Fluffy White Cupcakes

Cupcakes (2)

In the past, I’ve outsourced birthday party cakes to vegan bakeries in our area, but this year I decided to be brave and go homemade. I’m happy to report these cupcakes are nearly foolproof, and were a huge hit!

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 and 1/2 cups vanilla soy milk
  • 2 and 1/8 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 and 1/8 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 and 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
  1. Line 20 muffin cups with paper liners (find a color that fits your party theme!), and coat with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Pour the cider vinegar into a measuring cup, and add soy milk to equal 1 and 1/2 cups; this will sour the mixture.
  3. Meanwhile combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl; set aside.
  4. Combine the soy milk mixture in the bowl of a stand mixer with the canola oil, vanilla, and coconut extract. Add the flour mixture, beating until combined.
  5. Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake liners (about 1/4 cup batter per cupcake).
  6. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and cool completely before frosting.

Cupcakes (1)

Ok, I did cheat on the frosting and opted for a jar of Wholesome Sweeteners’ vanilla flavor. Go homemade on the frosting too if you have the time!

Track the Moon

track moon (5)

Although we weren’t in the path for July 27th’s remarkable eclipse, it got us thinking about the moon… That and the suggestion from High Five magazine to track the moon over a few days of its cycle.

We began about ten days out from the full moon, noting it as thumbnail-sized and high in the sky in the mid-afternoon. It grew for a few days before we lost it to a string of cloudy days – oh no!

Track Moon (1)

Luckily the clouds parted by the time we had a three-quarter moon, and then a gorgeous full moon rise on July 26/27.

Track moon (2)

Each day, have your child tell you what they’ve observed, and then draw a picture or words to accompany it (older kids can, of course, draw the moon themselves!). This is a great way to show kids how the moon changes in a cycle. Travis loved spotting craters, too, and noticing how much brighter the moon is by night than by day.

Moon rise can be late (8.20 pm for the full one in our area!) but it’s one of those perfect summer excises to stay up late. Why not make a night of it? Go out for ice cream (thanks Ben&Jerry’s non-dairy!), have story time right in the ice cream parlor, and watch the moon rise before heading home to bed.

Track moon (3)

The next full moon will be August 26, giving you one more chance before summer’s out (hint hint!).