Vegan Gingerbread Chocolate Cupcakes

Did you ever eat gingerbread men as a child, the ones with the chocolate coated hands and feet? Maybe that was just a New Zealand thing…. my friends and I would always save the chocolate pieces for last, prizing the sprinkle-coated pieces of chocolate which were already melting in ours hands….!

Anyway, I made cupcakes which remind me of those glory days:

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They look just like gingernut biscuits (which for those of you who don’t have these in your home country, are these). They look even more delicious when topped with a dark chocolate ganache πŸ˜€

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I decorated them with an almond sliver (you should avoid this if you have nut allergies to cater for!) and a sprinkle of cinnamon which just happened to be in a shaker at work πŸ™‚

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Vegan Gingerbread Chocolate Cupcakes:
Ingredients:
One batch of these cupcakes made without the nutmeg and cloves, half the cinnamon and twice the ginger!
For the ganache:
200g dark dairy free chocolate
150g coconut cream
To decorate (optional):
Almond slivers
Ground cinnamon

Instructions:
Bake the cupcakes and while they cool, work on the ganache.

Chop the chocolate finely and heat the coconut cream in a bowl in the microwave for 20 seconds on high, then repeat until warm but not boiled. Tip in the chocolate and whisk until combined. Heat for 10 seconds if all the chocolate doesn’t melt. Cool then chill until spreadable.

Ice the cupcakes however you wish (I didn’t have my piping bag at work so I just flat-top iced them) and decorate with the almond sliver and sprinkle with a touch of cinnamon.

Makes 12 and they are still delicious 2 days later. I kept mine chilled so the ganache didn’t melt and then let them come to room temperature before serving.

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Spring Cupcakes! Some sweet ways to add more flowers into your life :)

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These are just some old photos that it wasn’t worth posting the recipes for, but ended up looking a little pretty πŸ™‚ I made these about 5 years ago actually, some with fresh flowers and some with fondant. These ones above are mini cupcakes with different coloured icing (some have coconut on top to look like grass, like the ones below) with different flowers. There is Mexican Orange Blossom, Cherry blossom (for decoration, not to eat) and lavender and forget-me-not (edible).

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These ones above, I iced them with green coconut and made some fondant daisies and daffodils to decorate πŸ™‚

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Annnnd here are the final ones, ribbon rose cupcakes (mini above and regular size far below). Here is a Wilton tutorial for them that I found helpful. I cut out fondant rounds to put on top of the cakes and made little green leaves too. I had just begun my phase of pastel loving at this time, hence the pastel yellow-green-blue-pink palette. Although this ‘phase’ hasn’t ended…..

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Anyway, just a little inspiration. I know that the Northern hemisphere is very much looking forward to fall/autumn right now, so I hope there are some bakers making the most of the season up there too!

Sam

Lots of Vegan Cupcakes! (Baklava, Pumpkin Pie and Strawberry, Lemon and Coconut)

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I have been experimenting πŸ™‚ Thank you internet and vegan margarine for these glorious cupcakes and addictive frosting….

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Sometimes things aren’t the same without dairy or eggs…. but it’s the thought that counts and you can still have buttercream without the butter. Some purists would disagree (and hey, all things in moderation I guess!) but life is too short to go without the things to you want, especially when they fit your lifestyle choices. Hence, let them eat cupcakes! In three flavours, depending on the mood.

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Or the season perhaps! These pumpkin pie cupcakes above scream ‘winter’ and the coconut ones below remind me of a summer mocktail or smoothie.

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Plus cupcakes are pretty πŸ™‚ Shout out to Anna Olsen for the cupcake recipe and to all the customers at the work who picked up one for an afternoon or morning weekend treat πŸ˜€

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For the Baklava Cupcakes
Ingredients:
Cupcakes:
Make these cupcakes with HALF the recipe, adding 1 tsp cinnamon and 1/4 tsp cardamom to the dry mixture
(makes 12)
Filling:
1/3 cup berry jam
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
Icing:
75g vegan butter substitute
1&1/2 cups (roughly) icing sugar
2 tsp vegan milk
1 tsp rosewater
Dye or berry juice to tint if desired
To decorate:
Walnut pieces
Flaked almonds
Toasted pistachios, chopped

Instructions:
Mix together the jam and cardamom. Once the cupcakes are cooled, cut out the insides and fill with jam. Cut off a but of the piece you cut out of the cupcake and place back on top, like a delicious cake lid.

Beat the icing ingredients together until nice and light and fluffy, adding the icing sugar gradually. Depending on the butter substitute you use, you may need to use a bit more or less milk to get a nice airy pipable frosting. Also adjust the rose water to your taste too πŸ™‚

Spoon the frosting into a piping bag and pipe away! As you can see from the photos from the top view, I tried two ways to pipe with a star nozzle; from the outside to the inside (top cupcake) and the opposite, centre to edges (bottom). Do whatever you like πŸ™‚ Decorate with the chopped nuts.

Makes 12, which are just as delicious the next day!

For the Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes
Ingredients:
For the cupcakes:
Make these cupcakes here (I didn’t make them gluten free), up the cinnamon to 1 tsp and add some 1/2 tsp ground ginger too, and leave out the chocolate chips
For the caramelised walnuts:
Handful of walnuts
2 tsp maple syrup
Dusting of cinnamon
For the frosting:
75g vegan butter substitute
1&1/2 cups (roughly) icing sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp maple syrup
To decorate:
The walnuts from above,
Plus chopped dried apricots
Also some pumpkin seeds (which I didn’t have)

Instructions:
Heat the oven to 180 degrees. On a lined tray, mix the walnuts, maple syrup and cinnamon together until the nuts are coated and toast for about 15 minutes until golden. Leave to cool.

For the frosting, beat all the ingredients together until light and fluffy (may need a little less or more sugar depending on your margarine/butter substitute). Ice the cupcakes, and decorate with the chopped walnuts and apricots.

Makes 12 and they last very well πŸ™‚

For the Strawberry, Lemon and Coconut Cupcakes
Ingredients:
Cupcakes:
Make these cupcakes (half the recipe) replacing half of the milk with coconut cream and adding 1 tsp lemon zest to the batter (makes 12)
Filling:
1/3 cup coconut cream
1/4 tsp lemon zest
2 strawberries, finely chopped
Frosting:
75g vegan butter substitute
1&1/2 cups icing sugar
1/4 cup chopped strawberries
2 tsp lemon juice
Pink dye or some beetroot juice to colour if desired
To decorate:
Coconut threads
Lemon zest and/or slices

Instructions:
Start with preparing the strawberries for the frosting: heat them in the microwave for 20 second bursts on high until the juices come out of them and they are soft. Chill until cool.

Whip the coconut cream until light and fluffy and then mix in the lemon zest and berry pieces. ‘Core’ the cupcakes and trim the core. Fill with the cream filling and place the ‘lid’ back on top.

Beat the butter substitute, icing sugar (adding a bit at a time), lemon juice and as much of the strawberry juice that you chilled as you can get from them (eat the pulp leftover with yogurt!). Beat until light and fluffy, adding more or less icing sugar as needed. Ice the cupcakes, then decorate with the coconut threads and lemon zest.

Makes 12 and they are delicious the next day πŸ™‚

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Ginger Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting and Blueberries {Vegan}

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I managed to lose the photos for these, you know how things just disappear into your laptop and phone and god knows what else? Anyway….. I managed to find these ones which I had sent to someone!

These are like a fancier PB+J flavour combination, with some ginger to warm up the smooth-ness of the peanut butter. They are vegan too! Enjoy πŸ™‚

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Ginger CupcakesΒ with Peanut Butter Frosting and Blueberries
Ingredients:
Cupcakes:
1.5 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp ground ginger
1/3 cup golden syrup
1/2 cup canola or light oil
1 Tbsp vinegar
Dash vanilla essence
1 cup+ cold water
Icing:
1/3 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup icing sugar
2 Tbsp maple syrup
To top:
1/2 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and grease a muffin tin (you will only be making 9 muffins).

Whisk the flour, baking soda, sugar and ginger together, then make a well in the centre and add in the golden syrup, canola oil, vinegar and vanilla. Pour the water on top and making a big mess, whisk until smooth. It should be quite runny, like a pancake batter almost, so add more water if needed. Divide evenly between the muffin tin holes and bake for 20 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean when inserted. Cool in the tins.

For the frosting, mix all the ingredients until smooth. You may want to do the blueberry topping first, heat for about 2 minutes (30 seconds at a time) in the microwave on high then leave to cool/chill.

To finish, spread on the frosting and add the blueberries on top! It is just as delicious as a dessert with hot blueberries too πŸ™‚

Makes 9! It’s best to frost them right before serving because after a few hours, the frosting loses its shape πŸ™‚

Vegan Lemon-Banana Cupcakes


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As promised, more cupcakes! These ones are even vegan πŸ™‚ (Although if you want to put butter in your buttercream, then you do that, you are in charge here). The cupcakes themselves only take a few minutes to get into the oven, and are one bowl too.


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They are quite tropical, and if you want to make them more of a winter after-noon tea fix, then maybe take out the lemon in the cake and add some cocoa instead of zest and juice in the frosting. I’d recommend these if you are, or are baking with, someone who is quite new to all this mixing and measuring and pouring stuff. And if you are a beginner, welcome to the wonderful world of baking, please make yourself quite at home πŸ™‚

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Banana and Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Frosting
Ingredients:
Banana and Lemon Cupcakes
1.5 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
2/3 cup any sugar
Juice of 1.5 lemons
1 Tbsp white vinegar
2 mashed bananas
1/3 cup oil
About 3/4 cup water
Frosting:
3 TbspΒ vegan spread/butter alternative
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp lemon juice
1&1/3 cups icing sugar
1-2 tsp milk
To decorate:
Banana chips
Coconut shavings

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius and line a cupcake tin with patty cases.

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda and sugar. Make a well in the centre, pour in the lemon juice, vinegar, mashed bananas and oil. Pour over half the water and mix well, adding the rest of the water a bit at a time until you have quite a runny batter (don’t worry if you aren’t 100% sure about the consistency!).

Pour into the patty cases and bake for about 20 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean when inserted. Cool on a wire rack.

For the frosting, soften the butter/spread and mix with the lemon zest, lemon juice and icing sugar until thick and fluffy. This will probably take a few minutes. Add the milk if the frosting is getting a little too thick to mix.

Spoon into a piping bag and pipe swirls onto each of the cupcakes (I didn’t do very generous, rich ones, just enough to make them look pretty πŸ™‚ ) or spread the icing on with a knife; up to you!

Decorate each one with a banana chip and some coconut shavings if desired.

Makes 12, and tastes just as delicious the next day (some even say better…..)

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Have a good week everyone!

Chocolate Cupakes Two Ways; Chai and Berry/Coconut

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As promised, more cupcakes πŸ™‚ I hope you have been having a nice day, whatever the weather. New Zealand is finally warming up, which means fresh fruit, more ice cream and hopefully some road trips. Everyone’s goal seems to be to get a tan, so if this is yours; good luck!

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I baked cupcakes and sold them at my hall of residence to raise money for Syrian refugees. I got about $80, which is enough to buy both mats and blankets for a family according to the UN Charity. These coconut-berry ones (rather lamington-esque) sold the fastest, but I assure you the chai-frosted ones are just as delicious!

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My exams will be over in a week, and I already have a list of things to bake over summer. I hope you enjoy, and I have some more cupcakes coming up! πŸ™‚

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Chocolate Cupcakes Two Ways: with Chai or Berry Frosting
Ingredients:
Cupcakes:
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1.5 tsp baking soda
1 cup sugar
3 Tbsp cocoa
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup thick yogurt
2 eggs
1.5 cups hot-ish coffee

Icing (for the Chai):
5 Tbsp butter, softened
1 tsp cinnamon
Pinch nutmeg/allspice/black pepper/cayenne or paprika
3/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cardamom
1.5 cups icing sugar
(+extra cocoa or cinnamon to dust)

Icing (for the berry):
5 Tbsp butter, softened
1 Tbsp seedless raspberry jam (can just pass normal stuff through a sieve)
1.5 cups icing sugar
+coconut to roll in

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and line two cupcake tins with paper cases.

For the cakes: In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and cocoa until combined. In another smaller bowl, mix the oil, yogurt and eggs. Make a well in the dry mixture and pour in the oil-batter and most of the coffee. Mix well, and add the rest of the coffee a bit at a time. The mixture will be quite runny, not like a butter cake or pound cake! Fill up the cupcake cases until 2/3 full and bake for 20 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean when inserted. Cool on a wire rack.

If you should decide to make CHAI frosting, simply mix all the frosting ingredients together until smooth and light. You can add the spices to taste, as yours could be stronger than mine! Spread the frosting onto the cupcakes. Dust with cinnamon, through a stencil if you have one!

For the BERRY frosting, again mix all the frosting ingredients until smooth and light. Frost the cupcakes and then dip the top in the coconut. All done!

You could make the cupcakes up to 2 days before, makes about 24!

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‘Artsy’ Cupcake Decorations AKA How to Use Up Leftover Royal Icing!

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Just a cupcake decorating idea πŸ™‚ I had lots of leftover coloured royal icing, so I made swirls and squiggles (plus some candy dots) on baking paper and let them dry over night. They are good to have on hand when you have some last minute baking and decorating to do, and are easy-as to make!

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They look really good on white icing/frosting (these cupcakes are banana, made with gluten free flour).

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I have more cupcakes and cakes to post soon, plus some recipes!
Have a good week everyone xx

Mini Raspberry Cupcakes with Meringue Frosting

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Just a cute wee recipe from a few years ago. These adorable bites are simply a raspberry cupcake with 7-minute-esque frosting. The raspberry flavour comes from raspberry jam, which was the only thing on hand during winter (not even frozen berries, the price of those babies sky-rocketed…..!) but I am sure you could easily use any other jam or curd as long as it is smooth and seedless. This recipe easily translates into large cupcakes but I would double the recipe for 12, a full batch!
Enjoy tutti πŸ™‚

Mini Raspberry Cupcakes with Meringue Frosting

75 g butter
ΒΌ cup sugar
2 Tbsp oil
2 Tbsp seedless raspberry jam
1 ΒΌ cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
3 Tbsp milk

To Frost:
1 egg white
ΒΌ tsp cream of tartar
1 Tbsp seedless raspberry jam
ΒΌ cup sugar
1 tsp water

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 180Β°C and line 6 hole regular cupcake tin and a 6 hole mini cupcake tin.

Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in the jam and oil. Sift together the flour and baking powder. Gradually add to the butter mixture. Mix in the milk. Spoon into the cupcake cases and bake for 10 minutes, for the mini ones and 15 minutes, for the regular ones, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire wrack.

Lightly mix the egg white, cream of tartar, jam and sugar together in a small glass or ceramic bowl. Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Whisk until the egg mix is white. Then add the water and continue to beat until the frosting reaches stiff peaks. Ice the cupcakes. Leave for the icing to set, then store in an airtight container.

Makes 24 mini cupcakes
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Banana Chai Cupcakes

Mmmm chai. Yes, I know you’re thinking it. So incredible in its masala spicy goodness. But wait, it gets better! Banana too! I hope you love banana cake, even if you don’t like banana in its pure form like me.
Oh, and then add cream cheese frosting and a dusting of more spices. That’s right, you get these babies:photo (10)
I am not sure how big you can see that photo but apologies if it is small, I’m still working on this whole photos+blog thing πŸ™‚

But I digress! These are so simple to make, no beating the butter and sugar, no milk (you could probably make it vegan very easily if you’re into that!) and no fuss. Just pure delicious that makes 12 cupcakes with a yummy frosting. I was a little worried that they would be one of those mixes that didn’t want to come out of the wrappers but I was wrong; and they stayed amazingly moist and delicious too. Without further ado, here is the recipe!

Banana Chai Cupcakes

Chai banana cake:
2 bananas
3 Tbsp yogurt
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 egg
5 Tbsp sugar
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/8 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt

Frosting:
25g softened butter
2 Tbsp cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/2 cup icing sugar
+various ground spices for dusting.

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Line a 12-hole muffin pan with cupcake liners. In a large bowl, mash the bananas. Mix in the yogurt, oil and egg, then mix in the sugar. In another bowl, mix the rest of the ingredients (the dry ones) until well combined. Slowly mix the dry ingredients into the wet until just combined. Divide evenly among the cupcake liners and bake for 30 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean when inserted. Cool.
Beat together the butter, cream cheese and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add the icing sugar and beat until well combined. Frost the cupcakes, then dust some spices on top.

Note, I didn’t want a lot of frosting on the cupcakes (although I am quite partial to it from time to time, don’t get me wrong!) so you may want to even double the amount I used!

Enjoy that chai-banana-cream cheese goodness! With love πŸ™‚