Like many vegans in my generation – I haven’t always felt that I was surrounded by people who truly understood where I was coming from.
I’ve always found that strange because to be perfectly honest I’ve never really understood why because I feel like I can trace my origins back like some kind of circuit diagram through 80s popular culture. I learned that vivisection is cruel from The Secret of Nimh and Project X. I learned that animals don’t want to be eaten from The Muppet Movie and that hunting was scary and pointlessly sad from The Muppet Show and Bambi. Circuses are indifferent to the wants and needs of the animals in their care from Dumbo and that wearing real animal fur is more than vanity – it’s just mean past the point of being a sane person from 101 Dalmatians. As I was learning that being a human being was a privilege, I also learned that it came with a responsibility to protect those who couldn’t protect themselves and that included their homes – from The Lorax.
Now it would be really easy right now for me to rant here about how the new Lorax movie is being used to greenwash companies that aren’t doing all they really can to live up to the message of this book but others have already done that and to be honest – this is my happy place. Here is where I focus on the positive things – like how this movie will hopefully introduce our friend with the orange mustache to a new generation and how I hope a handful of them grow up to continue where I will have to leave off someday.
Here is where I share cupcakes made with organic cotton candy. So please enjoy these cupcakes and remember:
“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing’s going to get better.”
The Cupcakes Unofficially Inspired by The Lorax
Dark Chocolate Cupcakes
2 1/4 Cups All Purpose Flour
1 2/3 Cups Sugar
3/4 Cup Margarine
2/3 Cup Baking Cocoa
1 Cup Brewed Coffee (room temperature)
1/4 Cup Almond Milk
1 1/4 teaspoons Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1/4 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon Applesauce
2 teaspoons EnerG Egg Replacer
3 Cups Powdered Sugar
1/3 Cup Margarine (softened)
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1/2 teaspoon Mint Extract
4 Drops Green Food Coloring (optional)
2 Tablespoons Soy Milk
2 Packages Cotton Candy
6-12 Bamboo Skewers
Heat oven to 350. Put your cupcake liners in your cupcake pan.
In a large bowl, blend all the cupcake ingredients with an electric hand mixer for around 2-3 minutes. You want your batter to be light and airy. I find it helpful to tilt the bowl slightly to help the batter get more more fluffy.
Fill each cupcake liner 2/3 of the way and bake for 5-8 minutes for mini cupcakes and 8-10 minutes for regular sized cupcakes. You’ll know they are ready when you can remove a bamboo skewer or toothpick form the center cleanly.
While you’re cupcakes are cooling, make your frosting. In your favorite mixing bowl, blend Powdered Sugar, Margarine, Vanilla, Mint Extract, Food Coloring and Soy Milk with an electric hand mixer until smooth and creamy. If it is a little thick blend in more Soy Milk or add more Powder Sugar if it is too thin.
Fill your frosting gun with the mint frosting but skip putting on the tip, then place your cupcake very close to the gun and press out a large dollap of frosting. I wanted mine to be all wonky like the hills in the book so I made mine a little off center but if you want them more uniform – cool!
Break your Bamboo Skewers to the desired length for your tree trunks and place them in your cupcake at the desired angle.
Now this might actually be the hardest part of this whole recipe. If your Cotton Candy already came in fluffs – you’re in luck but if it came in one large piece like mine – you’ll need to do a little tinkering to make your tree puffs. But here’s the part that is tricky, Cotton Candy melts when it is touched. So pour your Cotton Candy into a bowl and then using a fork gently fluff your Cotton Candy while gently twirling it to create a puff – that looks like cotton ball.
Then use your fork to place the Cotton Candy puff onto the Bamboo Skewer.
Now repeat that process about a dozen times for regular sized cupcakes or 2 dozen times for minis and you’ll have your own little forrest of magical trees – that ya know you’ll eat but you’ll eat them with a clear conscious knowing that no animals were harmed in the making of these treats that I hope will make us all excited again about The Lorax message and introduce him and veganism in a light hearted way to the little eaters in our lives.