Dairy Free Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes for Easter

IMG_0682I love strawberries. And strawberry shortcake. And who doesn’t love cupcakes?! This recipe is adapted from one from Oishii Treats, I doctored it to make them a little lighter, and opted for a whipped cream (dairy free!!) topping rather than buttercream frosting.

IMG_0689I was lucky enough to be home for Easter, so I got to make these for my family! I forgot to bring my camera, however, so pardon the poor quality cell phone pictures!

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Ingredients:

Makes about 14 cupcakes

  • IMG_06771 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup cake flour
  • 1/2 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup earth balance buttery spread
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • IMG_06801 cup fresh, finely diced strawberries
  • 1 package of Soyatoo
  • 1/2 cup fresh, finely diced strawberries

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line your cupcake pans with paper liners.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk together to mix and set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy (about 3-5 minutes).
  4. Add the vanilla extract to the butter mixture. IMG_0678Then add the eggs one at a time.
  5. Reduce speed to low and add in the milk and flour mixture in 2 batches, starting with the flour and alternating with the milk.
  6. Fold in the diced strawberries with a spatula.
  7. Fill your cupcake liners 3/4 full with batter.
  8. Bake for 18-20 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  9. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.
  10. Once the cupcakes are completely cool, prepare the whipped topping:
  11. Whip all of the Soyatoo in an electric mixture fitted with whisk attachment.
  12. IMG_0679Fold in in diced strawberries.
  13. Top your cupcakes with whip cream, and devour!!!! We ate all of ours in a day!

 

 

 

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Ginger Beer Bundt Cake for My One Year Blogiversary!

Yesterday was my one year Blogiversary! I can’t believe it has already been a year, but I made this delicious cake to celebrate! I love ginger, and cake; also I don’t enjoy anything pumpkin flavored but this is a great alternative that still tastes of Fall spice! This recipe came from Spicy Icecream and is definitely worth trying!

Also this was the first time I used my new bundt pan that I had gotten for my birthday. With my old one the top always burned, but this cooked perfectly!!

Ingredients:

  •  3 cups plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons ground ginger (or to taste)
  • 250g unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 ¾ cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup almond milk
  • 1 cup ginger beer

Ginger Beer Glaze

  •  ½ cup ginger beer, or ginger beer cordial
  •  Approximately 5 cups icing sugar, sifted for a thick glaze, I only used 4 because I like it runny and not as sweet
  •  1-2 teaspoons ground ginger

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 175°F (350°F).
  2. Generously butter pan and dust with flour, knocking out the excess.
  3. Sift together the dry ingredients – flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and ginger.
  4. Beat together the butter and sugar in an electric mixer at medium speed until pale and fluffy. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat in vanilla extract.
  5. Combine milk and ginger beer in a jug.
  6. Alternately add flour mixture and milk alternately in batches, beginning and ending with flour mixture, mixing until just combined.
  7. Spoon batter into prepared pan, smoothing and spreading evenly. Gently tap pan on counter to eliminate air bubbles.
  8. Bake for about 1 hour, until a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool in pan for 1 hour, then invert onto a rack and cool completely.
  9. To make the glaze, whisk icing sugar 1 cup at a time into the ginger beer until it reaches a consistency that will drizzle slowly and not run off the cake. Whisk in ground ginger to taste. Once the cake has cooled, place it on a wire rack over a baking pan and drizzle glaze on top. You might need to go over it a few times to get a nice thick glaze.
  10. Make sure to serve this with a cup of tea! They make a great pair!

Smores Hand Pies

So I originally made these for the 4th of July but never got around to posting about them.  Luckily they have become relevant again for two reasons. First: it is HOT in southern California. Like 90 degrees. So it still feels like summer, which makes summer treats appropriate. Second, and more importantly: yesterday was election day! I am so proud that our country spoke up and re-elected President Obama, and that same sex marriage has been protected in four states! AMERICA!!!!!

I am very saddened that Prop 37 which would have required food containing GMOs to be labeled as so did not pass, but this was just the beginning. The fight against GMOs will continue!

Anyway, these pies were so yummy. They require a bit of backstory: back in April, my wonderful mother bought me a Breville electric personal pie maker (she knows me so well) and this was my first time using it. The manual suggest using puff pastry, but I love my mom’s pie crust that I went ahead and made my own from scratch!

It’s simple. You press your crust into the pie maker, then add in some graham cracker crumbs or chunks and some chocolate chips. Cook until the pie crust begins to brown on the edges, then, while they are still hot, top with marshmallows. And that’s it! Your own personal smores pie!

 

Goat Cheese Brownies

I have no excuse for how long it’s been, I have just been lazy!! But school is starting back up in just two days and I’m shaking off the laziness!  Some gooey chocolatey treats should help…

This recipe is from Une Gamine dans la cuisine, and it is fabulous.  These brownies have a regular chocolate brownie layer, a goat cheese layer, and then a melty frosting layer.  TO DIE FOR.  This one has a lot of steps, but do not fear!  They are worth it.

Ingredients:

For the brownie layer:

  • 8 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 3 pieces
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp. baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

For the cheese layer:

  • 6 oz goat cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 1 egg

 

For the frosting:

  • 4 oz of goat cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (that’s 4 Tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups of confectioners’ sugar (have at least one more cup on hand, just in case the frosting is too thin)
  • 2 Tablespoons of honey
  • 1 Tablespoon of milk

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 F.
  2. Line a 9×13-inch pan with foil, butter the foil and set the pan aside.
  3. Prepare the brownie layer: Fill a saucepan with about 1-inch of water and bring to just a simmer. Place the chopped chocolate and 3 Tablespoons of butter into a heat-proof bowl. Set the bowl over the saucepan (be sure that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water).
  4. Melt the chocolate and butter, stirring occasionally, until smooth. As soon as it’s smooth, remove the bowl from the heat and set it aside to cool.
  5. Cheese layer: In a medium-size bowl, beat the cheese and 2 Tablespoons of butter on medium speed for about 1 minute (just to combine).
  6. Add 1/4 cup of sugar and beat on medium speed until fluffy.
  7. Add 1/4 cup of flour, honey, and 1 egg. Beat well (about 2-4 minutes). Set the bowl aside.
  8. Back to the brownie layer: Beat the 2 eggs on medium speed till foamy.
  9. Add 1 1/4 cups of sugar, milk, and vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes.
  10. Add the cooled, melted chocolate. Beat till combined.
  11. Using a large spatula, stir in 1 cup of flour, baking Powder, salt.
  12. Spread half of the chocolate batter into prepared pan.
  13. Spread the cheese filling over the chocolate batter.
  14. Using large spoon-filled dollops, drop the remaining chocolate batter over the cheese filling.
  15. Drag a thin metal spatula through both the cheese and chocolate mixtures. Try not to overdo it, a few swirls here and there will go a long way.
  16. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the center is set.
  17. Remove the pan from the oven and onto a cooling rack. Cool completely before frosting.
  18. For the frosting: In a large bowl, beat the softened goat cheese and butter together on medium-low speed till creamy.
  19. Add the confectioners’ sugar in 1/2 cup increments, beating well after each addition.
  20. Add the honey and milk. Beat on medium-high speed until creamy.
  21. Spread over the cooled brownies and cut into squares.

 

Homemade Funfetti Cupcakes

I made these for Employee Appreciation Week at my work, and they really were fun to make (as you’ll see from the many photos I took)!  This recipe for funfetti from scratch comes from Freutcake, and it is fabulous!

Matt takes a bite!

I made the silly mistake of buying sprinkles with brown sprinkles in the mix, and I did not want brown spots in my funfetti so I spent a good hour picking out the brown sprinkles before I even began baking. So, for all of you readers, if you decided to make these, do not buy sprinkles with brown ones unless you are okay with brown spots in your otherwise colorful funfetti cupcakes!

Ingredients for Vanilla Funfetti Cake:

  • 5 large egg whites at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup whole milk, at room temperature
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into cubes
  • 1/3 cup rainbow sprinkles

Ingredients for Vanilla Frosting:

  • 3 sticks + 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened and cut into cubes
  • 3 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons milk (I used nonfat)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • generous pinch of salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line cupcake tins with paper liners
  2. In a medium bowl or measuring cup, combine and stir the egg whites, 1/4 cup of milk, and the vanilla. Set aside (somewhere your cat can’t get to it-mine did and quickly threw it up, making more work for me).
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the dry ingredients together on low speed (I use the “stir” setting on my mixer) for 30 seconds.
  4. Add the butter and remaining 1/2 cup of milk, and mix on low speed until just moistened. Increase to medium speed and mix for 90 seconds.
  5. Scrape the sides of the bowl and begin to add the egg mixture in 3 separate batches; beat on medium speed for 20 seconds after each addition.
  6. Divide the batter between cupcake tins filling cups 3/4 of the way full.
  7. Bake 15-18 minutes, rotating tins half way through baking.
  8. When the cupcakes are completely cool, frost them!
  9. For the frosting: whip butter for 8 minutes on medium speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Butter will become very pale & creamy.
  10. Add remaining ingredients and mix on low speed for 1 minute, then on medium speed for 6 minutes. Frosting will be very light, creamy, and fluffy.
  11. Once cupcakes are frosted, top with sprinkles to make them more fun!

Devil’s Food Cake with Vanilla Frosting for my Brother’s High School Graduation

This past weekend my little brother graduated from high school, and I felt old.  But I also feel very proud and so happy for him to be going onto college (especially because he is coming to the same one I go to!!).  I asked him if I could make him anything for the special day, and he asked for devil’s food cake with vanilla frosting.  I found the cake recipe at The Cooking Photographer, and the icing recipe at Lisa is Hungry. The two recipes complemented one another very well, and my brother enjoyed the cake!

Ingredients for the cake:

  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 
1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/3 cups cold water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

Ingredients for the frosting:

  • 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease and flour two 9 inch, 8 inch, or a 13×9 inch pan.
  3. In a large mixing bowl beat shortening with an electric mixer on medium high to high speed for 30 seconds.
  4. Add sugar and vanilla; beat until well combined.
  5. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each.
  6. Add cocoa powder, salt and water and mix well.
  7. Mix in the baking soda then add flour beating on low speed until combined.
  8. Pour batter into the prepared pan(s).
  9. Bake for 33 to 40 minutes or until a wooden toothpick comes out clean.
  10. Cool layer cakes in pan for 10 minutes.
  11. Run a knife along the edges and remove cakes from pans.
  12. Cool thoroughly on wire racks.
  13. Make your frosting: Beat the powdered sugar and butter together in an electric mixer fit with a paddle attachment on medium low speed until the mixture comes together and is well mixed. Turn the mixer speed to low.
  14. Combine the milk and the vanilla extract and slowly stream it into the butter and sugar mixture.
  15. Once incorporated, turn the mixer to high and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy, at least 5 minutes. The longer the frosting is beaten, the fluffier and lighter it becomes.
  16. Give to your baby brother for his graduation.

Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Glaze

I don’t really like cinnamon rolls, but something about this recipe from Buttered Up looked and sounded really appealing.  I was a little intimidated having never baked with yeast, but the result was gooey and delicious, and much better than those store bought ones in those pressurized-can things.

Ingredients for the dough:

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons rapid rise yeast (from 2 envelopes yeast)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • nonstick vegetable oil spray

Ingredients for the Filling:

  • 3/4 cup packed golden brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter (at room temperature)
  • 1/4 cup chopped almonds

 

 

Ingredients for the Glaze (I apologize, I never got a picture of them!!):

  • 4 ounces cream cheese (at room temperature)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter (at room temperature)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Start by preparing your dough.  Combine milk and butter and melt until mixture is just warmed, about 30 to 45 seconds, then pour into bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
  2. Add 1 cup of flour, sugar, yeast, egg, and salt.  Beat on low speed 3 minutes.
  3. Add 2 1/2 cups flower.  Beat on low until flour is absorbed and dough is sticky.  If dough is too sticky, add more flour by tablespoonfuls until dough begins to form a ball and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
  4. Lightly oil a large bowl with nonstick spray, transfer the dough to the bowl, turning to coat.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, then a kitchen towel.
  5. Let dough rise in a warm, draft-free area until it has doubled in volume (about 2 hours).
  6. Next make your filling.  Mix the brown sugar, cinnamon, and almonds in a medium bowl.
  7. Punch down the dough.  Transfer it to a floured work surface, and roll out to a 15×11 inch rectangle.
  8. Spread the butter over the dough, leaving a 1/2 inch border.
  9. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar evenly over the butter.
  10. Starting at one long side, roll the dough into a log, pinching gently to keep it rolled up.
  11. With the seam side down, cut dough with a thin sharp knife into about 18 equal slices, each about 1/2 to 3/4 inch wide.
  12. Spray two 9-inch square baking dishes with nonstick spray.
  13. Divide rolls between baking dishes; there will be almost no space between rolls.
  14. Cover baking dishes with plastic wrap, then kitchen towel.  Let dough rise in a warm draft-free area until almost doubled in volume, about 40-45 minutes.
  15. Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 375. Bake rolls until tops are golden, about 20 minutes.
  16. Remove from oven and invert immediately onto rack. Cool 10 minutes, then turn rolls right side up.
  17. Next make your glaze.  Combine cream cheese, powdered sugar, butter, and vanilla in the bowl of a mixer.  Beat until smooth, then spread glaze on rolls.
  18. Serve and devour!!!

Sid was sad to never get her grubby little paws on any of these, but she did manage to get a little butter on her nose!