Avocado Cupcakes

Avocado Cupcakes -- Epicurean VeganYes, that’s right. Avocado Cupcakes. I love incorporating avocado into recipes when I can, especially when I can use it to replace the oil in baked goods. The Glazed Chocolate-Avocado Cupcakes proved that avocados belong in cupcakes, so I decided to try making them without the cocoa and made some other minor adjustments. They came out perfect! Soft, moist and green! It’s good to be green.

INGREDIENTS:
Cupcakes:
1-1/2 C flour
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 avocado, pitted and peeled
1/2 C Florida Crystals sugar
3/4 C almond milk
1/3 C vanilla soy yogurt
2 tsp vanilla

Frosting:
1/2 C Earth Balance margarine
2-3 C confectioner’s sugar
Almond milk

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat oven to 350 and line a 12-cup muffin with liners. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In the food processor, puree the avocado. Add the almond milk, yogurt, sugar, and vanilla; blend until smooth and creamy.

Avocado Cupcakes -- Epicurean Vegan

Combine the avocado mixture with the flour mixture by using a whisk.

Avocado Cupcakes -- Epicurean Vegan

Evenly fill the 12 muffin cups.

Avocado Cupcakes -- Epicurean Vegan

Bake for 25 minutes.

Avocado Cupcakes -- Epicurean Vegan

Let them cool completely before frosting them. To make the frosting, cream the Earth Balance and add some almond milk, then some sugar. I didn’t measure these out, I just added a little at a time to reach a thick consistency. Using a pastry bag, I frosted the tops. You can also spread it on with a knife. I got fancy; as fancy as I can get in the time I had. :-)

Avocado Cupcakes -- Epicurean Vegan

Vegan Chocolate Layer Cake

Vegan Chocolate Layer Cake -- Epicurean VeganI officially have a teenager. The Seventh Grader turned thirteen yesterday! How did that happen so fast?! Born 6 weeks early, my little guy quickly became a big guy:

10 months

Hard to believe that chubby babe is now five feet tall and 13!!

He wanted a chocolate layer cake for the big day, so I ventured out on Google to find one. Savvy Vegetarian had one that looked pretty good and I liked that it didn’t have any oil. When it comes to cakes, I often find that with the frosting, they are way too sweet, so I messed with the sugar content of this cake a bit. Because frosting is typically pretty sweet, I reduced the amount of sugar in the cake. It came out perfect! It was slightly dense and very moist. Everyone agreed it was fabulous!

INGREDIENTS:
Cake:
2 C flour
1 tsp baking soda
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 C unsweetened baking cocoa
2 Tbs arrowroot
1 C Earth Balance margarine
1 C (I reduced it from 1- 2/3 C) granulated sugar (I used Florida Crystals)
1-1/3 C water
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 C almond milk
2 Tbs lemon juice

Frosting:
2 C (1 bag) Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 C Earth Balance margarine
2 Tbs almond milk

Florida Crystals

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat oven to 350. Lightly butter two 9″ cake pans, then dust with flour; set aside. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cocoa, and arrowroot. In a small bowl, combine the almond milk and lemon juice. Using a mixer, cream together the Earth Balance and sugar until fluffy. Beat in the milk mixture, water, and vanilla. Slowly, add the dry mixture to the wet ingredients, combine well. Pour evenly into the two cake pans.

Vegan Chocolate Layer Cake -- Epicurean Vegan
Bake for 25-30 minutes. Check for doneness by inserting a toothpick in the center of each cake—if it comes out clean, they’re done. Let them cool completely.

Vegan Chocolate Layer Cake -- Epicurean Vegan

Using a sharp knife, go around the edges of the cooled cake. Place a rack or plate over the top of the cake and turn upside down. If they don’t fall out right away, lightly tap the bottom of the pan. It’s always so suspenseful hoping the cake comes out without sticking to the bottom of the pan . . . luckily, it worked out beautifully for me.

To make the frosting, melt the chocolate chips over low heat in a saucepan. Remove from heat and let cool until slightly warm. In the meantime, beat the Earth Balance with a mixer. (What I like about this frosting, is that there is no added sugar in it!) Add the chocolate to the butter mixture and combine well. You’ll need to add up to two tablespoons of almond milk to thin it out a little. It will resemble mud.

Vegan Chocolate Layer Cake -- Epicurean Vegan

Transfer one of the cake layers to a large plate and frost the entire thing.

Vegan Chocolate Layer Cake -- Epicurean Vegan

Place the other layer on top. Came out a bit lopsided . . .

Vegan Chocolate Layer Cake -- Epicurean Vegan

Frost the top layer. Cover and refrigerate until serving. Enjoy!

Vegan Chocolate Layer Cake -- Epicurean Vegan

Peanut Butter, Chocolate & Cherry Granola Bites

Jess at Healthy Exposures posted these last week, and I knew right away I had to try them. I made a few changes, just based on what I had on hand and on my taste preferences, such as subbing brown rice syrup for the molasses, as I’m not big on molasses. You can see her original recipe here.

INGREDIENTS:

3/4 C quick oats

2 Tbs brown rice flour

2 Tbs wheat germ

1/2 C peanuts, chopped

1/4 C sunflower seeds

1/4 C chia seeds

2 Tbs flax seeds

1/2 C dried cherries, chopped

1/2 C dark chocolate chips

1/2 a banana

2 Tbs brown rice syrup

3 Tbs almond milk

3 Tbs peanut butter

1 tsp vanilla

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease a mini-muffin pan (genius idea, Jess)! Set aside. In a large bowl, combine oats, flour, wheat germ, peanuts, seeds, cherries, and chocolate chips.

In a smaller bowl, mash the banana with a fork add the syrup, almond milk, peanut butter, and vanilla. Whisk thoroughly and combine well with the dry ingredients.

Fill the muffin cups with the mixture, pressing down firmly with a spoon. I didn’t fill them quite to the top, but you can—they won’t overflow when they bake. Depending on the size of muffins cups you use, the number you get will be different; I got 15.

Bake 15 minutes, or until the tops turn a golden brown. These make such a great little snack and I imagine, a heck of a lot healthier than store-bought granola bars. As an alternative, you can use a 8″ baking pan and then cut them into squares after they bake. Either way, you’re sure to enjoy them, especially since they’re so simple to make.

 

 

 

Raspberry Cake (and don’t give away your heart . . .pan)!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Yesterday as The Husband and I were moseying through an antique shop, he asked me, “Did you get me anything for Valentine’s Day?” Having not even thought about this (card company) holiday, I truthfully answered, “Uh, no.” He suddenly looked relieved. “Good! I didn’t get you anything!” Frankly, I was relieved, too. I told him I’d bake him something. So when I got to that today I realized I no longer had my red, ceramic, heart-shaped pan anymore. I think I Goodwilled it because I never used it. I was quite disappointed, as it would have been perfect for this cake. Oh well. The sentiment is still there! This recipe is essentially the same as my muffin recipe from a year ago, but I used raspberries instead of blueberries.

INGREDIENTS:

Cake:

1/4 C Earth Balance margarine

1/2 C apple sauce

1/2 tsp salt

1 C sugar

2 C flour

1 Tbs baking powder

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 C almond milk

2 C fresh or frozen raspberries (If using frozen, thaw and drain liquid)

Crumb topping:

1/4 C sugar

1/8 C flour

3/4 tsp cinnamon

2 Tbs Earth Balance butter

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350. Using an electric mixer, combine all the muffin ingredients, except the raspberries. Mix well. Fold in the raspberries.

To make the crumb topping, combine all the crumb topping ingredients in a bowl and mix well using a fork.

Lightly grease an 8×8″ baking pan. You can also use a bundt pan, just remember to put the crumb topping on first, before pouring in the batter.

Top with crumb topping and bake for 30-33 minutes.

Let cool 5-10 minutes before slicing. Enjoy!