Sunday, May 5, 2013

Vegan Donut Test Kitchen

Over this weekend, I turned our kitchen upside down testing out a few variations of baked cake donuts. I've made them with Earth Balance before, and wanted to try out coconut oil and shortening for fats.

My family were the eager taste testers, and the coconut oil won by a landslide. Next in line was the Earth Balance, and the least favorite across the board was shortening.

Along with tweaking the donut recipe, I tried out a few new types of frosting: maple, white chocolate, pecan butter, and chocolate. Both types of chocolate were the favorites, but the maple was pretty delicious too. The pecan butter was more subtle in flavor, but a sprinkling with coconut chips finished it off nicely.
Classic Chocolate Frosted Donut
 Chocolate Frosting

5 oz. semi-sweet chocolate
2 Tbsp. Earth Balance or coconut oil melted
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/3 cup non-dairy milk

  1. Melt chocolate in a microwave safe bowl, heating in 30 second increments, stirring in between until melted.
  2. Whisk in Earth Balance or coconut oil and milk until fully incorporated.
  3. Last whisk in the powdered sugar, adding a little at a time. 
  4. Add extra non-dairy milk to thin frosting if desired, and powdered sugar if it is too runny. It should be the consistency of thick syrup pouring.
Frosts 6 donuts

Maple Frosted Donut
Maple Frosting

1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. maple extract
2 Tbsp. maple syrup
1-2 Tbsp. non-dairy milk
  1. Add maple syrup and extract to a bowl.
  2. Whisk in powdered sugar and non-dairy milk, adding a little of each until all the frosting is smooth without lumps.
  3. Add extra maple syrup to thin frosting if desired, and powdered sugar if it is too runny. It should be the consistency of thick syrup pouring.
Frosts 6 donuts
Pecan butter topped with Coconut Chips
Pecan Butter Frosting

2 Tbsp. pecan butter
3/4 cup powdered sugar
2-3 Tbsp. non-dairy milk
coconut chips chopped (optional) 
  1. Add pecan butter to a bowl and whisk in powdered sugar and non-dairy milk, adding a little of each until all the frosting is smooth without lumps.
  2. Add extra non-dairy milk to thin frosting if desired, and powdered sugar if it is too runny. It should be the consistency of thick syrup pouring.
  3. Frost donut and sprinkle with pieces of coconut chips.
Frosts 6 donuts
White Chocolate Frosted Donut
 White Chocolate Frosting

1/2 cup white chocolate
1 cup powdered sugar
1-2 Tbsp. non-dairy milk

  1. First melt white chocolate in microwave safe bowl, heating in 30 second increments, stirring in between until melted.
  2. Whisk in powdered sugar and non-dairy milk, adding a little of eat until all is well combined. 
  3. Frost and sprinkle immediately for easiest spreading. Heat in microwave 20 seconds if it thickens up too much.

Frosts 6 donuts

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Vegan Cuts May Snack Box

We've been waiting ever so patiently for our May Vegan Cuts Snack Box, and it did not disappoint! The variety and quantity of items included was quite impressive.

My family's favorite snack items are the easy on the go healthy options like the Skinny Pop and Sweet Potato Tortilla chips by Food Should Taste Good. Our family cannot seem to get enough popcorn, and love Skinny Pop's lightly salted and oiled popcorn. It is only 100 calories per bag.

The sweet potato chips were gone before I could blink. We'll be seeking out more of them, and are eager to try some of their other varieties.
A more unique snack was the Oloves in an individual snack pouch. What a fun and creative snack to take along with you. It is only 50 calories and provides healthy fats which are perfect for kids growing bodies. We received Lemony Lover, which was the perfect balance of savory flavors.
Also made by Milas was the cutest little jar of Roasted Red Pepper & Artichoke Bruschetta. My hubby and I were dueling it out of who got the last bite.

Now on to the Teese Nacho Cheese Sauce. It comes in a tube, which you just cut open, heat and serve. It is ideal for whipping up a tasty treat for movie night or just about an occasion is good for nacho cheese chips, right?
I'll be the first to admit I am no expert on protein powders and bars, but I DO know when something tastes delicious. There were two samples from 22 Days: a PB Chocolate Chip Nirvana Bar and Chocolate Protein Powder. My husband does use protein powders and he really enjoyed this one. They are both vegan, gluten,  and soy free.

We are avid coffee drinks in this household. It helps to get through early mornings with rambunctious children. My interest was piqued when I saw the Teeccino French Roast Organic Tee bag. It is herbal, non-acidic and naturally caffeine free, which is perfect for an evening drink which won't keep you up all night.

Our family is already a fan of Parmela Parmesan Cheese, and were happy to find a little packet of it on our snack box.

Lastly, to my daughter's delight there was lip balm made by Meow Meow Tweet which is Rosemary Eucalyptus. She has serious lip balm addiction and was thrilled to have another new one to use.

Thank you Vegan Cuts for creating an awesome assortment of vegan snacks! Our family was also excited to use the $1.00 off coupon for a Beyond Meat package. Our family and friends have given it rave reviews.

Monday, April 8, 2013

5th Annual Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale

Each year I get geared up for a serious baking fest to raise money for animals. It is part of a worldwide effort called the Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale.

You do not want to miss out on this event! Do you recall that scene in "Charlie's Chocolate Factory" when they first encounter a room filled with edible delights? If you want a similar experience first hand, you'll want to be at the Twin Cities Vegan Bake Sale.

All proceeds will go towards the Animal Rights Coalition, which has all sorts of different programs helping animals like: Vegan University, Minneapolis Vegan Meetup, Minnesotans Exposing Petland, and Cuddle Coats to name a few. So come get your vegan treat on!

If you are not in Minnesota, worry not. There is a handy dandy bake sale list you can check out with sales listed in all over the world. If there isn't one in your area, consider organizing one in your area with these helpful tips

Monday, April 1, 2013

Butterscotch Pecan Spice Cupcakes

Spice cupcakes which are perfectly light and fluffy. They also make a great muffin if you add a cup of walnuts or dried fruit if you'd prefer a more healthy treat.

Apple Spice Cupcakes

1/2 cup soy or almond milk
1 tsp. vinegar
1 1/4 cups Cake Flour (I use King Arthur's Unbleached Cake Flour)
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 Tbsp. corn starch
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 cup applesauce
1/3 cup oil
1 tsp vanilla

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add muffin liners to a muffin pan.
  2. Add vinegar to the soy milk to allow it to curdle.
  3. Sift together all the dry ingredients excluding the brown sugar: flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, corn starch, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Add brown sugar and mix well with other dry ingredients.
  4. Add to the dry ingredients: oil, vanilla, applesauce, and curdled soy or almond milk.
  5. Mix on low until just combined, making sure to scrape the bowl once. 
  6. Fill muffin cups 3/4 full. Bake in oven for 15 - 18 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. 
  7. Frost cupcakes with butterscotch frosting after the cupcakes have cooled completely, then drizzle with pecan butter drizzle icing.

Add sprinkles or a tiny pinch of cinnamon to make your cupcakes more fancy. These embellishments aren't necessary, but who doesn't love extra sprinkles?

Monday, March 25, 2013

Easy Vegan Bunny Rabbit Cupcakes

Our family celebrated Easter a little early this year with some adorable bunny cupcakes. They are easy to make and fun to nosh on.

These were vanilla cupcakes made using a recipe I saw on Finding Vegan for the fluffiest vanilla cupcakes. They were perfectly light a fluffy.

To create these little delights you'll need: 

  • Dandies Marshmallows
  • Jelly beans
  • Mini chocolate chips (large would work too) 
  • Jimmy sprinkles.If you like the little mouth and ears, I used blue and pink piped frosting.
Steps to decorate cupcake

  1. First slice the marshmallows in half, then stretch them a little to create the ears. 
  2. Use an 1M frosting tip to make the bunny head (you could also cut a large hole in the tip of a zip lock bag about a 1/2 inch wide)
  3. Attach the ears by pushing into the frosting.
  4. Using a little dab of frosting attach a chocolate chip to two jelly beans and place them for eyes.
  5. Add another jelly bean for the bunny's nose
  6. Select out jimmies to make whiskers and place on the cupcake.
  7. If you like the little mouth and ears, pipe them on. I used blue and pink piped frosting.

Fluffy Whipped Vanilla Frosting

1/2 cup Earth Balance Buttery Sticks
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
2 tsp. vanilla
4-6 Tbsp. non-dairy milk
3 1/2-4 cups powdered sugar

Cream together the margarine, vanilla and shortening. Slowly mix in powdered sugar and non-dairy milk, alternating between the two. Add more powdered sugar or soy milk to obtained desired texture. Once mixed well, beat for about ten minutes until frosting is nice and fluffy. 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Raspberry Chocolate Shortcake with Creme Filling

Back in 2011 I created a Strawberry Shortcake Cupcake recipe. It is one the most popular recipes on my blog. It got me thinking of a new twist, hence I concocted this delicious combination. I can't decide which I like best, but I think the chocolate version may be coming out ahead.

The chocolate and raspberry pair together well, and make a delectable dairy and egg free vegan treat. If you are looking for a recipe to feed to the skeptical, you won't go wrong with this one.

Crazy or Wacky Cake

1.5 cups unbleached flour
1 cups sugar
1 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 heaping cup cocoa
1/2 Tbsp. white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
 1/3 cup vegetable Oil
 1 cup water

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  2. Sift together flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda, and salt. 
  3. Add remaining wet ingredients with dry ones and mix. Do not over mix. 
  4. Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full. 
  5. Bake in oven for 15-18 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. 
  6. Once cupcakes are completely cooled, fill cupcakes using a filling tip or cut cone shaped portions out of the top of the cupcake, add filling, and then return top.*
  7. Frost with raspberry frosting.
*Note: Be careful to not overfill if using a tip, as it will cause the cupcake to split.

Raspberry Frosting

2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup raspberry powder (run through small weave metal colander to remove larger pieces)
1/2 cup margarine
1/3 cup shortening
2-3 tsp. soy, almond, coconut milk
1 tsp. raspberry extract

  1. Cream together the margarine and shortening. 
  2. Add in strawberry powder, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. Mix well until completely combined, scraping the sides of the bowl in between mixing. 
  3. Add almond milk one tablespoon at a time, mixing in between.  
  4. Fluff frosting for 10 minutes. 

If you need instructions on making your own raspberry powder for the recipe, click here. The instructions are the same for raspberries as strawberries.

Monday, March 11, 2013

No Bake Chocolate Coconut Almond Cookies

Whenever I am craving a sweet and don't feel like baking, I always seem to revert to my childhood favorite standby of Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal No-Bake cookies. Growing up my mom made these often. The smell of them, brings me right back to a more simple time. 

This is a twist on that homemade classic. They are sweet and substantial, and will tempt you to eat more than you should. I recommend a small batch.

No Bake Chocolate Almond Coconut Cookies

1 cup sugar
1/4 cup coconut oil (should look like shortening, but not as smooth)
1/4 cup almond milk
1 1/2 heaping Tbsp. cocoa powder
1 1/4 cups oatmeal
1/4 cup almond butter
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup almond meal
1 tsp. almond extract

  1. Get out all ingredients and lay out a sheet of wax paper 1 and a half feet long on a pan or counter.
  2. On the stove, melt the coconut oil on medium-low heat. 
  3. Stir in sugar until it melts into the coconut oil. 
  4. Add almond milk and cocoa powder, then bring to a boil for 90 seconds. Do not start timing until it is at a rolling boil. 
  5. Remove from the heat and add the remaining ingredients: almond butter, shredded coconut, almond meal, and extract. Stir until well mixed.
  6. Spoon about 2 tablespoons worth of cookie batter onto the wax paper. 
  7. Allow to cool and set approximately one hour.
*If your cookies do not harden, the cookie batter did not boil long enough. I've thrown mine into the oven on 350 for a 3-5 minutes and it helps them to set.

Makes 10 - 12 cookies depending on the size of each cookie