Chocolate-Dipped Vegan Cupcakes

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It was a shame that the French pastry lesson was a bit lost on Travis for this final recipe from Le French Cafe. It’s the same frustration I used to encounter in my vegan blogging days; I’ve cooked almost every cuisine under the sun, and French egg recipes are the hardest to veganize.

However, I deeply appreciate that Raddish Kids always takes the time to offer vegan alternatives to every kit’s recipes; in this case, they honestly recommended making cupcakes instead, because vegan cream puffs just weren’t going to work. So we nixed the lesson on making a pate a choux, and just enjoyed whipping up this dessert!

First, Travis whisked 1 cup soy milk with 1 teaspoon cider vinegar. He remembered that this was because our baking soda would need an acid to react in the oven!

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In a large bowl, we combined 1 and 1/4 cups flour, 2 tablespoons cornstarch, 3/4 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Next we mixed together the soy milk mixture, 1/3 cup canola oil, 3/4 cup sugar, 1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, stirring until combined.

We divided the batter evenly among 12 muffin cups lined with liners, making them about 2/3 full. If I made the recipe again, I would coat the liners with cooking spray so they don’t stick to the cupcakes come serving time.

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Bake at 350 degrees for 22 minutes – a wooden pick inserted in the cupcakes should come out clean.

To assemble the cupcakes, cut in half with a serrated knife.

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Combine 1/4 cup non-dairy chocolate chips and 2 tablespoons Earth Balance butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for about 30 seconds, until melted.

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Spoon about 2 tablespoons non-dairy vanilla ice cream onto the bottom of each cupcake. Dip the tips in the melted chocolate mixture, letting any excess dip off, and place atop the ice cream. Travis was so proud of the way our little sundaes looked!

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The extra tidbits on our recipe card included information about various classic French pastries, and facts about the Eiffel Tower. My chef has earned the second patch on his apron!

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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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Fluffy White Cupcakes

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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.

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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!

Play Dough Cupcake Shop

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With leftover play dough from a goodie bag, we decided to open up our own birthday cupcake shop this morning! All you need are cupcake wrappers, a few jeweled embellishments, and your imagination.

I shaped our play dough into cupcakes and added to the liners to get Travis started, after which he loved pressing in star beads and jeweled stickers from our craft bin as the “frosting.”

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Of course we needed to add a few candles for authenticity!

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After a while he wanted to bake his cupcakes, so I pulled out his play oven.

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When the cupcakes were finished, he decided they were for daddy, so that got to be dad’s morning surprise!

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What imaginative food play have you tried with your play dough? Please share in the comments!