Mini Dulce De Leche Cinnamon Buns (No eggs, no butter, no yeast )

Test: How to Lose Your Diet in 10 Minutes

Question #1: Which two don’t belong? Summer. Shorts. Tank tops. Bikinis. Sandals. Tans (unless you’re me). Fruit. Beaches. Vacations. Finally using that gym membership. Cinnamon buns. Dulce de leche.

If you answered Cinnamon buns and Dulce de leche, you are right.

If your name is Karissa and you are turning 23 on the 23rd of this month, you are very wrong.

Let me start by saying something really fast. I did attempt to make this more warm-weather-appropriate / not-as-guilty-feeling by making a lemon zest icing glaze for the top. It worked, but I’d be lying if I said these needed it. If my boyfriend knew I did that, he’d ban me from dulce de leche for life…even though I’m the one who made the dulce de leche…not the most fun one can have in the kitchen, but whateva.

There are quite a few things I like about these. First of all, there’s no eggs. I haven’t baked with eggs in…a while. It’s actually addicting and not only do I save money but I find that I prefer the taste of baked goods without eggs. Who knew? There’s also no butter (I used Earth Balance). AND maybe best of all, no yeast. I have yeast, but I don’t have patience (a very important virtue I unfortunately lack the majority of the time I am awake) so I winged it with the recipe for vegan scones that I used just a couple of posts ago.

I never intended on using a recipe twice on this blog, but I think this can be an exception for now because they are delicious and much different than the scones. Obviously these aren’t vegan like the scones were, but I thought the dough would work for this and it totally did. My boyfriend came into the kitchen and for a quick second had to ask himself when we bought Pillsbury cinnamon rolls….and then realized I made them myself. I think he was surprised because I had just gone into the kitchen 15 minutes earlier. Karissa the Cinnamon Bun Magician. It has a ring to it….ok, no it doesn’t. The texture is just the way I like my cinnamon buns; they have a slight crunch on the edges of the outside and they’re soft, sweet and gooey on the inside. I got very lucky because I actually used half of the amount of milk called for in the original vegan scone recipe. Whoops..? I didn’t even know until I just read it now. Yay for getting it right while getting it wrong!

The dulce de leche is actually very easy to make, it just takes some time and…*cough* patience. My boyfriend has made it on the stove top before, but I followed the instructions from David Lebovitz and it works like a charm. However, I leave mine in for a couple of hours instead of one to get it dark enough (except yesterday I had the oven on 25 degrees lower than I should have and it felt like eternity before it was to my boyfriend’s liking). It’s really not too much of a hassle making it though. I pour my condensed milk into a ramekin that I use for french onion soup and mix in about 1/8 teaspoon of salt, tent it with aluminum foil, place that in a casserole dish that is filled about halfway with hot water, and put it in a 425 degree oven (note to self for next time!) Every 30 minutes or so I remove it, stir it up, and if the casserole dish needs more water then I’ll add some more. For the last 15 minutes, I even took the foil off of the top so it could brown a little faster.

I really was inspired to make this in order to to prevent my boyfriend from eating the entire thing of dulce de leche from a spoon. Although now that I think about it, I am always craving cinnamon buns….

Mini Dulce De Leche Cinnamon Buns (No eggs, no butter, no yeast)

Makes 12 mini cinnamon buns

Ingredients:

For the Dough

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup Earth Balance margarine
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons almond milk (you can use soy)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    For the Filling

  • Dulce de leche (enough to spread a layer and to glaze the tops with)
  • 2-3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a 9 inch round cake pan with cooking spray and set aside.

2. Mix the flour, baking powder, salt, and light brown sugar together.

3. Using a pastry blender, or your hands, cut the cold Earth Balance into the dry mixture until it’s pretty evenly mixed throughout the dough (like making a pie dough). The butter will be spread throughout like pea sized chunks.

4. Mix in the almond milk and vanilla extract until thoroughly combined, and gather all of the dough into a ball. Split the dough in half (I do this is two batches so it’s easier to roll out).

5. On a floured surface, roll out the dough one way into a long rectangle. I roll mine out to about 12 inches.

6. Spread a layer of dulce de leche onto the rolled out dough and then sprinkle about 1 1-2 tablespoons of the dark brown sugar on top of the dulce de leche (I use my hands to spread it out evenly). Sprinkle about 1/2 teaspoon of the cinnamon evenly on top of this.

7. Start tightly rolling the dough until it becomes a small log and then use your hands to gently stretch it a little longer, until it’s about 8 inches long. I pinch all along the roll until it becomes thinner and taller and then pat it down and carefully pull it to stretch at the same time. If you just pull it could rip, so be delicate with it.

8. Once it’s in a nice long cylinder, use a knife to cut it in half and then each half into thirds. This will give you 6 miniature cinnamon buns with this half and then 6 more with the other half of the dough. Place them down flat with the inside facing up and gently press them down a little bit. It will look like this:

9. Do the same thing to the rest of the dough, and then using your fingertips (or a pastry brush but it’s more fun using your hands) lightly coat the edges with a mixture of almond milk and some powered sugar just to glaze the edges so they don’t dry out and they get a nice crunch on the outside.

10. Place them all in the greased 9 inch round cake pan and coat the tops with a layer of dulce de leche. Bake for about 10-12 minutes until top is bubbly and the buns are lightly browned. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Optional: Lemon zest icing:

  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
  • Drizzle of almond milk, just enough to get the desired consistency
  • Vanilla extract to taste (couple drops)

By the way, Happy International Picnic Day!..I didn’t have a picnic though. Darn.

17 Comments

Filed under Breakfast, Buns/Rolls, Pastries

Classic Vegan Berry Crumble Bars

I know, I know. I’m a slacker. I haven’t lost interest or become bored with this blog and I haven’t lost interest or become bored with baking. I promise! I’m just adjusting to a couple of things. One is a new sleep schedule and the other is a new computer. Well, it’s not new, it’s actually my old computer…but my awesome little ThinkPad broke. :( I have to wait to *hopefully* get it fixed and recover all my files. AHH! I can’t even think about it. This one is a MacBook Pro, but the battery exploded out of the bottom of it, the mousepad doesn’t work, and a USB port is broken on it as well so I only have one and have to use a hub that sometimes decides not to cooperate. On a brighter note, my sleep schedule is to my liking. I’m waking up super early in the morning (I’ve always envied early risers…and I am now one myself…for now) and I get the mornings to myself before the world is awake and the sun comes out. It has to be my favorite part of the day.

These crumble bars come from a recipe in The Divvie’s Bakery Cookbook – No Nuts, No Eggs, No Dairy. Just Delicious by Lori Sandler. I haven’t made much from this book because a lot of things call for silken tofu and I just have not tried baking with that (yet) so I go for the things I can make. This is one of those things, and it was such a yummy breakfast, snack on the road, dessert, etc. Yes, I had it for all 3. It’s a perfect mix of the things a lot of us naturally crave or eat more of this time of the year which is fruit, and some things I don’t think I could ever turn down–a shortbread crust and a crumble topping. These were super easy to make, and they’re VEGAN…with the exception of the addition I decided to make which was adding lemon curd to the berry mixture, but that’s only because I didn’t have any actual lemons on hand and I figured it would help thicken up the crushed mixed berries I used instead of preserves. If you’re using preserves like the recipe calls for and don’t make things so complicated for yourself, they will come out perfecto. I also added some vanilla to the crust and a pinch of salt, because it tasted a little bland and in need of some flavor when I tried it the way the recipe is written. These are YUMMY…but don’t be like me and get impatient, I did under bake them a little bit and when they cooled down they were a little too soft. My boyfriend could not stop eating these. Yeah, they disappeared. I didn’t realize until I ate the last piece that,”Oh…that was the last piece.” Pretttyyy tasty.

Classic Berry Crumble Barsadapted from ‘The Divvies Bakery Cookbook – No Nuts, No Eggs, No Dairy. Just Delicious

Makes 9-12 bars

The Crust

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup Earth Balance vegan margarine, chilled
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt

The Topping

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup Earth Balance vegan margarine, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

The Filling

  • 1 cup fruit preserves (original recipe calls for 1/2 raspberry and 1/2 strawberry)

The Glaze

  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Non-dairy milk (almond, coconut, soy, rice)

For the Crust

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9×9 inch pan with nonstick baking spray.

2. Combine the flour, margarine, vanilla, and brown sugar and mix until combined into a fine, crumbly texture.

3. Press the mixture into the bottom of a prepared pan and make sure it’s evenly distributed. Bake the crust approximately 20 minutes, until edges are just lightly browned.

For the Topping

1. Combine the flour, brown sugar, margarine, and vanilla. Beat until well mixed and then set aside.

For the Filling

1. Spread the preserve mixture on the hot, partially baked crust, leaving 1/8 inch of the outer edge uncovered. Sprinkle with the crumb topping. Return to the oven and continue baking for 20 to 25 minutes.

2. Cool the bars completely.

For the Glaze

Whisk the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla in a small bowl. Stir in enough non-dairy milk to reach a glaze consistency. Drizzle the glaze over the bars.

2. Once the glaze has set, cut into 3×2 inch bars and place on a doily-lined platter.

6 Comments

Filed under Bars, Breakfast, Vegan

Roasted Banana Nut Bread with Browned Butter & Toffee Topping

I am a terrible blogger! I looked at my calendar and was in denial that almost 2 weeks have gone by and I haven’t posted anything new. I also haven’t been baking as much (once a day is “not as much” for me, but it feels like I’ve been baking once a week because I’m being very lazy with taking pictures of what I make). I blame the weather. Our (loud) AC is finally in, and I love the coolness that it brings but I don’t love what it means. Soon, the weather won’t be playing around. It’s gonna get hot. I’m more of a “it can stay 65 degrees all year long, thank you” kind of girl…but that won’t happen. It feels like the warmer weather always reminds you of things you need to do. I still haven’t gotten outside to play tennis mainly because I’ve been waking up too late to function as a normal human being (at least on the East Coast…I should move to Hong Kong and I might feel somewhat normal being that I’m on the night shift/vampire sleep schedule here).

The past 2 weeks have been hardly filled with any accomplishments, except for a few that I am ashamed to admit that I’m even considering these “accomplishments”. I found a set of cute baby blue (hate that name, but I’m pretty sure that’s what the color is called) dishes in my parent’s basement that I bought years ago for the day when we finally got an apartment, and I am finally using them. I have also finally started sending my Netflix DVD’s back the next day or at most a couple of days later, rather than 2 months later. Yes, that does make me feel accomplished. Um…I’ve accidentally turned The Beatles ‘Blackbird‘ (the first song I ever heard in my life; my dad played it to me when I got home from the hospital when I was born) into a honky tonk song by getting frustrated and speeding it up one morning while practicing it on our acoustic guitar. It wasn’t intentional, but I actually started laughing out loud both surprised that I could finger pick that fast and that I turned a beautiful song into something ridiculous sounding. That actually should be filed under “Fail”…. Oh! And a couple of discoveries. A. I love Mike’s Hard Lemonade (I used to be anti-Mike’s Hard Lemonade…why?!) and B. I love EcoSmart Organic Insecticide–truly AMAZING–the ants have been gone for a week now thanks to that stuff. Smells like minty rosemary and cinnamon. Ok, all of this has nothing to do with baking, because that’s kind of how my life has been since I last posted. I have been baking, but it’s been mostly repeats of things I’ve made before or things that I have failed to take pictures of. BUT, I have come with a recipe that I think you’re going to really like! Unfortunately, it is not vegan–and unfortunately, I only have one picture…but what the heck, try it if you can!

This one is my recipe and it’s probably my favorite banana bread that I’ve ever had to this day. You can’t go wrong–there’s roasted bananas, browned butter, walnuts, and toffee bits all over the top. If I haven’t been so obsessed with vegan baking lately, I would be making this all the time. Discovering or creating a delicious vegan banana bread is the next thing on my to-bake list. Banana bread will always have a special place in my heart. I love it’s simplicity (this one really is more simple than it sounds too) and there’s nothing like taking a nicely browned banana bread loaf out of the oven and slicing it for the first time. It just makes the entire house smell cozy, if cozy was a smell. This banana bread is so moist and flavorful on the inside from the browned butter and roasted bananas, there’s really no point in ever making banana bread without roasting the bananas, regardless of whether it’s vegan or not–and if you’re going to use butter, there’s no point in not browning it. Makes a huge difference.

Roasted Banana Nut Bread with Browned Butter & Toffee Topping

Makes one 9×5 loaf

  • 4 medium bananas–3 roasted (see instructions below)
  • 4 tablespoons browned unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup low-fat plain yogurt
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature and lightly beaten
  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • Handful of toffee pieces (to sprinkle across the top)
  • 2-3 teaspoons granulated sugar (for sprinkling on top)

Instructions:

1. Place 3 whole medium bananas (in their skin) on an aluminum foil lined baking sheet and allow to roast in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes. They will be very dark in color (mine were black because my bananas already had spots and were fully ripe). Take them out and allow to cool. I like to carefully peel some of the peels back and allow the heat to escape faster, but be careful doing this.

2. On medium heat, brown 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter, swirling the pan several times for about 5 minutes until the butter has started to brown (the butter will look amber and you will see what looks like a red colored powder forming underneath the butter on the bottom of the pan). Take off of the heat and add the light brown sugar and salt (this will cool it down some).

3. Whisk together flour and baking soda in a medium bowl, and set aside.

4. With browned butter off the heat and cooling down, add the bananas and mash into mixture. It’s ok if there are lumps.

5. Add vanilla extract and the yogurt to the butter, sugar and bananas. Then add 2 lightly beaten room temperature eggs.

6. Add the wet mixture into the dry mixture, and mix to incorporate fully, but don’t mix past the point where it’s just combined.

7. Pour into a greased and floured 9×5 loaf pan, and cut up your fourth banana into very thin slices to spread on the sides of the top of the loaf. Doing this, you will want to slightly layer each banana on top of the other. This will make it look prettier once it’s done baking! Sprinkle a good handful of toffee bits on top, and then sprinkled the entire top with about a couple of teaspoons of granulated sugar.

8. Bake at 350 degrees on center rack for about 40-50 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean and top is browned.

9. Remove from oven and allow to cool in loaf pan for about 10-15 minutes before removing the loaf. If you try to remove it while it’s still very hot and just out of the oven, the bread might just fall apart. Place on a wire rack to cool completely.

15 Comments

Filed under Bread, Breakfast, Favorites, Quick Bread

“Strawberry Shortcakes” with Vegan Scones & Versatile Blogger Award!

As you may have noticed, this vegan baking thing is really getting to me. By that I mean, every time I go to bake something now I try to veganize it…or I look up a vegan version of what I want to make. It’s interesting to me, especially when I let others eat what I’ve made and they can’t believe that all along this word “vegan”, that registered as “tofu” in their brains, actually doesn’t mean tofu. (Ok, nobody has actually said that to me–but you get my drift…) In these pictures, it’s not completely vegan because I’m using homemade whipped cream with…real cream. But, most of the times I’ve made these I have used the frosting from my last post. You know, the one I messed up the and then fixed. It’s still pretty embarrassing that I haven’t made another batch and taken proper pictures..but that frosting has found itself new uses since then. Or, I’ve thought of every way I could make it and eat it again.

So I made these vegan scones that I found on VeganYumYum and I just changed the recipe around a little bit, because I was running low on maple syrup and I didn’t have any lemons. I’ve now made these so many times, I can almost do it with my eyes closed…and that makes me very happy. The fun thing about these is that you can flavor them any way you want and they are practically foolproof. The original recipe calls for brushing the tops with a glaze of soymilk, vanilla extract and powdered sugar and of course I’ve been using unsweetened coconut milk instead (it’s actually called Coconut Drink or Coconut Beverage because it’s not the coconut milk you get in a can. It’s the kind you get in a carton, like almond milk or soymilk, that is enriched with vitamins and minerals.) and I also sprinkle the tops with granulated sugar for some extra crunch and sweetness.

These are not very sweet, though. Just slightly. You can of course add more sugar– I’m not sure how it will affect the texture, but I honestly have not had any disaster with making these and I’ve experimented a lot. One little note though, if you’re going to be experimenting with extracts like me, be careful with how much you put in. I’m sure you know this already and have more common sense than I do, but silly me did use a whole 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla and 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract in a half batch of these…and the almond was overwhelming. Now I just use the vanilla. I is scared of zee almond extract. Oh, and I tried lemon extract once too, which came out nice except that I topped it off by knocking over the bottle onto the floor (I am notorious for not screwing on bottle caps or closing the tops to my seasonings) and let’s just say my kitchen smelled fresh and lemony clean…win? Not really.

While the whipped cream is very light and yummy with these, the vegan strawberry frosting just can’t be beat. Here’s what you do: take one and walk out of the kitchen, and put a barricade up so you can’t get back in and eat the rest of them to yourself. Or tell your other half to handcuff you………no, that actually might not be the best idea….moving on….

I want to stop and give a huge thank you to Anne from FromMySweetheart.com, for passing on the Versatile Blogger Award to me. Her blog is just beautiful and she always has the most delicious, mouthwatering recipes up. I don’t think there’s been anything she’s posted that I haven’t wanted to go and bake (or just eat). Check out her site! So here’s the rules with accepting the award…you need to thank the person who passed the award onto you and link back to them, share 7 things about yourself and then pass this award on to 15 other new or newly discovered blogs. So here goes.

1. I learn the most about something when I become completely obsessed with it. Otherwise, it’s almost like I have ADD.

2. When I was a kid (and even as a teenager), I was highly convinced I was supposed to be an actress. My life was like a movie to me, and I was always narrating it in my mind. I told my parents, and thinking they didn’t take me seriously, I once woke them up from sleep, crying my eyes out. My dad looked scared you-know-whatless and kept asking me,”What’s wrong!?” I quickly stopped crying, smiled and said,”I told you I could be an actress.” If I was my parents, I would have been deeply concerned.

3. My cousin and I also used to go around rolling down the windows in the car, after our 2-6am paper route, screaming,”We’re gonna be famous!” Others thought it was cute, we thought it was serious. I’m pretty sure we signed autographs.

4. I get irritable if I don’t get to workout, and I prefer to do a workout I’ve never done before. There’s something so effective and feel-good about not knowing what’s coming next and challenging your body in different ways.

5. I should win a Lifetime Daydreamer Award. (Anyone, anyone?)

6. Some of my biggest pet peeves are wet socks, greasy hair, and dirty sinks. The list goes on and on, but I don’t want to completely ruin your appetite.

7. I had a good few years of my life making a lot of money working from home. While I agree somewhat that,”Money can’t buy happiness“, those few years were the best of my life. Money isn’t everything, but it is something. It doesn’t “buy” you complete happiness–but it enables you to do things you’ve never done, go places you’ve never gone, eat things you’ve never tasted, meet people you would have otherwise not met, and it takes a lot of stress away. I’ve been very lucky in life.

And now 15 wonderful blogs (Ok I miscounted my original list and there’s 16, so that’s the way it is–I’m not removing anyone) I’d like to share with you (no particular order):

Cookbook Archaeology

Bakerita

Toasty Biscuit

Happy When Not Hungry

Fragrant Vanilla Cake

Tarte Du Jour

Flour Dusted

The Sweet Sensations

The Deep Dish

Naked Cupakes

A Cake Bakes In Brooklyn

Someone Who Bakes

Adryon’s Kitchen

Chop, Mix, Bake, Create

The Simple Lens
Keep It Luce

Annnnddd…the recipe:

“Strawberry Shortcakes” Vegan and non-vegan version

Makes 6 scones

Vegan Scones:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Earth Balance Vegan Margarine, cold
  • 1/4 cup SO Delicious Coconut Milk (I used unsweetened)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions:

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and lightly spray with cooking spray.

2. Mix the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, light brown sugar, and granulated sugar together evenly.

3. Using a pastry blender, or your hands, cut the cold Earth Balance into the dry mixture until it’s pretty evenly mixed throughout the dough (like making a pie dough). The butter will be spread throughout like pea sized chunks.

4. Mix in the coconut milk and vanilla extract until thoroughly combined, and gather all of the dough into a ball.

5. On a floured surface, roll out the dough until it’s between 1/2 inch and 3/4 inch thick.
6. Using either a cup or like me, a cookie cutter, cut out even sized scones and place on sprayed baking sheet.

7. Make a mixture of a tiny bit of coconut milk (about 1/2 tsp) with equal amount of powdered sugar and mix together. Brush onto the tops of the scones, and sprinkle with granulated sugar (optional).

8. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until lightly browned on top. Remove and allow to cool fully. I like to cut mine in half to let them cool faster, and also because I like to stuff mine.

Whipped Cream (for non-vegan version):

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 tablespoon powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Beat the ingredients together until soft peaks form. I like doing this by hand, it’s a good workout for the arms and it’s actually not as daunting a task as you might think. Rather than it being about the power you put into it, it’s more about the movement. What I do is focus on incorporating a lot of air by sweeping the whisk under the cream and lifting it over in a brisk (but not necessarily hard) scooping motion. Fast is better, but if your arm gets tired, continue the motion slower. Try using the wrist more when your arm gets tired. Within 5 minutes, you’ll have whipped cream and more muscle. :)

Vegan Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting (repeat of last recipe, but worth it)

  • 1 tablespoon pureed strawberries (I just took some slices of strawberries that I used to stuff the scones and mashed them up with a fork)
  • 2 tablespoons Earth Balance Vegan Margarine, softened
  • 2 tablespoons Tofutti “Cream Cheese”
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 3/4 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • Beat the Earth Balance and Toffuti together until light and fluffy, then add the pureed strawberries and vanilla. Mix in the powdered sugar gradually, and beat until creamy. Super easy and delicious!

    Last but not least, stuff your scones with either the whipped cream of the vegan strawberry frosting and fresh chopped strawberries and enjoy! These also taste yummy if stuffed and refrigerated. I actually like the slight crunch on the outside and then the absorpbtion of some of the whipped cream or frosting and juices from the strawberry on the inside after it gets cold in the refrigerator. :)

29 Comments

Filed under Pastries, Vegan

Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes with Strawberry “Cream Cheese” Frosting

Can you guess how many seconds the frosting held up on the cupcake? Let’s not talk about it… Yes, I made the frosting wrong–but no worries! I fixed it. Only in time for my next batch which were vegan chocolate cupcakes, but it was saved. (See next picture for the un-droopy frosting). The winning recipe was definitely the vegan vanilla cupcakes, so that’s the recipe I want to share with you. Let me just say first, I ended up making a double batch of the frosting–which was enough for me to use on a batch of 12 cupcakes, a 9″ round cake, plus extra for some vegan scones I made (I’ll be sharing that with you soon). So, if you’re planning on making 2 batches of cupcakes or a 9″ layer cake, then you can stick with the frosting recipe I have–otherwise, halve it.

Here’s what the frosting looked like once I figured out that I completely underestimated the amount of powdered sugar I needed. Noob mistake. I found both the vegan chocolate cake recipe (that I just turned into cupcakes) and the vanilla cupcake recipe from Chef Chloe‘s site, who I first discovered while watching her win Cupcake Wars. My boyfriend has been very skeptical of these vegan baking adventures I’ve been going on lately in my kitchen, but this according to him is one of his favorite things I’ve ever made. The frosting was inspired by a vegan cream cheese frosting recipe from The Divvie’s Bakery Cookbook: No Nuts. No Eggs. No Dairy. Just Delicious!. I just added some pureed strawberries, hence the consistency problems, but the final product was definitely snack-on-it-anytime-of-the-day-just-because-you-can worthy.

If you want to impress your friends or family with a delicious vegan recipe (a recipe they really wouldn’t even know was vegan unless you told them–and even then it tastes so good they don’t really care that it doesn’t have any eggs or butter in it), then this is the one you should try!

Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

Makes 12 cupcakes or one 9″ round cake (I doubled this)

Cupcake Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • L½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup coconut milk, non-dairy milk, or water
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

Instructions:

1. Preheat over to 350 F.

2. Sift or whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt into a bowl. In a separate bowl, mix the coconut milk, oil, vanilla, and vinegar. Combine the wet and dry mixtures and whisk until thoroughly mixed. Distribute batter into lined cupcake baking pan, and bake for 15-20 minutes.

Double Batch of Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

For 24 cupcakes or two 9″ round cakes. (If you’re not going to double the cake batter recipe, only make half of this)

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup strawberries, pureed
  • 1/2 cup Earth Balance vegan margarine, softened (but not melted)
  • 1/2 cup Tofutti Vegan Cream Cheese, softened (but not melted)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 7 cups sifted powdered sugar

Cream together the softened vegan margarine and Tofutti until light and fluffy with a mixer. Add the pureed strawberries and vanilla and mix thoroughly. Slowly add the sifted powdered sugar until fully combined and it’s reached desired consistency. If it’s still not sturdy enough, add more powdered sugar, a little bit at a time.

Tips: Allow cupcakes or cake to fully cool before frosting, and chill the frosting in the refrigerator before using.

25 Comments

Filed under Cake, Cupcakes, Vegan

Apple Browned Butter Cheesecake Brunettes

Ok, one: these were not very photogenic. They taste much better than they look. Please believe me. Two: I’m very bad. I’m backed up on recipes and I have so many that I never got around to posting (from the previous 2 months when we had free hotel room stays at Foxwoods MGM Grand 2 days every week–yes, that was probably the most amazing 2 months ever). Which leads me to a confession I want to make: lately, with the weather getting nicer, I’ve been feeling less inspired to be creative with baking. I want simplicity, possibly because I feel like eating “lighter” when the warmer weather comes around, and possibly because it’s less work and I still haven’t done my spring cleaning yet.

These came about one cold night in March when my dad gave me a jar of Apple Butter and said,”Go home and bake something with this.” I love a challenge, especially when I’m hibernating in my kitchen and keeping myself warm near the stove. There’s also something about cheesecake when it’s cold outside that is so perfect to me. I have no idea why? Is there a scientific explanation behind that? Am I the only one?

I could just be tired. At this time yesterday, I wasn’t even asleep yet. Yes, my love for the morning and my love for late at night when this timezone is asleep don’t go well together. Determined to not have that happen again, I tried to go to sleep at around 2am. I don’t know what happened. I got a couple hours of sleep, and finally got out of bed around 6:30, surrendering to my urge to be up in the morning instead of pretending I was still able to sleep. So here I am; my body a bit confused at itself, going back in time to the end of March. When it was still very cold.

Originally, I expected this to be a “blondie”, but with the browned butter, dark brown sugar, and cinnamon, it ended up looking like a brunette. Only made sense. Hey, what do you get when an apple pie walks into a room, meets a cheesecake…..nevermind, I won’t even attempt to be funny right now.

Apple Browned Butter Cheesecake Brunettes

Makes 12 cheesecake “brunettes”

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/8 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 1/4 stick unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

For Apple Butter Cheesecake Topping

  • 1 8 ounce package of cream cheese, softened
  • 1 large egg yolk, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup apple butter (I used Whole Earth All Natural Tap’nApple Apple Butter Spread)

1. Melt 9 tablespoons of unsalted butter (1 1/4 sticks) into a skillet (not non-stick) over medium heat. Whisk continuously and the butter will begin to bubble within a couple of minutes. When the bubbling slows down and it begins to foam, watch carefully as the butter begins to slowly brown. It will look as though a red powder has formed underneath the melted butter. At this point, you can take it off the heat, and transfer to a large heat safe bowl (or just do the next step directly in the pan and then transfer to a large bowl once it’s cooled a bit)

2. Add the dark brown sugar and granulated sugar directly to the butter and mix.

3. Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a separate bowl and set aside.

4. Add vanilla and room temperature egg to the butter and sugar mixture, combine thoroughly.

5. Cut softened cream cheese into cubes and place into a bowl with 1 egg yolk and sugar. Mix on medium speed with an electric or handheld mixer until fully combined and creamy. Add the apple butter and mix to fully incorporate.

6. Line a 9″ square pan with aluminum foil and grease with nonstick cooking spray. Allow foil to overhang the sides, so there will be easy removal once brownies are cooked and cooled.

7. In 3 batches, combine flour mixture to the wet mixture until
fully mixed together.

8. Pour batter into lined and greased pan, spread evenly. Top
with cheesecake mixture and also spread that evenly.

9. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven on the middle rack for about 25-30 minutes, or until cheesecake on top is fully set. (Mine needed more time, so I covered the pan with tin foil and placed it on the lower middle rack to finish baking, but check on it at 25 minutes first.)

9. Once done, cool pan on wire rack for 10-15 minutes until set enough to lift out of pan. Grabbing the tin foil overhang, lift out of the pan and allow to fully cool on wire rack. Then cut into squares, and enjoy!

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Filed under Bars, Cheese