Once upon a time in the little neighborhood of Ghent, I used to bake a lot of cupcakes.
I baked dozens and dozens of cupcakes. I baked for birthdays and parties, slow Wednesday nights, whatever. I just really like to bake, and cupcakes are easy to make vegan and pass out to various loved ones. I also find them just charming. I like their little wrappers and sprinkles and all the cute things you can do with them. I like injecting them with fruit or frosting. These little handfuls of adorably-shaped sugar were a nice outlet for some bottled-up creativity in my life.
But lately something has changed.
Since Dan and I started working our way through The Betty Crocker Cookbook, we’ve found ourselves faced with more creative outlets than we have room in the fridge. I know, I know. Your first instinct is to call “shenigans,” but seriously, we often find ourselves running out of hunger before we run out of casseroles and cookies. You know who pays the price in the end? The cupcakes. The neglected little cupcakes.
But now they’re back!
1 1/4 cups Sugar
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
1 cup Olive Oil
3 Tablespoons Applesauce
1 teaspoon EnerG Egg Replacer
2 1/3 cups Flour
2 teaspoons Cinnamon (ground)
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1/2 teaspoon Salt
3 cups Shredded Carrots
1/2 cup Chopped Walnuts
Heat oven to 350.
Spray a cupcake pan with Baking Spray – focus on the cups.
In a large bowl, mix Sugar, Brown Sugar, Oil, Applesauce and Egg Replacer with an electric hand mixer until smooth. Add Flour, Cinnamon, Baking Soda, Vanilla and Salt and blend until smooth.
If you bought pre-shredded carrots that don’t look like this, you’re going to want to crush them a little more with a Pastry Hand Blender, or chop them up a bit more using a food processor. You don’t want paste, just fine shavings or chips.
Stir your Carrots and Nuts into the Cake Batter (Ed. note: that’s what she said).
Take a soup spoon and make small balls about the size of of your cupcake pan cup. Place one Batter Ball in each cup in the pan and bake for 15-20 minutes for mini cupcakes, 20 -25 minutes for regular sized.
Once you can pull a toothpick out clean, let them cool on a wire rack – out of the pan.
Make sure they’re cool before you start frosting them. One of the best things about frosting is how it melts in your mouth… but it melts on hot cake too. Especially Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting.
Speaking of Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting:
Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting
1 package Vegan Cream Cheese (plain)
1/4 cup Margarine
2 teaspoons Soy Milk (vanilla)
1 teaspoon Vanilla
4 cups Powdered Sugar
Crushed Walnuts to sprinkle over the top
In a mixing bowl, beat Cream Cheese, Margarine, Soy Milk and Vanilla with an electric mixer on low until smooth.
Gradually mix in the Powdered Sugar, 1 cup at a time on a low speed to prevent one of those messy blow backs. Mix till smooth.
If you don’t have a frosting gun, you can use a knife to frost these, because the frosting is soft. Sprinkle with Crushed Walnuts and refrigerate to keep the frosting from melting.
PS – I do love some Natalie Dee!