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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Vegan Vanilla Ice Cream with Salted (Date) Caramel Sauce and Cinnamon Roasted Almonds

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Just trying to to get some slightly healthier desserts into the repertoire, which surely can’t do any harm after all πŸ™‚ Especially if it means that you can eat it for breakfast.

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Vegan Vanilla Ice Cream with Salted (Date) Caramel Sauce and Cinnamon Roasted Almonds
Ingredients:
Ice cream:
1/2 cup vegan milk (I used rice milk)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 Tbsp cornflour
1 can coconut cream (about 400mls)
Date Sauce:
1/2 cup dates
Hot water
Vegan milk
Salt
Roasted Almonds
1 Tbsp brown sugar
Hot water
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup whole raw almonds

Instructions:
Mix together all the ingredients for the ice cream, making sure you stir the coconut cream well so there are no lumps. Churn in your ice cream machine.

Soak the dates by covering them in hot water. When soft, blend them until a sauce forms (maybe adding more water if needed) and add some salt to taste.

Next preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and line a baking tray with a bit of baking paper. Mix the brown sugar, hot water, cinnamon and almonds together, then pour onto the tray. Bake for about 15 minutes until golden and toasted.

To serve, layer the ice cream, sauce and almonds and enjoy!

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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} Papaya Mini-Cakes

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What to do with those tinned fruits that you just can’t seem to use? In New Zealand, tinned papaya isn’t something you come by often… a bit like tinned water chestnuts and button mushrooms. They stray from canned peaches territory!

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It was full summer when I made these cuties. Sadly, it is not longer summer but I managed to finally write out the recipe properly! They bring back memories of sunshine that hasn’t been seen in a while πŸ™‚

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They are really nice as an afternoon treat, or they would go amazingly with just a plain vanilla ice cream. Superb in fact. Plus they look cute πŸ™‚

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Anyway, I hope all your baking adventures are going well! We are heading into birthday cake season, and mine started with a dairy and gluten free coconut, lime and crabapple cake for a good friend of mine. Recipe to come! Enjoy your week everyone πŸ™‚

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{Vegan} Papaya Cakes
Ingredients:
Cake:
1 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup desiccated coconut
210g tinned papaya
1 Tbsp white vinegar
3 Tbsp oil
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp water
Icing:
2 Tbsp dairy free spread
1/2 cup icing sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
To decorate:
Chopped fruit
Edible flower petals

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and line a 20×20 cm diameter square cake tin.

Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda and coconut. Drain the papaya, save a chunk for decorate and puree the rest. Add to the dry ingredients along with the vinegar, oil and 1/2 cup water. Whisk until smooth. If the mixture is a little thick (it shouldn’t be very thick like a butter cake batter, it should be thicker than pancakes though) then add some of the extra water. Pour into the tin and bake for about 20 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean when inserted. Cool in the tin.

Unmold the cake and cut into circles. I used about 6cm diameter rounds to make mine! Beat together the icing ingredients until light and fluffy. Spread a thin layer of icing on the tops of the cakes. Place the rest in a piping bag and pipe a cut wee ring of dots around the top of the cakes as a crowning glory. Stack them on top of each other and decorate with the fruit and petals. I sprinkled mine with some more coconut too.

Makes about 7 little cakes, and lasts well for two days after making.

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Vegan Coconut Custard and Apricot Parfaits

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When breakfast looks this good…. you know the day is off to a good start πŸ™‚

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I am no longer fully vegan now, I did a month as a trial and whilst I learned a lot, I’m not quite ready to go there yet. But hey, who knows what the future holds? Anyway, this was one of my experiments, one which actually worked for once….

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It’s super easy, makes a delicious breakfast or dessert and you can change up the fruits and garnishes easy-peasy πŸ™‚ Custard and berries…….

Vegan Coconut Custard and Apricot Parfaits
Ingredients:
Custard:
3/4 cup soy milk
1/4 cup coconut cream
3 Tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 Tbsp cornstarch/cornflour
To assemble:
Fresh or dried apricots
Coconut threads
Pine Nuts, toasted if you like

Instructions:
Gently heat the soy milk, coconut cream, maple syrup and vanilla essence until bubbling around the edges. In a bowl, mix a little bit of the heated mixture with the cornflour until a smooth paste forms, then add back to the liquid and continue to heat over very low heat, stirring continuously. When nice and thick, pour into a bowl and cool.

To assemble, layer the custard and apricots into wine or dessert glasses (or cute jars, the limits are endless!) and top with coconut threads (toasted are nice) and pine nuts. Serve and enjoy πŸ™‚

Makes 8 small servings but would serve 4 for dessert.

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Mini Vegan Walnut & Banana Cakes with Cinnamon Frosting

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I did some baking to use up some bananas. Again πŸ™‚
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These little cuties are small-batch, vegan, and delicious. They are even layered. Layered cakes are cute. My vegan-month is progressing interestingly, I cheated once so far…. when we went to lunch. Scrambled eggs were cheapest and also very delicious. I’m sorry.

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But hey! Ignore my cheating and indulge yourself instead πŸ˜€

Vegan Mini Banana Cakes with Cinnamon Frosting
Ingredients:
Cakes:
1 banana
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/4 cup oil
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 baking powder
Cinnamon
2/3 cup flour
A couple chopped walnuts
2 Tbsp vegan milk
Icing:
1 TbspΒ vegan spread
1/2 cup icing sugar
2 tsp vegan milk
Cinnamon
Walnuts to decorate

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and grease three 7cm-diameter ring molds and place on a greased tray.

Mash the banana into the brown sugar and oil, them mix in the baking soda and baking powder, as well as cinnamon. As little or as much as you like. Mix in the flour and walnuts gently then add the milk a little at a time to add moisture. Don’t over mix. Dip the bottom of the molds into the batter so they stick to the tray. Spoon evenly into to the ring molds and bake for about 20 minutes until a skewer comes out clean. Cool for 10 mins, un-stick the bottoms and cool completely in the rings.

For the icing, mix together the icing ingredients. Again, cinnamon to taste. Un-mold the cakes and cut each into three layers. Spread some icing between each layer and on top. Decorate with walnuts.

Makes three cute wee cakes which are just as delicious the next day!


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Cinnamon Sticky Date Bliss Balls

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Currently two weeks into my vegan month πŸ™‚ Here is a little snack that I whipped up for uni. So easy to make! I have a vegan ice cream sundae recipe coming too. Be sure to comment and link some of your own vegan recipes if you think I should try them!

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Cinnamon Sticky Date Bliss Balls
Ingredients:
1 part soaked dates (or medjool dates) (I would start with 1 cup)
1 part raw almonds (handful reserved)
1 tsp+ cinnamon

Instructions:
Whizz all the ingredients together until blended. Remember you can add the cinnamon to taste. Roll into balls. Chill. Chop up the almonds until fine and roll the bliss balls into it. Store in the fridge.

Using 1 cup= 1 part, makes about 12 πŸ™‚ Last well for a few days!

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Vegan Chocolate Orange Donuts

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Is it just me or are donuts becoming ever more accessible in the kitchen these days? I admit, these were made with a kitchen top donut-maker but even baked donuts are everywhere. Are they the latest cupcake….? Maybe!

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Either way, they are delicious, deep-fried or not. With butter and eggs or without!

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If any of you reading this are following me, I apologise for the lack of posts recently πŸ™‚ I’ll be more onto it when uni starts again!

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Vegan Orange and Chocolate Donuts
Ingredients:
Donuts:
1 cup flour
2 Tbsp cocoa
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3 Tbsp plain oil
3 tsp vinegar
Juice of one orange
Roughly 120mls water
Icing:
1/2 cup icing sugar
2 tsp margerine
Juice of half an orange
Orange zest
Maybe a little extra water
Orange food colouring (optional)
To decorate: Chocolate sprinkles
Instructions: If you are using the oven to bake these babies, preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius and grease your donut tin.

Mix together the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking powder and baking soda. Make a well in the middle and pour in the oil, vinegar and orange juice. Pour in most of the water and mix well. If the mixture is still too thick to pour, add a little more water and mix again. Preheat your donut maker and pour the batter in, filling to the top. Alternately, fill up your donut tin holes and cook for about 10 minutes, until they spring back when touched lightly. Cool on a rack and make the icing: Chuck all the icing ingredients in a bowl except the food colouring and heat in the microwave for ten seconds. Mix, and if the butter isn’t melted, repeat. When smooth and spreadable, ice the top of the donuts and sprinkle with the chocolate hail/jimmies/sprinkles. Devour!

Makes about 12x5cm diameter donuts

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All the drips and drops of orange icing and sprinkles that managed to miss the donuts themselves…..!

Vegan and Raw Chocolate Fruit Mince Tarts

Raw ‘baking’, or more creating, could be easier than you think πŸ™‚

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Also healthier, I’m sure I don’t need to go into the details of raw food and vegan baking. I can, however, tell you that it is delicious! πŸ˜€

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I know that Christmas, and therefore the season of fruit mince flavours, has passed but the chocolate-avocado Β filling drags it into the rest of the year’s menu. Although, you can always swap the fruit mince for some medjool dates.

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Here is the recipe πŸ™‚

Raw Fruit Mince and Chocolate Tarts
Ingredients:
Crusts:
1/2 cup dried fruit (I used fruit mince, make sure it’s raw πŸ™‚ )
1/4 cup ground almonds
1/4 cup desiccated coconut
Pinch mixed spice/Chinese 5 spice
Filling:
1/3 cup avocado
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp cocoa
To decorate:
Pine nuts

Instructions:
For the crust, whizz up all the ingredients until you have a sticky, crumbly paste. Press into about 10 small cupcake tins and freeze until firm.

When firm, very carefully run a knife around the edges and release them from the mold.

Blend all the filling ingredients until smooth (you may want to adjust the honey for the sweetness) and spoon into the tart tins. Arrange some pine nuts on top and keep in the freezer until you want to serve them; just defrost for about ten minutes before eating.

Makes ten, and they can be made the day before πŸ™‚

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