Although I’ve not mentioned it here, this year I have given up purchasing and cooking with (almost) all animal products for Lent.
I still use organic milk, but only a splash in my morning coffee. That’s it.
This absence of animal products explains the sudden influx of vegan recipes on the blog.
To be honest, I’ve been having a lot of fun trying new vegan recipes. I don’t necessarily miss anything, not even cheese, as the recipes have been so full of flavor on their own.
Giving up animal products created an interesting dilemma when it came to baking birthday cakes for my friend, Kate. I wanted to maintain the birthday baking tradition but didn’t want to sacrifice my commitments to either vegan baking or providing delicious treats.
Last year, I made Kate the most popular recipe on my blog, Lexie’s Healthy Carrot Cupcakes.
Luckily, there are so many talented vegan bloggers that the search for a birthday cake replacement was easy.
First up, I visited my favorite vegan blogger, Angela, and her inspiring blog, ohsheglows.com.
I immediately decided to bake her Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes which I’d already saved on my Recipe Wish List.
My new favorite chocolate cake, regardless of dietary standards! Do yourself a favor and please, go and try this recipe now!
Knowing that not everyone likes chocolate cake (gasp!) I was on the prowl for a vegan vanilla version and stumbled on a recipe for Vegan Vanilla Agave Cupcakes from the book, Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, reposted on happylittlevegans.com.
There was just enough batter left of both the chocolate and vanilla cupcakes to make two marbled cakes as well.
Kate’s birthday provided the perfect excuse to try a technique I read about on another favorite blog, Annie’s Eats.
Several weeks ago, Annie wrote a beautiful post on How to make dried pineapple flowers.
Rather than drying the pineapple then placing the slices in the muffin tin to harden over night, I went ahead and put the dried slices in the muffin tin then tossed them back in the oven to continue to dry while forming the flower shape.
The vanilla cupcakes were topped with pineapple flowers, but the chocolate cupcakes received the strawberry treatment.
We went to dinner at a Mexican restaurant called Maya. Although the food wasn’t very authentic, it was still good. The service, however, was dreadful. Oh well, at least we were with good friends, celebrating the life of a wonderful person and had cakes to eat!
Life is good.
We had good fun dancing the night away before coming home very late. Losing an hour with the time change didn’t help much either! Good fun was had by all!
Happy Birthday, Kate!
Vegan Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
Makes enough frosting to top 24 cupcakes
1 cup vegan margarine, room temperature
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 Tablespoon cornstarch, sifted
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2- 2 Tablespoons soy creamer
Beat the margarine using an electric mixer until fluffy.
Add the sugar, cornstarch and salt then beat for 3 minutes more.
Pour in the vanilla and creamer then beat for another 5 minutes or until the frosting is light and fluffy.
Pipe or spread the frosting on to your cakes as desired.