Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

I've been in a really dessert-y mood lately, so please forgive all of the sweets! I hope to post more savory dishes soon. These are red velvet cupcakes that I doctored up from a box. I don't normally use boxes when baking, but Sam wanted to these and I couldn't refuse. I looked around at how to veganize a cake mix and eventually just did my own thing. It worked really well for this particular mix, but I don't know if it would work on others. I also have a recipe for doctored-up cream cheese frosting from a can-- with no Tofutti! My store doesn't carry it and it seems expensive so I never get it but this frosting is delicious without out it!

Red Velvet Cupcakes


- 1 box Duncan Hines red velvet cake mix
- 0.5 tsp baking powder

- 1.25 cups unsweetened soymilk
- 2 T apple cider vinegar
- 0.5 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 6 T light margarine, melted

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F and set up cupcake liners in a cupcake pan. This recipe made 21 cupcakes for me, so I had to do it in batches for my 12 spot cupcake pan.
  2. Whisk together the baking powder and the cake mix in a mixing bowl.
  3. Combine the vinegar and soymilk in a jar and let sit for a few minutes, them screw the lid on and shake (you can probably just mix it up with a fork or something). This creates a vegan buttermilk substitute.
  4. Add the "buttermilk", applesauce, and margarine and whisk well to combine (I just used a fork to be honest).
  5. Spoon into liners (about 2/3-3/4 full) and pop into the oven for about 22 minutes. Check with a toothpick for doneness-- there will still be a few crumbs on the toothpick, but nothing too liquidy.
  6. Cool in preparation for frosting.
Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting

- 1 can (or 2) Pillsbury cream cheese flavored frosting (Duncan Hines has one too, but I wasn't sure if it was vegan)
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar

  1. Empty the can into a bowl and use electric beaters to whip it.
  2. Add the lemon juice and vinegar-- I thought this made the frosting taste even more like cream cheese, but Sam thought it was a bit too tart, so maybe decrease it to 1/2 or 1/4 tsp each or just use as is if you want.
  3. Chill the frosting.
  4. Fill a pastry bag with an open star tip and get started making cream cheese roses! (The frosting roses melted a bit after the pictures. This frosting is a little melty for this technique, so feel free to decorate however you want if the melty-rose look doesn't do it for you). But this technique is really awesome so go use it with some buttercream if you have any laying around! Tutorial here.
 Enjoy your cupcakes!

For 1 cupcake out of 21: cals: 124kcal | fat: 4.24g | carbs: 19.70g | prot: 1.56g
For frosting check out the can- I think about 140 for 2 T. The add-ins don't add many calories

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Spicy Lemon Dressing

I haven’t posted many savory recipes yet because I’ve been mostly living off of cupcakes and ramen noodles lately. I just haven’t been feeling the cooking vibe—this may have something to do with the fact that my kitchen needs serious cleaning. But I did make a dressing today that is really delicious on noodles, barley, or whatever other grain. I like to add veggies and beans and call it a meal, and if the grains and beans are already cooked its very quick. This dressing is inspired by OhSheGlows though I can't find the recipe I originally adapted it from.


Spicy Lemon Dressing


6T olive oil
6T lemon juice
2T water
2 t apple cider vinegar
1/2 T fresh ground black pepper
1/2 T salt
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder


Combine everything in a jar or salad dressing container, secure the lid, and shake. Eat on everything. Enjoy!

Per 2 T: cals: 110kcal | fat: 11.86g | carbs: 1.49g | prot: 0.20g

Today I had this with some whole wheat rotini, frozen defrosted peas, and parsley for lunch. It was super yummy and refreshing!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Birthday Cupcakes!

I made cupcakes! These are for a friend of mine-- her birthday is today! We have a city league kickball game today and I'm bringing these to the game. I found these super cute sports-themed cupcake liners at the store and thought they'd be perfect for bring goodies to a game and now that a birthday has come up, it's perfect timing.

I made chocolate and vanilla cupcakes with vanilla buttercream and brown sugar buttercream. The ones with sprinkles have a chocolate truffle center.

I made everything a day in advance and then just assembled today. I would definitely recommend making at least the vanilla cupcakes in advance-- they tasted funny at first but taste great the next day!


Vanilla cupcakes I got from here.
This recipe made 14 cupcakes, which took about 17 minutes to bake at 350 F.

For the chocolate cupcakes I used the recipe from my rose cake here.
This made 10 cupcakes which baked for 15 minutes at 350 F.

The truffle center was my own recipe as follows:

4 ounces baker's unsweetened chocolate
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
3 tablespoons corn syrup
2 tablespoons margarine
1/2 cup soymilk
1/4 cup powdered sugar

Chop the chocolate and add to a bowl with syrup and margarine. Heat soymilk and pour over chocolate. Stir for about a minute until chocolate is dissolved then add powdered sugar. Refrigerate until completely chilled. This will make way more than you need for 1/2 the cupcakes (maybe not too much more if you do all of them) but more truffle filling is never bad, right? Just roll into balls and roll in cocoa powder and you have homemade chocolates!

For the brown sugar buttercream I used the recipe from here. I added about 3/4 tsp molasses because it wasn't brown-sugar-y enough for my tastes and I think it turned out great!

And for the vanilla buttercream I just used a hand mixer to mix together 1/4 cup shortening with 1/4 cup margarine and beat in about 1 lb powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons of water. You can also add vanilla extract or bean, but I was out of both-- so I guess mine's just kind of neutral buttercream, not vanilla after all.


I used 20 of the 24 cupcakes because that's all that would fit into my cake carrier. I cut a cone-shaped piece out of half of the cupcakes (5 chocolate and 5 vanilla) and molded some of the truffle ganache into a cone to push into each one.

Then I frosted half of those with brown sugar frosting (the star-tip swirly ones) and the other half with vanilla (the smoother ones). I added coarse sugar sprinkles to the ones with truffle centers so you could tell them apart. Then I frosted the rest. So since I mixed it up so much you can have a chocolate cupcake with vanilla frosting, or a vanilla cupcake with a truffle center and brown sugar frosting, or a chocolate cupcake with brown sugar frosting.... or so on.... so many possibilities!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Champagne Citrus Sorbet

It's been forever since I've posted. I was really sick and then really busy but things have calmed down now-- thank goodness! This is what I chose to do with my first minutes of freedom. It is just ridiculously good. I had some champagne hanging around from Valentine's Day that had lost it's fizz, so I didn't really want to drink it, but I didn't want to waste it either. If you made this with a fresh bottle, it might retain some of it's fizzyness-- that would be amazing. Anyway, this is amazing too.

Champagne Citrus Sorbet
makes 5 .5 cup servings


1.5 cups champagne, divided
.5 cup sugar
1 T corn syrup
1 cup freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
.5 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp zest (from just grapefruit or mixed)

  1. Add 3/4 cup champagne, sugar, and corn syrup to a small pan. Bring to a low boil and then simmer, stirring, for about 10 minutes, until sugar is completely dissolved and some of the alcohol has cooked out.
  2.  Pour into a bowl, add the rest of the ingredients, and stir.
  3. Chill overnight (or in the freezer for a while) and then freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's directions. Transfer to your storage container and freeze about 2 hours before scooping. Because of the alcohol in this recipe, it won't freeze solid and stays scoopable!
  • I'm sure you can use other kinds of citrus or even other fruits (I'm thinking strawberry!)
  • You can increase the sugar if you want, up to a cup, but I didn't find it necessary.
  • You can omit the corn syrup, but it's supposed to give it a smoother feel.
  • You can omit the zest, which I might do next time since the sorbet itself is so smooth. I couldn't decide if the zest detracted from the texture or added some interest. Either way, it's delicious.

cals: 176kcal | fat: 0.10g | carbs: 31.55g | prot: 0.51g

Adapted from here http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/champagne_sorbet/ and here http://userealbutter.com/2012/01/05/pink-grapefruit-champagne-sorbet-recipe/