Hot Cocoa Cupcakes


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Our final recipe from the Fireside Feast Raddish Kit was dessert of course – cupcakes that look like a little mug of hot cocoa! This was the perfect baking activity on a cold winter Sunday, with Travis an eager participant.

He’s becoming familiar now with Raddish’s recipe cards, took one look, and exclaimed, “Whoa, so many ingredients!” Plus he noticed the recipe had 12 steps. So let’s get started. Meanwhile mama continues to love the way that the easy pictures help even non-readers dictate what happens in the recipe.

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First, we combined the dry ingredients in a bowl: 3/4 cup flour, 1/2 cup cocoa powder, 3/4 teaspoon baking powder, 3/4 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon salt. The emphasis for this recipe was on measuring dry ingredients (with those excellent dry measuring cups he received), so I made sure Travis was the one to measure, woe be it to the mess.

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Teach your child to scoop a large amount so it heaps over the top, then level with a finger or butter knife.

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Next, we mixed wet ingredients in a second bowl: 1 Ener-G egg, 1 cup sugar, 1/4 cup canola oil, 1 cup non-dairy milk (we used unsweetened coconut milk) and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until smooth.

I showed Travis how to line muffin cups with paper liners – he loved it!

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We poured the batter into a liquid measuring cup, which was a fantastic trick. This way we could be sure each muffin cup contained 1/4 cup of the batter.

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Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes – a wooden pick inserted in the centers should come out clean.

While the cupcakes cook, make the frosting. Raddish’s suggested alternative for vegan diets (which they always provide, wow!), is to make your favorite vegan buttercream frosting instead, but we hewed closer to the original recipe, and subbed in ricemellow creme for a jar of Marshmallow Fluff. This didn’t make the best frosting, as it turns out, so you may want to skip this bit and make your best buttercream right now!

But in our stand mixer, we combined 3/4 cup softened Earth Balance butter, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Beat until creamy. Add 7 ounces of the ricemellow creme and 2 tablespoons additional milk. Beat until smooth.

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Smooth the frosting onto the cupcakes with a butter knife.

We topped each with 5 mini Dandies marshmallows. The recipe suggested mini candy canes on the sides, as mug “handles.” If you don’t have minis, just break the hook off a large candy cane, and use those instead.

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For additional learning, the recipe card also pointed out what each ingredient in the recipe does, in terms of baking chemistry – fat for fluffiness, flour for structure etc. Here we are checking to make sure the leaveners in the recipe are doing their job!

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There were also fun facts about hot cocoa’s history and current state around the world. We learned that in Spain and Italy, for instance, hot cocoa includes cornstarch, and is more like a chocolate pudding! And now he’s a Fireside Feast graduate:

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