Category Archives: Cake

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.

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Filed under Cake, Cupcakes, Vegan

Our Favorite Coffee Crumb Cake

This coffee crumb cake is so good, it’s becoming a problem. Usually I get tired of eating the same thing every day. This has been (somehow) sitting around for almost three days now. One piece remains. I’ve been eating it for breakfast every day….and snack…and late night snack. Not only is that unusual for me, but the terrible thing is I could make another one right now and continue eating it every day. There are no eggs in this recipe. There is only 2 tablespoons of butter, and the only reason there’s butter is because I didn’t have any Earth Balance. I’ve been curious to try it, but A. I can’t find it in any store and Whole Foods is 30 minutes away, and B. I’m kind of broke. Since I didn’t want to use all butter (I would have, if I had Earth Balance, the way the recipe at VeganYumYum does), I tried making the crumb topping with only canola oil. The result was a not so good texture or flavor. Instead, I decided to use 2 tablespoons of butter to give it a nice flavor and texture, but the rest is canola oil. The crumbs are even better than before.

I’ve made Cook’s Illustrated’s New York Style Coffee Crumb Cake more times than I care to count, with the exception that I used sour cream like the recipe over at Smitten Kitchen. My boyfriend Manuel always said to me,”It can be better.” That obviously frustrated me, and after x amount of times of making it and tweaking the recipe slightly every time, I finally decided to look up a vegan crumb cake and found this recipe. You can imagine how much Manuel thought I was wasting my time making this. If you can’t please a man with a recipe with butter, is it possible to please him with a version without? Apparently, it is. This may be a rare case. The short prepping from him before I put it in the oven went the same as it always does when he doesn’t think something will come out good, but tries to be consoling about it. Me: “It’s going to taste good, don’t worry.” Manuel: “Alriight babe, good luck! Just don’t be upset if it doesn’t come out the way you want it to.” Me:*ticked off look on my face*. Thankfully, this one won him over. The original recipe wasn’t rocket science and it wasn’t even difficult to make–but after making this version, which is beyond super easy, I’m kind of like,”Whyy didn’t I know about this recipe before?!” Plus, it’s cheaper to make. It’s healthier. And….more delicious? (that wasn’t a question, just bewilderment)

Deep down, I knew that Cook’s Illustrated’s version wasn’t perfect. The cake was never anything super special on it’s own, and the crumbs were always a little bit too crunchy for me. So one thing I changed was the amount of flour in the crumb topping. It was way too much, even when I used cake flour it never produced the crumbs I wanted. I didn’t want mush on top, but I wanted something that had the big chunks of crumbs but then melted in my mouth with sugary-cinnamon-y-ness. I think I got that part down in this recipe, and I didn’t even use cake flour.

I am so happy that I found this wonderful recipe on VeganYumYum. I changed a few things here and there, but this is officially my go-to coffee crumb cake recipe. It’s not even what I consider,”A recipe for health conscious eaters”. It’s just yummy. The cake is moist, fluffy, and my favorite thing about this crumb cake is that is gets better every day. Manuel tried it, and immediately said,”This is the best one yet.” “I TOLD you” was my response, even though I too had my doubts. I was just happy to be right this time.

Me = a happy girl.

Our Favorite Coffee Crumb Cake (“Almost vegan”) – adapted from VeganYumYum

Serves 9 (8×8″ square pan)

Crumb Topping

  • 2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter (you can use Earth Balance Margarine if you want)
  • 5 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Cake

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 Cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 Cup canola oil
  • 1/3 Cup coconut milk+ 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1/4 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Powdered Sugar, for dusting

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Farenheit. Line an 8×8 square pan with aluminum foil and coat with nonstick cooking spray. Or, if you don’t have aluminum foil, spray the insides of the pan well with nonstick cooking spray.

2. Mix the melted, warm unsalted butter (or Earth Balance Margarine), canola oil, dark brown sugar, granulated sugar, salt, and cinnamon in a medium sized mixing bowl. Add the flour and blend thoroughly to combine. Let sit for about 10 minutes, while making the cake batter.

3. Mix cornstarch with water in a small separate bowl until thoroughly mixed, let sit.

4. Mix coconut milk, apple cider vinegar, and vanilla in another small separate bowl.

5. Whisk the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder until fully combined in a mixing bowl. Add the coconut milk, apple cider vinegar, and vanilla mixture. Then add the cornstarch and water mixture. Mix everything together until fully combined and smooth, but don’t overmix past that point.

6. Pour batter into prepared greased pan. Break off large chunks of the crumb topping mixture (they don’t have to be exact same sized, just good sized pieces) and lightly sprinkle them evenly over the batter. (I like to take a big piece in my hand, and just rub it with my fingers and let the pieces break off over the top of the batter into random sized crumbs, instead of spending a lot of time rolling out pieces of crumbs).

7. Bake in oven for 35-40 minutes or until crumbs are lightly browned and a toothpick comes out clean. Original recipe says up to 50 minutes, but mine was done within 35.

8. Allow to cool (unlike me) completely before eating. Or not. 🙂 Don’t forget to sprinkle with powdered sugar, makes it prettier.

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Happy Easter! Carrot Coconut Layer Cake

My dad loves carrot cake. Particularly (mostly) this one. The cake is super moist and flavorful, and the cream cheese frosting makes it divine. I remembered that since it’s Easter (doh), I should probably contribute a recipe to the blog in celebration. Pastel colors? I has none. I know, I’m like the only person with a baking blog in this country without any pastel colors for Easter. Then I found these pictures lingering on my computer…and it suddenly clicked. I thought,”Easter…bunny…carrots…carrot cake!” I cheated though. I totally forgot to buy carrots at the grocery store, so that I could make this for tomorrow. (Ok, that’s a lie–it didn’t even occur to me to make this.) Therefore, I am providing these pictures from a couple of months ago…before I got a tad but better at taking pictures. I never wanted to do this, but I’m going to make an exception because this recipe cannot wait for my trip to the grocery store. I shall share it with you NOW! Trust me, it’s delicious. I might just have to hop to the store tomorrow as fast as I can tomorrow so that I can make this for my family again.

Carrot Coconut Layer Cake
Makes 2 9 inch cakes (for a layer cake)

Cake Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (I sifted mine first)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3 cups peeled and grated carrots
  • 1 cup shredded coconut (I used sweetened)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients – adapted from ‘The Essential Baker

  • 12 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 4 ounces unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Farenheit. Butter the edges and bottom of two 9″ cake pans, and line the bottom of both with parchment paper.

2. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice in a bowl until well combined.

3. In a larger bowl, whisk together the sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, and vegetable oil until well combined and then, blend in eggs one at a time until fully mixed.

4. Slowly add in dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and beat until well combined. Mix in the grated carrots and shredded coconut until fully incorporated.

5. Pour batter evenly into the 9″ cake pans about 2/3 of the way full. Bake in oven for about 40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cakes with be puffed up and browned on top.

6. Cool in pans for at least 15 minutes and then transfer over to cooling racks with a baking sheet underneath. Allow to fully cool and make the cream cheese frosting, by mixing the ingredients together until light and fluffy.

HAPPY EASTER!

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New York Style Coffee Crumb Cake

I have made this crumb cake 4 times in one week. Three of the times were with 8×8 square pans and the last time was with a 13×9. Two of them went to my parent’s house, and my parent’s didn’t get to try either of them because my siblings demolished it before it could be seen. The second time that happened, I had even left a huge note next to it saying,”For Dad: DO NOT EAT.” It was actually much more elaborate than that, but I won’t expose my paranoid antics. In the car the next night on the way to a party, with another crumb cake on my lap, I asked my dad if he tried the crumb cake.

No, I saw the note and lifted up the tin foil to see an empty plate.

My younger sister, sitting next to me, was smiling. She’s 17, but by looking at her you might guess 13. When I was 18 and walking her into elementary school, I was told to get to class. She has it the same way now. She’s also a kid at heart, innocent, and pure. Most of the time. Her smile turned into pursed lips and she explained,”I had some for breakfast.

What did you do with the rest?“, I asked, knowing that this is my little sister, who might be one of the pickiest eaters and neverrarely finishes anything she eats. (Incase she is reading: Love you T!)

I ate half of the other piece.”

What happened to the first piece? You never eat a whole piece of anything.

She just smiled at me again. I kept staring at her, with a very questioning look…waiting to hear her explanation.

I went downstairs and saw it there and ate it and I didn’t see the note until afterwards.

You ate the whole piece?

I wasn’t mad at her, and she knew that. I was just surprised. And before you think I’m mean, I left the rest of the crumb care there for her and my brother to eat. I had just reserved two pieces for my dad because everything disappears before he gets to try it. The note was on a piece of paper towel, and it had very clear instructions. I wrote a note to my mom on the bottom of it,”Don’t worry, I’m bringing another one to the party tomorrow night so you can try some too.” My dad decided to go at the last minute, so he too was able to finally try some.

Later in the night my sister said,”Don’t ever make that crumb cake again, the crumbs on top were so good. OH MY GOD, they’re like little balls of heavenly deliciousness. Err!” The “err” was an interesting addition, but I sensed what she was trying to say. It was frustratingly yummy? My sister will usually comment on the most delicious of food with,”It was good.” I’ve given her Nutella before, demanding she try it. She squinted while tasting it like a baby given a wedge of lemon, and said,”Eh….it’s ok.” So I knew this crumb cake was a hit..at least with her, my brother, boyfriend, and myself, up to that point.

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Traditional Irish Whiskey Cake


St. Patrick’s Day used to be a Holy Day of Obligation in Ireland, where people went to church in the morning and all of the pubs were closed. (Don’t worry! This is not going to be a history lesson. The cake recipe is coming, keep reading!) The only reason I know this is because I’ve heard my favorite author, the late Frank McCourt, and author of ‘Angela’s Ashes‘, talk about the St. Patrick’s Day as he knew it growing up in Ireland. I remember one entertaining interview where he talks about it in 1999. Of course, I’m sure Frank McCourt wasn’t bothered by the lack of pub being open on St. Patrick’s Day. He was probably bothered by having to get up early in the morning and go to church, as most kids would be….and it probably wasn’t memorable for the food since his family had so little of it. These days for us in America, our biggest concern on St. Patrick’s Day is whether we remembered to wear green….and what to bake. Like me.

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