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"Just be who you are, calm and clear and bright." - Richard Bach, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah

Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World


One Halloween several years back my dear friend Kelly B. threw a party at her apartment in Manhattan. She asked me to make the icing for the cupcakes she’d baked, and I completely botched it. Oblivious to the bag of confectioner’s sugar waiting on the shelf, I’d used granulated sugar instead, and consequently chewing through the icing was like eating a 50/50 mix of sugar and sand. My poor friend was aggravated (and rightfully so) by my ridiculous lapse of common sense.

I avoided baking cupcakes for a long time after that. Cake baking in general became something of a needless ordeal.

But this is the new CAN-DO ME, remember! So I decided that 2015 should be the year I became a totally confident baker, with the help of my roomie Kelly T.’s much-loved copy of Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World.

And now would you look at me!:



First I baked two batches for our Winter Solstice party: pumpkin chocolate chip and gluten-free vanilla (with a teaspoon of cardamom thrown in there for a little pizzazz). Hilariously enough, a holiday gift of Babycakes arrived soon afterward from my wonderful agent Kate Garrick.




Then a couple weeks ago I baked a batch of gluten-free carrot cupcakes from a Babycakes recipe for a Writers’ Room event and a party with my yoga buds—they were good, but not as delicious as the recipes I’d tried so far from Isa Chandra and Terry Hope Romero. (My tastebuds were probably swayed somewhat by the fact that the whole cupcake-batter-in-a-blender thing totally did not work for me. I’d just received my brand-new Vitamix, so it’s not like I was using a toothless old blender! More on the Vitamix soon, btw.)

Then for the yoga and writing workshop Brynne and I hosted last weekend, I baked gingerbread with lemon frosting out of Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World and gluten-free lavender chocolate with agave coconut cream. I’d baked the gingerbread before (to sweeten up the cabin-fevery evening after a snow day), so I knew they’d be totally awesome, but the lavender chocolate was divine in a more subtle and unexpected way. You taste the chocolate first, and then there’s a lovely lavender aftertaste. I also appreciated the lightness of the coconut cream icing. (Forgot to get pics during the workshop, but I will take one next time.)



Gingerbread with lemon frosting out of Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World.


I’ll be baking these two recipes plus a couple new ones for the big launch event at Porter Square Books this Saturday, so cupcakes part 2 is coming next week. I’ll leave you here with a bit of baking advice. Whether or not you are vegan, if you want your baked goods to come out well, you need to do two things:

1. Be precise. (I like to pretend I’m a scientist in my laboratory.)

2. Use the right equipment. You can make icing without a mixer, but it will not turn out anywhere near as fluffy and even.

As always, gaining competence with any skill or endeavor has everything to do with a positive attitude—even if you have to throw your early efforts in the trash!


1 Comment to Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World

  1. Kate's Gravatar Kate
    March 22, 2015 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    Never throw any baking efforts in the trash. They are always edible!!

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Hi! I'm Camille. I only write stories that could never ever happen in real life, though I do believe in real-life magic. If we were in the same room I'd fix you a cup of tea, but for now we'll have to settle for a virtual connection. I'm really glad you're here.