Tag Archives: vanilla

“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. 🙂

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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.

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Filed under Cake, Cupcakes, Vegan

Simple & Delicious Go-To Yellow Cupcakes w/ Coconut Buttercream Frosting

So I did Coconut Macadamia Nut Biscotti, and then I did Key Lime Pie with Passion Fruit Whipped Cream. In between, I have tested countless brownies and banana bread recipes. I have thought about posting them, but I would have several posts a day trying to keep up with all my trials and errors. There was something more important and more delicious that couldn’t wait. I decided these were worthy for your time to read about. I’ve been looking for a basic cupcake recipe that I could build off of. Something easy, that wouldn’t let me down. Something that made sense, and wasn’t just throwing things into the batter without telling me why that recipe was any better than the next. Of course, I found my answer in Baking Illustrated, what else? I consider it my bible to baking, because they provide me with reasons and explanations. I want baking to make sense to me, and I want to know why I’m doing what I’m doing with each recipe.

They claim they tested all the ways of making these basic cupcakes perfect, and what they decided was that you don’t need to cream the butter, you don’t need to add the flour mixture in 3 parts, etc etc etc–in other words, you take the easy way out and it actually comes out even better? That’s what they say. So I tried it. I didn’t believe them, but I went for it anyways. I actually made two batches, first the regular yellow cupcakes to make sure they actually were delicious as they were said to be. They absolutely were. Then I went a little crazy and added some cream of coconut, shredded coconut, lemon extract, and some passion fruit jam. The texture came out a little different, almost like the top slightly caramelized and there was a chew to them, but they were still really good. All I have to say is, I have found my go to yellow cupcake recipe. If you are a fan of one bowl recipes that don’t require fancy work but are tasty, this is definitely for you! You mix the dry ingredients together, and then mix in the wet ingredients. Easy!

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