Friday, December 17, 2010

Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes {vegan+gluten free}

An "ugly sweater party" (though I might note, there were hardly any ugly sweaters present...) prompted the creation of these cupcakes. Simple, dark chocolate is blended with subtle notes of peppermint, all adorned with a cap of vegan vanilla-peppermint buttercream. The cake is fluffy and moist, balanced by a not-too-sweet frosting. These pleased both vegans (with rave reviews) and non-vegans alike. Irving Berlin may have been dreaming of a white Christmas, but I'm dreaming of a red, white, and chocolate Christmas. (That's right...I used a cheesy White Christmas reference. Rent it. Or buy it. And watch. It. And then make some cupcakes).

[insert recipe here] <----I'm too tired. I'll do this part tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Gingerbread Cupcakes {Vegan+Gluten Free}

The weather has turned, the sweaters have been donned, the halls have been decked: The holiday season is here. In honor of the season of giving, I only found it fitting to spend a bit of my time on Tuesday baking treats for my much-deserved office mates. Visions of gingerbread were dancing in my head as I thought about cupcakes and rich, creamy frosting. I had a vegan gingerbread cupcake recipe, but I didn't love the idea of a citrus frosting with which the author intended it to be paired with. The recipe was also far from being gluten-free. A bit of experimenting later, I came out with these moist yet fluffy cupcakes that were all but devoured by everyone in the office. A hit!

{Vegan+Gluten Free}
(Recipe adapted from Gingerbread Cupcakes in "Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World")

1 1/4 c. Gluten-free flour (I used a combination of tapioca starch, corn starch, potato starch, white rice flour and Bob's Red Mill All Purpose Baking Blend)
3/4 tsp. xanthan gum
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
3 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. vegetable oil
1/3 c. molasses
1/2 c. maple syrup
1/4 c. soy milk
2 tbsp. tofu sour cream
1 1/2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
1/4 c. finely chopped crystallized ginger

1/2 c. shortening
1/2 c. margarine
3 1/2 c. confectioner's sugar, sifted
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. cloves
1/4 tsp. nutmeg (try adding more spices if you deem necessary - I didn't really measure mine).
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 soy creamer

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a muffin tin with paper cupcake liners.

Sift the flours, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and salt into a bowl.
Whisk the oil, molasses, maple syrup, soy milk, sour cream, and lemon zest in separate large bowl. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix until just smooth. Fold in the crystallized ginger.

Fill cupcake liners two thirds full. Bake 19-22 minutes, until a knife or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool completely before frosting.

Prepare frosting:
Beat the shortening and margarine until fluffy. Add sugar and spices and beat for about three minutes. Add the vanilla and soy creamer and beat another 5-7 minutes until fluffy.

Garnished with slices of crystallized ginger, if desired.