For this week, the theme is behind the scenes. Today, we give you a behind the scenes look at Laura’s test run of her birthday cake, as she has a birthday coming up at the end of October. However, since we’re now starting to get overwhelmed by so much cake and desserts we’ve been prepping in advance for MoFo, I think Laura has sadly decided to not make her own birthday cake on her actual birthday. She also felt a little disappointed in the way the outside of cake looked, and I’m trying to work my magic to help her feel better.
Cake decorating is not, as the saying goes “a piece of cake.” It’s actually pretty challenging! Laura’s goal was to make a cake that could show it’s easier than it looks, but now she’s not so sure since she struggled so much with it. These are important lessons for her to go through though, as it makes her stronger and helps her solve problems.
She had a great idea to make the unicorn’s hair out of cotton candy. The cotton candy is moldable and an edible version of fuzzy, fluffy hair!
She did use something that made making the five rainbow layers much easier. You can find them being sold lots of places now. They come as a set of 5 smaller cake pans for layer cakes. You only need one batch of cake (or a cake mix) to fill them all up.
She also made the decision to make an exception for using unnatural food colors this time. We wish natural colors were as vibrant and easy as these ones were. Sometimes you may want to give in and take the easier route, and as long as it’s still vegan, you’ll be okay.
The inside of the cake sure is a beauty! Tommorrow we’ll be sharing some of our best tips for making rainbow frosting effects.
As the first week begins to come to a close, I, Fluffy the Vegan Unicorn want to remind you that there’s no need to shame yourself or others for indulging in vegan desserts.
In fact, I had Laura whip up this drawing so you could see a sampling of my favorite desserts and my favorite types of vegan sugar you can use in them.
And here are some more of my favorite desserts not listed on the pyramid:
Gelatin-free gummy candy
Tell me, what is your favorite vegan, unicorn worthy dessert?
Thanks to this recipe for cake batter butter, I discovered that vegan butter extract exists, and started going a little overboard making all things cake batter.
Then I decided to make a raspberry cake batter smoothie.
It’s basically two cups nondairy milk, a scoop of vanilla protein powder (I use Vega Essentials), 1/3 cup frozen raspberries, one banana, 1/2 tsp vegan butter extract, 1/2 tsp almond extract, and 2 tsp vanilla extract. I also added in some vegan sprinkles, So Delicious coco whip to make it creamier (about 1/3 cup in the smoothie, and more for the topping), and drank it out of a fun straw. If you make the nut butter, you can also add a tablespoon or two into the blender.
PS: If you like vegan, gluten free, soy free, and protein packed waffles, check out the new Fitquick birthday cake flavor…I haven’t tried it yet but I love their stuff and can’t wait until I can!
Okay, I’m trying to juggle everything I’m doing with school and all that and also not feeling the last few days’ prompts. I had told myself a few days ago that even if I didn’t like the prompt, I would still write a blog entry because the point of MoFo is more about posting as many days as humanly possible for the month.
Today’s prompt was to “focus on a nutrient.” Who eats nutrients? 😛
So I’m going to do a Flashback Friday post! Since I probably have some new readers here now because of MoFo, I figured I’d flashback to a recipe I posted last MoFo! And, it just so happens I am actually making the recipe tonight! Because tomorrow my neighborhood is having a block party bbq thing, and I want to impress them with my cupcake skills (sadly I personally can’t eat them now because they have gluten in them).
Remember my raspberry lime rickey cupcakes? Well, that’s what I’m making. They were seriously my favorite before I had to give up gluten (at least I can still eat my favorite part though…the frosting!!).
I did an especially good job making the batter tonight. Sometimes I take too long and the coconut oil solidifies a bit while I’m mixing it. The trick I guess is to not use really cold almond milk and also to have everything ready and measured before I start making them (I’m impatient, what can I say?).
They look like they baked well too.
And here’s a picture from when I made them awhile ago.
Also, for my graduation speech thingy, I made these, as well as a cake made out of the batter because I forgot how much batter this makes and had doubled the recipe. Woops, but tasty.
Oh I also wore a tank top to the gym today that said “Bake the world a better place” which is so fitting for me. I didn’t take a picture though, and it’s too gross now to try and take one by putting it back on and taking one now. Haha. I will have to remember another time.
For my 30th birthday, which happens to be today, I had a bunch of fun stuff planned. The biggest thing was my run last weekend, in which I lived up to my blog’s name, and ran in a banana suit in the Providence (RI) Monster Dash 5k. I made a PR by about 2 minutes and it was soooo fun running in this costume:
It was a big hit with kids, especially. When I ran through the large crowd of people cheering us on, so many kids along the way would exclaim “there goes the banana!” And many of them put their little hands out to catch a high five from me as I ran past them…it was so cute. I waved to several of them, and even had a trifecta of 3 little kids put their hands out all at once that made me feel like I was a celebrity working the crowd. Haha. So that was cool, and I also plan to use this banana suit for more things for this blog, to make it funnier. You’ll see what is in store for it soon!
This morning, I made birthday cake waffles. I had some left over chocolate sauce from my candy apples and some strawberry syrup left from the strawberry frosted donut recipe that I put on top. Yum.
BIRTHDAY Cake Vegan Waffles
- 1 cup Immaculate yellow cake mix (found in my local Target in the baking section)
- 1 cup vegan bisquick mix (read labels)
- 1-2 scoops vanilla vegan protein powder (optional)
- 2 tbsp melted Earth Balance
- 1 tbsp applesauce
- 1 ½ cup vanilla almond milk
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp almond extract
- ¼ cup vegan non-pareille sprinkles (read label, I was able to find one without the confectioner’s glaze that’s in most sprinkles at my regular local grocery store, and instead has carnauba wax.
Mix all ingredients together and follow waffle iron’s directions to cook them. Makes about 5 waffles depending on your maker.
Tonight my family is making me a vegan vanilla cake, with raspberry filling and chocolate buttercream. I am making vegan crockpot buffalo ranch lasagna from this recipe for my dinner. I will share pictures later in a new post, maybe.
Also, I got three new cookbooks for my birthday present:
So far I have looked in Chloe’s book the most, and I was seriously drooling after that. I will be cooking out of these for awhile in the next few weeks I think, so get ready for me sharing some reviews and pictures! 🙂
Growing up as a kid in New England, I had a soft spot for Dunkin Donuts’ strawberry frosted donuts. Since they are not vegan, I can no longer eat them. But when I started experimenting with making frostings out of fruit-based syrups, I knew making something similar would be possible.
These donuts are quite cake-like, almost with a spongy texture. I still like them though. The frosting, however is wonderful. My mom said it is even better than the one at Dunkin Donuts. It is a bit different, however. But still quite good.
Makes 6 donuts in a single donut pan
For the donuts:
- 3/4 cup unbleached all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup organic evaporated cane juice
- 1 tsp baking powder
- generous dash of ground nutmeg
- 1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp almond milk
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp applesauce
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
For the strawberry syrup:
- 1/2 cup strawberries
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1/2 cup organic evaporated cane juice
For the frosting:
- 1 tbsp Earth Balance margarine stick
- 1 tbsp organic non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening
- 1 cup organic powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup strawberry syrup
For the donuts:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a mixing bowl, stir the flour, evaporated cane juice, baking powder, and nutmeg.
- In a separate small bowl or measuring cup, mix together the remaining donut ingredients.
- Pour into the dry ingredients and stir together until combined.
- Spray the donut pan with oil if your pan is not a non-stick pan.
- Spoon batter into the donut pan.
- Cook for 12-15 minutes or longer, until the donuts become slightly gold. Check after 12 minutes and gauge from there.
- Take out of the oven and let cool 10 minutes.
- Place onto a cooling rack. You may need to take a butter knife and gently ease them out.
To make the syrup:
- Combine ingredients in a small saucepan.
- Stir continuously with a wooden spoon over low heat until thick and hot.
- Strain into a bowl. Allow to cool.
- You will have extra leftover after making the frosting which you can use on all sorts of delicious things.
To make the frosting:
- Cream together the Earth Balance and shortening with an electric handheld or stand mixer.
- Add in the powdered sugar. It will remain clumpy.
- Fold in the syrup, it will become soft and fluffy.
To make the donuts (time to make the donuts!!):
- Spread frosting around the tops of the donuts.
- Decorate with vegan sprinkles on top, if desired.
Ugh, I’m so sad Vegan MoFo is over. This was a great month for me and my blog. I was worried I wouldn’t be able to pull it off, as I started a new college program at the same time. I did it though! And my blog got featured on the Vegan MoFo Roundup, mid way through. I had met all the success markers I had set for myself in participating in this, including over 500 views. I actually doubled that amount! This was my most successful month of blogging to date, which is not surprising as MoFo provides a lot of the ability to be successful by participating in it. The trick is to a stress-free MoFo while being quite busy, I found, is to plan it out early. I made a calendar of recipes in advance, tested them, photographed them and did not stray too much from that!
I met and interacted with a lot of great bloggers that I haven’t been able to before, which was really nice. I have a bunch of new vegan blogs to follow now full of awesome people!
I have a lot of exciting things planned in the coming month as well, so don’t stop checking out my blog! Tonight I am going to be testing out a recipe for spinach raviolis with butternut squash and sage filling which I hope to post soon. I may even be doing a cooking demo for them in RI. October is my Birthday month, and I have a birthday cake waffle recipe I’ll be sharing soon! There will be other posts too that relate to my vegan education project for new vegans or people interested in becoming vegan, in which I’ll be addressing common concerns and how to deal with them. If you have any suggestions for things you’d like to see me cover, be sure to comment here or in the future.
Now, without further ado, let’s get the final Vegan MoFo recipe for Chamomile Lavender Cupcakes out!
Makes a dozen regular sized cupcakes.
For the cupcakes:
- 3/4 cup vegan sugar
- 1 tea bag worth of chamomile tea opened up, contents removed
- 1 tbsp dried culinary lavender
- 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted not solid
- 1 cup unflavored (plain) almond milk
- 1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
For the icing:
- 1 tbsp melted coconut oil
- 1/2 cup organic powdered sugar
- 1 tbsp and a few drops coconut creamer
- a couple drops of lavender extract (optional)
- vegan red and blue food coloring to make a lavender hue (optional)
Directions for the cupcakes:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cupcake tin with twelve cupcake liners.
- In a food processor, blend the sugar, chamomile tea and lavender until ground well and very fragrant. Be careful upon opening the food processor, as there will be powder coming out…don’t inhale!
- Melt the coconut oil.
- Whisk the sugar and herb mix, almond milk, and coconut oil in a medium large size mixing bowl.
- Mix in the baking soda and powder.
- Incorporate the flour in.
- Add vanilla extract and stir until everything is mostly smooth. The batter will be a bit clumpy with the coconut oil and that’s okay.
- Place about 2 tbsp of the batter in each muffin tin.
- Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle of the cupcake.
- Wait 5 minutes and then place on cooling racks. Allow to cool completely before decorating with the icing.
Directions for the icing:
- With a small whisk, mix up the coconut oil and powdered sugar in a small bowl until large crumbs form.
- Add the coconut creamer and whisk until smooth.
- Add the optional extract and food coloring and mix until satisfied.
- Use a frosting spatula and place a thin layer of the icing on each cupcake.
- Decorate with dried chamomile flowers.
Bye, Vegan Month of Food 2014! See you next year in 2015! I already cannot wait!