot about those cupcakes and about me. Probably more about me. 


Guest post: Vegan Cookie Connoisseur Kelly Peloza goes to Mad City Vegan Fest!  »

The first-ever Mad City Vegan Fest was held last month in Madison, Wis., and I was lucky enough to be there doing a baking demo and speech. Over 1,300 people attended, and there were so many fantastic, inspiring presenters: Jasmin Singer and Mariann Sullivan of Our Hen House spoke about food activism; Terry Romero made chipotle seitan potato tacos; Kenny Torella of Mercy For Animals spoke about everyday compassion; and there was a nutrition talk, yoga session, and raw food demo! There were lines wrapping around the exhibitor room full of people eager to get their hands on lunch from local Midwest vegan food vendors like Dandelion Food Cart (I got a breakfast-y tofu ciabatta sandwich and it was yumz), Ste Martaen Vegan Food Truck, and a whole host of tables offering samples. A smashing success, and everyone was extremely friendly and super awesome.

It gets even better! There were Vegansaurus Happy Veggie Kids at the vegan fest! My friend Marla of Chicago VeganMania was there with Justice. Then I recognized Ayame, who sat in the front row at my demo and volunteered to be one of my cookie-decorators. I clearly need to be best friends with more eight-year-olds because Ayame said she loves cookies and bunnies, and OMG me too! I went vegan when I was 14 and grew up very much involved in the vegan community, and it’s wonderful to see these awesome vegan kids being a part of such a wonderful community at such a young age!

For my demo, I talked about cookbook-writing and the greatness of microplane zesters, then made Shirley Temple Cookies. They are a delicate, shortbread-like citrus cookie topped with cherry grenadine frosting, garnished with a cherry, candy straws, and a cocktail umbrella—just like the drink. Get the recipe here.

Sandi and Ayame and I piped frosting and garnished the cookies with all sorts of fun stuff. The audience also got samples of Chocolate Peppermint Cream Bars (such a summery recipe, I know!) and Hypnosis Cookie Lollipops. Jasmin commented that my dress matched the cookies—when you spend all your time making cookies, at some point desserts become your (subconscious) fashion inspiration. The demo went smoothly and everyone was gobbling up cookies by the end of it!

The after-party was held at High Noon Saloon, with pizza and cupcakes galore (the only food groups you’ll ever need)! My friend Jessica of Compassionate Cake baked a huge selection of GORGEOUS cupcakes, in flavors like Chile Chocolate, Death by Chocolate, and Maple Vegan Bacon, topped with intricate fondant and chocolate sculptures. I had met Jessica a few days prior to the event, after seeing her cupcakes and deciding we needed to be friends immediately. She is just starting her catering business and she’s an amazing lady. Just look at these cupcakes!

I always go home happy and inspired from vegan fests and other events, and Mad City was no exception (well, 8 a.m. class the next day was kind of a drag). I met so many wonderful people, saw some good friends, and made new ones. Go get your vegan fest on in a city near you, or get involved with starting one! Something about putting hundreds of like-minded people with great ideas and enthusiasm all in one place all day makes awesome things happen!

Kelly Peloza is the author of The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur, which is great. Find her at The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur and Seitan Beats Your Meat online, or all over the place in real life! Thanks for the post, Kelly!


Vegan tennis ball cupcakes from my favorite, Lunch Box Bunch! I totally used to play tennis, you know. Not nowadays but when I was younger, yeah, I played.
PS: This is from Lunch Box Bunch, like I said, but I first caught it on Finding Vegan. If you don’t follow that blog, you are a sucker.

Vegan tennis ball cupcakes from my favorite, Lunch Box Bunch! I totally used to play tennis, you know. Not nowadays but when I was younger, yeah, I played.

PS: This is from Lunch Box Bunch, like I said, but I first caught it on Finding Vegan. If you don’t follow that blog, you are a sucker.


Cupcakefest is gonna rock New Jersey on Saturday! Go eat cake!  »

The Nico Blues will play to an audience of cupcakes on Saturday. Minus 10 for the moose on the right wall, but plus 30 for the carrots on the back wall. Carrots!

Sweet Avenue Bake Shop—which we hear is awesome from reliable ‘sauruses (see what I did there?)—is co-sponsoring an all-day music and CUPCAKE festival in New Jersey this Saturday. Screw the music, I want cake, but to each his own I suppose.

Cupcake Festival 2011 is FREE (though I bet the cake isn’t UPDATE from Danielle at Sweet Avenue: “While we’ll be selling regular-sized cupcakes at our shop all day, every Cupcakefest we hand out thousands of free mini cupcakes all day!” SCORE!) and proceeds from raffles and other such shenanigans will go to an animal shelter in New Jersey. The poor creatures are already in New Jersey, let’s help them, shall we?

Full details about the event here, and the scoop on the bands here. East Coast, you owe it to yourself to go jam with cupcakes. Did I mention cupcakes? Om nom nom.


Two San Francisco vegan events to be aware of, OK?  »

First, this Saturday there’s a vegan cupcake-off in Oakland and you’re invited.

And on Thursday, June 16, Patxi’s is having a VEGAN PIZZA FEST. Plus, they have a contest that’s up beforehand where you can win prizes for creating magical vegan pizzas. Or something like that, I don’t know the total details, but go read about it!

SO THERE YOU HAVE IT. CUPCAKES AND PIZZA, what more do you people want!? Make it happen, cap’n!

For further excitement… here’s a CUPCAKE:

and some PIZZA:


Eat this NOW: cupcakes and pie in a jar from Fox & Fawn Bakehouse!  »

You gotta eat these cupcakes right now. Fox & Fawn Bakehouse make honestly some of the best cupcakes I’ve ever eaten in my life! I know I say that almost every time I write about anything (best ass-kicking of my life! best lobotomy of my life! best shit sandwich of my life!) but for real, I really really really mean it this time, for real! The cake was spongy and light, and the frosting was sweet but not cloying. Deeeeeelicious. Man, I could eat a few right now and that’s no joke! These are the cupcakes you wish you could make but you just don’t have the skillz to pay the cupcake billz. Speaking of honesty, I honestly have no clue how my fingers haven’t fallen off from all the typing I’ve done in the past month. The fact that I can still walk upright and (kinda) speak English are miracles.

Anyway, you will not regret getting these cupcakes into your mouth, so go ahead and order from them immediately. Oh, and the pie in a jar? RIDICULOUS. It’s a PIE in a JAR and it’s the perfect wedding favor, housewarming gift, present to yourself for making it through the day. Also, Fox and Fawn Bakehouse prices are extremely reasonable! $24 for a dozen is only $2 per cupcake and that’s way less than what you spend in a store. THE DEAL! It is AMAZING! So order a bunch of stuff and fan them on Facebook and generally just eat the shit out of their goodies because even though I got some for free (doesn’t guarantee a good review or even a review period), I’m totally planning on ordering cupcakes from them and PAYING. This is the Real Deal, people, because I don’t like to pay for shit, ask anyone. I mean, ANYONE.

Oh and if you’re not into special ordering things (I don’t know why this would be the case but maybe you’re too poor or don’t think you’re special enough), you can track them down at the Benicia Farmers’ Market, where they’ve been selling out!

Plus, look at this damn logo:


[Cupcake photo by Damien Jay! Thanks, Damien!]


Recipe: chocolate-raspberry orgasm cupcakes  »

Who doesn’t get off on chocolate with raspberry? Aliens? Orcs? Total jerks? No matter, because you’re going to love this sweet, tart variation on Isa Chandra Moskowitz's classic chocolate cupcake:
This photo is designed to show the filling. It’s so much yummier than it looks, promise.

Chocolate raspberry cupcakes

1 cup “milk”

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt

Jar of raspberry jam, 8 ounces or so

The Icing
1/4 cup vegetable shortening, room temperature
1/4 cup Earth Balance, room temperature
1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
3/4 tsp. vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. “milk”
Whatever raspberry jam is left over after filling the cupcakes

Crank that oven to 350 degrees, and prep your muffin pan with liners (don’t simply grease the pan; those liners will help hold your shit together later).

For the cupcakes, combine the milk and vinegar in a large bowl. Stir (or sift if you’re fancy) the dry ingredients together until well mixed. Add to the wet mixture the rest of the cupcake ingredients. Dump the dry mixture into the wet in at least two batches, and beat.

Pour batter into the liners. Bake 18 to 20 minutes; do the toothpick test to make sure they’re done.

Once they’re cool, you’re gonna hollow out the cupcakes so you can fill ‘em. There are two ways to do this:
1. Stick your finger into the cupcake through the top. Push down, and press your fingertips against the walls of each cupcake without making the hole on top bigger. This one is my favorite.

2. Use a knife to cut an inverted cone out of the cupcake. Cut the point off the cone, and put it in your mouth. Set the rounded part aside. You’ll pop it back on top after filling.

To fill the cupcakes, pour the jar of raspberry jam into a sandwich bag. Cut the corner of the bag to make a little spout. Squirt as much jam as you can into each cupcake.

To make the icing, use an electric mixer to cream the shortening and margarine together until fluffy. Add the sugar, and beat for three to five more minutes. Put the milk, vanilla, and jam in, and beat for about five more minutes.

Spread the icing on top of the cupcakes. Impress your friends, or eat all of them yourself. Feel oh-so-satisfied.

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