….but mini cupcakes are apparently ok 😉 .
I don’t really know what my deal is with cupcakes/ cake. It’s definitely not really my favourite dessert. However, I understand it’s portability and variability so I can see why other people consider it the dessert of champions (although I’m sure that actual champions don’t regularly partake in dessert. Or maybe they do? Would that add a whole other level of sweet sweet victory? Who knows? All I know is that I will never be a champion. No dessert? If that’s the trade off then I might as well kick the bucket right now 😉 ).
Anyway, due to me considering cake to be one of the more boring desserts, virtually guaranteed to initiate my “ho-hum” mode, I almost never make plain old cake or cupcakes. Both must have more than just cake and icing going for them. So if you ever find yourself in a position in which you are eating a cupcake, cake (or mini cupcake) made by me, it more then likely has some sort of delicious filling as well.
In addition to my obvious love of maple (see last week’s post), another flavour profile I’m a super fan of is citrus. It has so many positives! Apparently you can use lemon juice to do everything from deodorizing virtually anything, to exfoliating your skin to stimulating hair growth (which is probably great for your head hair, but uh…maybe you don’t want to start using that everywhere? Unless of course you have a living miniature Rapunzel who is desirous of scaling your entire body via a rope ladder made of your body hair. Also, if it works super well, I suppose you could save on clothes and just tell everyone you’re wearing fur now (although saying that will of course bring on the wrath of hard core animal rights activists, so be prepared for your pelt to be covered in red paint shortly after you make this declaration. Although maybe lemon juice could help get the red paint out? Such a miracle fruit 😉 )). Sorry for all the asides, I just can’t help myself. Asides aside though, citrus has the other super fun property of observing babies (or anyone for that matter) trying it for the first time and that adorably unhappy sourpuss face that they make. Another fun activity? Do you, like me, ever try to lure your cats over to the couch because you want to pet them but are too lazy to get up and they ignore you entirely? Try using a lemon and pretending it’s food that you’ll give to them. They run right over thinking they’re getting a delicious cat treat, but instead, they make hilarious citrus face! Suck it cat, that’ll teach you to come when I call! (actually, I think this plan tends to backfire and they become even less likely to come when you call. Totally worth it for that one second of entertainment however. Hopefully this doesn’t make everyone now think of me as someone who endorses animal cruelty. What I’m really endorsing is animal trickery 😉 …big difference).
Look at how adorable these look though – or is that just me? They’re so bright and fruity tasting/ looking that it makes me long for summer (or at least spring. Oh seasons, why do you thwart me so? Summer, I so love your warmth and sunshiny-ness, I just don’t understand why you would ever leave me when I show such love for you? Was is something I said? Or maybe you just think I’m too stalkerish and you find it somewhat off putting? I can be better I swear! Please, just don’t leave me!!! (I have no shame and am clearly perfectly fine displaying my desperation for all the world to see).
Summer – consider these an homage to you. An homage which, unlike my lemons as jerkish cat bait, I’m hopeful will have you come out of hiding and grace us all with your fun, whimsical, beautiful…*insert long list of flattering terms here*….presence. Let me know when you’re back in town – we’ll do lunch.
Yield: 25-30 mini cupcakes (or makes about a dozen full sized cupcakes)
- 1 1/2 cups cake/pastry flour
- 1 cup cane sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup vegan butter room temperature (i.e. slightly softened)
- 2 egg replacers
- 1/2 cup almond milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon orange extract
- zest from one medium sized orange
- cane sugar (optional – for sprinkling on top)
- 1/2 cup apricot jam
- 1/2 cup orange marmalade
- 1 tablespoon orange liqueur
- 1/4 cup vegan butter
- 1/4 cup vegan cream cheese (I used Tofutti)
- 2 cups icing sugar
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1 teaspoon lemon extract
- Preheat oven to 325F (170C)
- Line mini cupcake pans with mini cupcake liners.
- In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder and salt).
- With a mixer on medium speed, add the butter by heaping teaspoonfuls. Add 4-5 teaspoons and mix to incorporate into the flour mixture. Repeat until all the butter has been incorporated. It’s ok if it’s not completely mixed in, you just don’t want any large chunks of butter.
- Add egg replacer one egg at a time.
- In a separate small bowl, whisk together the almond milk, vanilla, and orange extracts and orange zest. Add this slowly to the rest of the dough mixture. Beat until just incorporated (try not to overmix).
- Divide the batter evenly among your prepared mini cupcake liners (you can fill them pretty much to the top). Bake about 18-20 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool completely (very important to cool completely before adding the filling as the cupcakes will likely fall apart when you cut into them if they’re too warm).
- While they’re cooling, in a small bowl, combine the apricot jam, orange marmalade and orange liqueur.
- Using a teaspoon (or bread knife), carefully cut a circle into the top of the mini cupcake and scoop out some of the cake so that you have a well in the center. Fill with the jam filling and replace the “cap” carefully on top.
- In a small mixing bowl, cream together the vegan butter and vegan cream cheese.
- Mix in the lemon zest and lemon extract.
- Add the icing sugar 1/2 a cup at a time until it reaches a spreadable consistency.
- Ice the cupcakes with your lemon frosting. Sprinkle with cane sugar if desired.
- Store in the refrigerator.