Barks and Buttercreams

Sunday, July 31st, 2011

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A ginormous chocolate cupcake topped with raspberry buttercream frosting and a single plump raspberry. From Mud Pie Vegan Bakery and Coffeehouse, so you know it’s made with love instead of animal parts. Delicious!

So psyched to have a new vegan eatery in Kansas City!*

Also: old dogs rock. Exhibits A and B:

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Ralphie

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and Kaylee. Case closed.

* See also: Cafe Seed, FÜD and Eden Alley.

VeganMoFo, Day 30: Green Tea Cupcakes & Black Bean Brownies (Oh my!)

Friday, October 30th, 2009

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Since VeganMoFo is coming to a close, I decided to spend the afternoon experimenting with two recipes I’ve been meaning to try, namely, Green Tea Cupcakes and Black Bean Brownies. You may recall that I vowed to try the former at the beginning of the month – and what kind of VeganMoFo’er would I be if I broke that one teensy-weeny little promise?

(Actually, funny story. When making the black bean brownies, I spent five+ minutes trying to coax the cover of the food processor to lock into place. Turns out I had it on backwards the whole time. But wait! That’s not all! Later on, I set the oven timer to what I thought was 30 minutes. It went off 30 seconds later. Oy. Turns out I’m not much of a MoFo’er after all!)

First up: Green Tea Cupcakes with Matcha Glaze from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World. Two words: Fucking. Awesome. Seriously, these things rock. Assuming you like green tea, which I totally do.

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The Matcha Glaze is kinda funky; before looking the recipe over, I thought the frosting would be a variation of Isa’s iconic vegan buttercream concoction, but as the name implies, it’s really a glaze. It’s different, but nicely so. Also a bit of a relief, because the sugar-heavy buttercream tends to give me a sugar headache. (Any tips for reducing the sugar content? Should I just add more shortening/less sugar? Anyone?)

Matcha is on the expensive side, but most recipes don’t call for all that much. I originally purchased a small box to try out in the Green Tea recipe from Wheeler del Torro’s The Vegan Scoop (also awesome, btw); now, methinks it’ll remain a pantry regular.

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(More below the fold…)

Lemon cupcakes with vanilla buttercream frosting (vegan, of course!)

Thursday, December 18th, 2008

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I started out intending to make a lasagna noodle house for FSMas this afternoon, but on a whim I decided to whip up some lemon cupcakes instead. I’ve got a ton of baking mixes stashed in the pantry (my parents, they take care of me!), and I figured it’s probably time use ’em, right?

The lemon cake mix I used is from Dr. Oetker Organics line of baking mixes. I’ve tried their muffin mixes before – lemon poppyseed and blueberry, I think, both of which were really good – so I figured the lemon cake mix would be a safe bet. And it was!

The cake mix only took a few minutes to make – just add egg replacer, oil and soy milk, blend a bit, and voilà – done. Once the cupcakes were in the oven and baking, I got to work on the vanilla buttercream frosting. I’ve never tried making my own frosting from scratch, so before starting, I made sure I had a tub of frosting (strawberry!) in the pantry as a backup.

A quick Google search turned up this ‘Vegan Fluffy Buttercream Frosting’ recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. I think it’s a fairly common vegan buttercream frosting recipe, as I found a number of similar variations online. The base is 1 part shortening to 1 part margarine, with powdered sugar, soy milk and the flavoring of your choice mixed in. I played it safe and stuck to the vanilla version.

Overall, I think it turned out well; certainly, the frosting was much easier to make than I thought it would be. I made a bit of a splattery mess when blending the shortening and margarine, and then the shortening/margarine mix with the sugar, but once I got a feel for the mixer and the density of the frosting, it was smooth sailing. All in all, I finished up the frosting in about 20 minutes, just in time to take the cupcakes out of the oven.

I’m happy with how the Vegan Fluffy Buttercream Frosting came out, but it isn’t quite as “buttery” as I’d hoped. I’d love to recreate Eden Alley’s frosting; maybe I’ll add a little extra margarine next time? Less vanilla, perhaps? Anyone have a favorite super-buttery frosting recipe, like you might find in a bakery?

Also, the recipe from VCTOTW makes enough frosting for roughly 24 cupcakes; just thought I’d throw that out there, since I couldn’t find a “serving size” online. Because I only made 18 cupcakes, mine are pretty heavy on the frosting.

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Not that I’m complaining, mind you.

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