Vegan apple-cider glazed pumpkin cakes

I wish I could take ownership of this amazingly simple recipe I’m about to throw your way, but alas, one of my friends shared it on Facebook and I decided, «wow I have to try this.» And then, after I tried it and our friends declared it the most delicious cake they’d ever eaten, I decided I had to put it up on the blog in case the rest of you haven’t seen it.

We’re talking serious yum factor here and minimal effort.

You can find about a million different recipes for this on Pinterest or your Facebook too, so I’m not sure who to link to or where to place credit. But whoever you are that created this, well, you’re awesome.

I chose to use a square cupcake pan to make these, so they’d have the appearance of personal mini cakes, which makes everyone feel special, right? That, and I haven’t used this pan in over a year when I bought it for Brae’s birthday and so I felt the urge to dust it off. You can do this in a regular rectangle cake pan or in a good ole fashioned cupcake pan, whatever your heart desires!

Vegan apple-cider glazed pumpkin cakes
(makes 12 square cupcakes)
Cake Ingredients: 
1 box of vegan yellow cake mix
1 can of pumpkin puree (15 oz)
1/4 cup water

Glaze Ingredients: 
1.5 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup apple cider (you can use a little less if you like your glaze thicker)
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 375.
Mix together cake mix and pumpkin. Grease your cupcake pan. Add in water and whip with hand or stand mixer. Once whipped together (mixture will be thick and a nice heavy fluffy texture), scoop into square cupcake pan (or whatever you’ve got). Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the cakes begin to pull from the sides. Once cool, transfer your mini cakes to a large plate or tray.

In a medium bowl, mix together powdered sugar and apple cider. Once fully blended, stir in pumpkin pie spice. With a fork, stab holes in the mini cakes, about 6-10 per cake. Pour glaze over mini cakes.

Savor. Savor some more. Share if you must.

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Vegan samoa truffles

In case you missed it, the Girl Scouts are coming to the dark side. And by the dark side … I mean they’re now offering a vegan cookie. That’s right, vegans all over rejoiced as we learned the Thin Mints we grew up knowing and loving are now VEGAN. It even says so right on the order form.

So last week I was headed into a grocery store to get my coffee fix on, when I passed a table of Daisies selling girl scout cookies. FYI, these gals are getting high-tech these days. They have little things that connect to cell phones which allows them to take CREDIT CARDS. Yep, long gone are the days of needing cash! Anywho, I decided to do my part and bought a couple boxes of Thin Mints.

And while these cookies are as delightful as I remembered them, there was still something missing. The samoas, or now-named, caramel delites. See, when I was a kiddo I had a pretty strong aversion to coconut. It wasn’t the flavor of it, but the weird texture. Eventually I grew to love all things coconut, but then I chose the vegan lifestyle and have been without these delightful cookies for nearly seven years now.

Last year I made a seriously amazing vegan bar version of the coconut and caramel Girl Scout cookie, but it definitely was a labor of love. So this year I set out to make something simpler — both in making and eating. And alas, I give you these six ingredient vegan samoa truffles.

These little balls of Heaven are absolutely amazing, and seriously, ANYONE can do these.

(I often have the sauce made up due to my love of fancy schmancy coffee drinks, but if you don’t, you can use my vegan caramel recipe!)

Vegan samoa truffles
(Makes about two dozen)
Ingredients:
One package of vegan vanilla creme cookies (like golden oreos).
4 ounces of vegan cream cheese
1/2 cup vegan caramel sauce
1 cup vegan chocolate chips
1/2 TBS coconut oil
Shredded coconut

Directions:
In a food processor, blend up one package of vanilla creme cookies. Place in a medium bowl and mix in vegan cream cheese. Roll into one-inch-sized balls and place on a cookie sheet with wax paper. Stick in the fridge overnight.

In a microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate chips and coconut oil, stirring frequently and until melted. Using your hands (if you like to get messy) or a skewer, dip the balls into the melted vegan chocolate and then place back on the wax paper. Sprinkle some coconut on top.

Stick back in the fridge until the chocolate coating hardens.

Share with friends because you’ll eat them all if you don’t!


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The perfect vegan white cupcake with bakery frosting

What’s that saying?

‘When the going gets tough, the tough get going.’

Well, part of that is right.

When the going gets tough, the tough bake cupcakes. Lots of them. With uber-rich, bakery-style frosting that gets a teeny bit hard on the outside but remains sugary and smooth on the inside. Yeah, that’s what we do when life throws us a curveball in the Chubby Vegan household.

I’ve been a bit of a funk lately. Maybe it’s the weather, maybe it’s because I’m going to be the dirty 30 in a mere two months (and still don’t feel like an adult!), I don’t know.

What I do know, is this: I am a firm believer that there are few things in this life cupcakes won’t make better. So I set out this time to create something really, really simple, but really, really sweet and really, really perfect.

The result is reminiscent of that white-on-white bakery birthday cake you used to get from the grocery store. You know, the one that’s all dense and heavy with the super rich, almost overwhelmingly sweet frosting? Yeah, we busted out a dozen of those in our Chubby Vegan kitchen and lets just say I had to make MORE icing because the first batch didn’t quite make it all on the cupcakes (OK, some of it ended up in my stomach. It was good, what can I say.)

Here’s the secret: don’t skip the vegetable shortening. I get it, you want to try and be healthy, but for reals peeps, it’s a cupcake, make it right or don’t make it at all. (Adorable cupcake trophy stand courtesy of my equally adorable and awesome boss!)

Bakery-style vegan white cupcakes with white frosting
(makes 12 dozen deliciously-iced cupcakes)
Cake ingredients:
1.5 cups all-purpose flour
1.5 cups granulated sugar

1/4 cup vegetable shortening

1 stick vegan butter (we used Earth Balance)
1/2 cup applesauce
1/4 cup vanilla coconut milk
1/4 cup vegan sour cream
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt

Frosting ingredients:
4 cups powdered sugar

1/4 cup vegan butter (softened)
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon almond extract

Cake directions:
Preheat oven to 350 F. Place cupcake wrappers in a pan muffin tin. Cream together vegan butter and shortening until light and fluffy (with a hand or stand mixer). Stir in sugar and applesauce. Slowly mix in flour, baking powder and salt. Once combined, add coconut milk, vegan sour cream and vanilla extract. Fill cupcake wrappers a little over half full. Bake for 18-22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or edges become a very light, golden brown. Set aside to cool.

Frosting directions: 

Mix shortening, vegan butter, vanilla, almond extract,and half of the powdered sugar with a mixer for *at least* five minutes (possibly up to 10 minutes depending on the power/speed of your mixer). Add the rest of the powdered sugar and beat just enough to mix in. Frost cupcakes as desired, store in fridge when not in use. 

 

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Vegan caramel sauce

I’m a massive fan of all things caramel. From ice cream to coffee, I pretty much think caramel makes the world go round. 

Sure, there are some vegan options for caramel sauce out there, but a lot of them are super costly or incredibly difficult to get your hands on when you need a serious sweet fix. 

So I finally concocted the perfect vegan caramel sauce, ideal for baked goods, ice cream or fancy lattes. 

This will keep in the fridge for a few weeks, although, it doesn’t normally last that long. I reused a squeezy bottle from another sauce we had and keep our homemade vegan caramel sauce in it. 

 

Vegan caramel topping

Ingredients:
1/2 cup sugar
1 TBS maple syrup
2 tsp water
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup coconut milk (the full fat kind in a can)
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp corn starch

Directions:
In a sauce pan on medium heat mix sugar, maple syrup and water until well blended. Bring the mixture to a simmer and then add vanilla extract, coconut milk and salt. 

Bring back to a simmer. Stir the mixture for at least five minutes and then add corn starch. Turn the heat to low and stir until it thickens. Transfer to container of your choosing. 

 

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Vegan pecan pie cookie (all the pie taste, sans work)

It’s December. And it’s wonderful because it means I get to bake and bake and bake — unapologetically. Because baking Christmas cookies has been a family tradition since I was a little girl, we’ve already got a pretty extensive cookie repertoire down. And because all of those cookies are not only utterly delicious, they remind me of the days we piled into my grandmother’s kitchen, pressing out the Wise Men’s camels and pushing hershey kisses into peanut butter blossoms, there isn’t a lot of room to expand on said cookie list.

However this past Thanksgiving, we stumbled upon a cookie that might finally make the coveted list.

The pecan pie cookie.

Seriously, this is the most perfect cookie ever created. I don’t know if it’s just me, but I’ve never successfully baked a pecan pie. OK, I think it probably is just me, but still, sometimes you want pie, but you don’t want to go to all the work to get said pie. Let’s face it, pecan pie, is kind of the drama queen of the dessert world.

Here’s the beauty about this little cookie. If you don’t want to make your own pie crust, you don’t have to, you can use a premade one. If you want to make your own pie crust, you can make it extra buttery, extra flaky, extra vanillay. You can do whatever your heart desires with this little cookie.

Just don’t skip the chocolate drizzle. It’s necessary — just trust me.

Vegan pecan pie cookies
(Makes two dozen)
For the crust:
3 cups all purpose flour
2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 tsp salt
1/8 cup sugar
3 sticks vegan butter (we use Earth Balance)
1 cup vegetable shortening
2 cup cold water

For the filling:

1/4 cup (or half a stick) of vegan butter, melted
1 cup pecans (halved or chopped)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup corn syrup

1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup vegan chocolate chips for drizzle (don’t skip the drizzle!)

Directions:
For the crust, mix together the flours, sugar and salt. Stir in butter, vegetable shortening and cold water. Once blended, divide it into two balls, cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15 minutes (makes rolling easier).

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a medium saucepan, combine vegan butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, maple syrup and salt. Cook on medium heat until the mixture starts to bubble. Stir in pecans. Remove from heat and set aside.

Take your pie crust out of the fridge and roll out until about 1/8-inch thick. Using a three-inch cookie cutter (I used one with fancy scalloped edges because it’s the first three-inch one I actually found), cut out shapes. Combine dough and roll out as necessary, until you have 24 circles. Fold the edges around the tiny crusts, so the pecan filling can «sit» in them.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place crusts on sheet. Spoon filling onto cookie (not too much or it’ll run over), just enough to «fill» the spot. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until edges are light golden brown. Remove and cool on a wire rack. 

Once everything is cooled, microwave vegan chocolate chips in a ziplock bag (only took about 30 seconds in our microwave). Cut a tiny tip off the corner of the bag and use this to drizzle over cooled cookies. Allow chocolate drizzle to set (I placed in the fridge for about five minutes).

Take them everywhere and show them off, because not only are they delicious, they’re super cute too.

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Vegan chocolate-covered strawberry cupcakes

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of all things sweet.

I’m particularly a fan of sweet things in cupcake form. 

And because my husband can’t actually stomach a strawberry in it’s berry delicious form, I have to come up with new and clever ways if I want to make a sweet strawberry treat. 

So for Sweetest Day a few weeks ago (yes, I’m a sap that celebrates this holiday, I always have and always will), I decided to turn chocolate-covered strawberries into a more edible delight for my husband.

And if you’re STILL not a fan of Chubby Vegan Mom on Facebook, then you missed out on some serious vegan cupcake food porn.

This recipe uses a combination of strawberry jelly (to ensure seed-free frosting) and strawberry puree to flavor the cupcakes! 

The best part of this cupcake is how fancy schmancy it is. With the help of a quick chocolate mousse, vegan chocolate chips and a little vegetable oil, this recipe packs loads of strawberry with the perfect hints of chocolate. 

They’re a wee-bit labor intensive, but I promise, they’re worth the TLC. 

 

Vegan chocolate-covered strawberry cupcakes

(makes 24 cupcakes)
Cake ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1.5 cups cake flour
1 cup strawberries (pureed)
1/4 cup applesauce
1 cup sugar (it’s a cupcake, I didn’t say it was healthy)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup vanilla coconut milk
2 tsps baking powder
Dash of salt
Optional 2-3 drops red food coloring (Our health food store sells a vegan, locally-sourced variety)

Chocolate mousse ingredients:
2  ripe avocados
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 vanilla coconut milk
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Frosting ingredients:
1.5 sticks vegan butter, at room temperature, we used Earth Balance
6 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup coconut milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup strawberry jelly, melted(I used some made for us by friends this past summer!)

Optional 2-3 drops red food coloring

Chocolate «shell» drizzle ingredients:

1 cup vegan chocolate chips

2 TBS vegetable oil

Directions: 
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl mix together all your dry ingredients (all purpose and cake flour, sugar, baking powder and salt). Take your one cup of strawberries and puree them in your high-power blender or food processor. Soften your vegan butter in the microwave (again, soften, not melt) and pour into a large bowl with the rest of the liquid ingredients (strawberry puree, applesauce, coconut milk, water and optional food coloring). Stir the dry ingredients into the liquid ingredients (about a cup at a time) and then blend with a mixer.

Line your muffin pan with cupcake wrappers and fill each a little over half full. Bake for 20-25 minutes, the edges will pull away from the pan some and you’ll be able to stick a toothpick into the middle and pull out out cleanly. Once they’re done set them aside to cool.

Now, for the frosting. In a large mixing bowl, blend together 1.5 sticks vegan butter (at room temperature), coconut milk, jelly and vanilla extract. (Add optional food coloring if you’d like). Blend in powdered sugar (about a cup at a time), until it’s all mixed together. Refrigerate until use. 

For the chocolate mousse, puree the avocado and set aside. Mix together the cocoa powder and milk and add to the avocado. Stir in the sugar, and vanilla extract, blend well with a mixer. Store in the fridge until you’re ready. 

Once your cupcakes have cooled, use your finger to make a small hole in the center of the cupcake. (It should be deep enough to fill, but not so deep that it goes to the bottom). Using a bakers bag (or a zip lock bag with the tip cut off) fill the center of the cupcakes with the chocolate mousse (it’s possible depending on the size of your strawberries that you may need more, make it as you need it).

Next, pipe on the frosting (I use a bakers bag and a really big tip, like the extra large ones, because they cover more ground and I’m a busy woman!). 

Set cupcakes aside and in a microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate chips and vegetable oil. Take out and stir until well combined. Using a fork, drizzle this chocolate all over the frosted cupcakes. Wait 10-15 minutes for the chocolate «shell» to set and then serve! (We kept these in the fridge for a couple days until they were all gone). 

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Vegan maple butter bacon cupcakes, your next party touchdown

So we’re doing something different this year in the Chubby Vegan abode. Last year, both Chubby Vegan dad and I did a fantasy football league, but they weren’t together and he was far more serious than I was. This year, we’ve started a couples fantasy football league amongst our friends and while it just started, I have a feeling it’s going to be quite the ride. 

 

For those of you not consumed by football or interested in it merely because you want to beat all your favorite couple friends, last night was the opening game of football season.

Seattle and Green Bay faced off, which mean my running back, kicker and defensive special team were all playing. Needless to say I ended up with some pretty sweet points.

And not only were my fantasy points sweet, the vegan maple butter bacon cupcakes I made to celebrate the beginning of football season surpassed that.

Let me repeat that one more time: vegan maple butter bacon cupcakes.

VEGAN. MAPLE. BUTTER. BACON. CUPCAKES.

Yeah, don’t tell anyone, but I’m not really sure if I actually like football, or if I just like an excuse to bake delicious treats, partake in some pumpkin adult beverages and get together with friends.

Needless to say these bad boys were a hit.

And just in face you’re not a football fan either, I give you full permission to makes these cupcakes JUST BECAUSE. (Not that you need permission. Or a reason. JUST DO IT!)

Vegan maple butter bacon cupcakes
(makes one dozen)
Ingredients:
1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/4 tsps baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
5 tablespoons vegan butter (I used Earth Balance), softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp maple extract
1/2 cup applesauce
1/4 cup almond milk
1/4 cup pure maple syrup

Frosting ingredients:
1 stick vegan butter (I like Earth Balance)
1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 TBS vanilla coconut milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
(You can add a few drops of food coloring if you want, we purchase ours from a nearby natural parenting store, it’s locally made, natural and vegan)

Candied ‘bacon’ bits: 

1 ounce Bac’Uns (vegan bacon bits)

2 TBS pure maple syrup

2 TBS brown sugar

sprinkle of cinnamon

Cupcake directions:

Preheat oven 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, combine sugar, flour, baking powder and salt. Stir in almond milk and applesauce. Add vanilla and maple extract. Stir in softened vegan butter and maple syrup. Whip with hand or stand mixer on high for two minutes. Pour into cupcake wrappers and fill a little over half full. Bake for 20 minutes. 

While the cupcakes are baking, in a small skillet on medium heat, saute the vegan bacon bits, maple syrup, brown sugar and cinnamon. Stir frequently and cook for three to four minutes. The mixture will be gooey and smokey smelling.

Frosting Directions:
Soften the vegan butter (soften, not melt) and then in a medium bowl, mix butter, vanilla coconut milk and extract. Blend in powdered sugar with a hand mixer. Stick in the fridge to thicken up for an hour. 

Once the cupcakes have cooled, either spread or pipe on the frosting. Top with the candied bacon bits. Listen to everyone rave about how delicious they are! 

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Vegan butterscotch coconut thumbprint cookies

Happy FIRST day of FALL!

Little factoid about me? Fall is hands down my absolute favoritst time of year. SO much my favorite that I actually make up words to describe how utterly fantabulous it is. (It’s OK if I make up words, I was an English major, so when we graduate we receive a card that allows us to do this).

No but for reals, we’re all giddy with excitement for the changing colors, the fall smells, the bonfires, football games with friends, haunted hayrides and pumpkin-infused everything!

But before we bust out all things pumpkin, which, well, we’ve done a lot around here, I’ve got one fabulous cookie up my sleeve that says farewell to summer and all of its awesomeness, while welcoming fall with a warm bear hug.

Now there’s one trick about this recipe. In order to give it the shazam it needs, you’re going to have to hop on the internet and buy something you may not have bought in a very, very long time. Vegan butterscotch chips. Yes, they exist, yes they’re worth the $5 price tag for a 10-ounce jar. Don’t overthink it. I usually order these with a bit batch of stuff from VeganEssentials when getting all my Christmas Cookie needs (yes, I do that in like, September. I’m prepared!)

The butterscotch is essential in this recipe as it plays off the subtle coconut notes and then gives in to a chocolate drizzle in the most perfect way EVER. Seriously, you’re so welcome for this awesome little cookie.

Vegan butterscotch coconut thumbprint cookies 
(Makes 24 smallish, but oh-so-good cookies)
Ingredients: 
1/2 cup vegan butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup applesauce
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
2/3 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
10-ounce jar vegan butterscotch chips

1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, cream together softened vegan butter, sugar and applesauce. Add salt, baking powder and coconut flakes. Stir in flour. Roll cookie dough into one-inch balls and place on a greased cookie sheet. Squish them down a little bit and make an indent in the middle with your thumb (they should still be about 1/2 inch thick or a little less when you are done with them, don’t squish them flat!) Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the edges turn golden. 

Allow to cool on a rack. Once cookies are cool, melt the vegan butterscotch chips in a microwave-safe bowl. Cook on small increments, taking out and stirring frequently (you don’t want to overcook them!) Using a small spoon (or a baby one if you have it handy!), smooth melted butterscoth chips into the cookies’ indentations. Allow to cool. 

To give these cookies some serious pizzazz, melt vegan chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl (the same way you did the butterscotch chips). Spoon melted chocolate into a ziplock bag and cut a small tip off one corner. Squeeze chocolate over cookie in a zigzag pattern. 

Enjoy. Share. Impress. Hug fall. These cookies do it all. (I also use my English degree to rhyme). 

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The best vegan cupcakes in a mason jar

In case you didn’t know, Fourth of July is by far my absolute favorite holiday in the history of EVER. It’s perfect if you ask me. I mean for starters, it’s all about freedom and how awesome this country we live in is (which, really, it is, even if we complain about a zillion things), so it’s always a nice reminder of how blessed we are.

But the other really, really great thing about this holiday, is that you can do whatever you want with it! Want to have a cookout and set off a trillion fireworks, cool, go ahead! Want to sit on your butt by the pool and read a book? You got it! Want to throw a killer party and bake a fancy schmancy cake, it’s your right! Literally, this is the perfect holiday for anyone. Don’t like holidays? Great! You actually don’t have to do ANYTHING with this one.

Of course I’m the kind of person that wants to do crazy extravagant things with my Fourth of July, but luckily, with two small kiddos in tow, it helps keep me grounded.

This year we had our best friends and their daughter over, and we made Luna Burgers (ZOMG you have to try these Columbus-made bad boys!), Tofurky kielbasa and Smart Dogs on the grill, in addition to vegan coleslaw, baked macaroni and «cheese» and a traditional fruit salad (complete with Tofutti sour cream and Dandies vegan marshmallows)! I won’t lie, it’s probably been 10 years since I had good ole’ fashioned fruit salad, so even though I put cantaloupe in it (which I really, really disdain), it was still delicious!

Oh, and I can’t leave out the dessert. Thanks to a bunch of different ideas on pinterest, my daughter and I decided to make «firecrackers» in a mason jar! Remember those delicious popsicles with different layers, red, white and blue? Well, we made a cupcake version of those in a mason jar. And let me tell you, these were absolutely phenomenal! Everyone raved about how adorable they were and they traveled SO well! The only downfall? We had to wash them afterwards, but after everything was said and done, it was totally worth this step. I was able to purchase a dozen 8-oz quilted mason jars for $8, and I’m SO going to use these again and again and again. I actually spent most of my holiday weekend daydreaming about what else I was going to bake in these magical jars!

So have I convinced you to hop on the mason jar express?

Vegan firecracker cupcakes (in a jar)
Makes: 12 (really big, almost «double» cupcakes)
Cupcake ingredients:
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup cake flour
1 1/4 cups white sugar
2 tsp baking soda
1 stick vegan butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup vanilla coconut milk (don’t worry, the coconut flavor is hidden, this is just for extra moistness)
1/3 cup water
3 oz cherry applesauce
3 oz blueberry applesauce
(red and blue food coloring, we use a homemade natural kind I picked up at a lovely local store, but word on the street is that Wilton icing colorings are plant-based and vegan)

Frosting ingredients: 
3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 stick vegan butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup vegan whipped topping (I use MimicCreme Healthy Top because it’s ridiculously amazing)
Sprinkles!

Directions:
In your fabulous mixing bowl, add all purpose flour, cake flour, white sugar and baking soda. Stir in coconut milk and water. Add your softened butter and beat on high using your stand or hand mixer. Add vanilla extract.

Now, you’re going to preheat your oven to 350.

Next, get out another bowl and pour half the white batter into it. This is how we’re going to get the two different colors! In one bowl, add 3 oz cherry applesauce and some red food coloring to your preferred color). In the other bowl, add your blueberry applesauce and blue food coloring. And tada! Red and blue cakes!

Line your mason jars on a cookie sheet and spray them or grease em’ up to your liking. Add the blue cake batter into a piping bag (I used the biggest tip I had) and then pipe a little under one inch of this at the bottom of each jar. In another piping bag, add the red cake batter and then pipe a little under one inch on top of the blue. (You can omit this step and just spoon the stuff in there if you’re not uber-worried about straight lines, but it’ll get messy too).

Put these babies in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, until it’s all puffed up and still a little squishy. Pull them out and set them aside to cool.

Now, for the frosting! I love rich, crazy thick frosting as much as the next gal, but sometimes you just want that light, fluffy, whipped, tastes-like-a-store-bought-cake frosting. I’ve found it’s pretty achievable by just adding in some vegan whipped topping (but I swear by the MimicCreme brand, I can’t attest for the others). In your stand mixer or with your hand mixer, blend together the powdered sugar, softened butter (but not melted!) and vanilla extract. Add in one cup of the Healthy Top vegan whipped cream and blend on high until all mixed together.

Once your cupcakes have cooled, pipe this on top or spoon it on, whichev, and top with your favorite sprinkle assortment. To keep these moist and awesome, make sure to put lids on when storing overnight. And that’s all! JUST lids! Woo hoo!

What was your favorite part of the holiday weekend?

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Vegan pineapple, coconut and cream cheese balls

With  the last snowstorm headed our way (said no Ohioan ever because we all know it could legitimately snow in June), I decided to combine a traditional «snowball» dessert with a little summer flare — pineapple.

These bad boys are not your run-of-the-mill «snowball.» Yeah, they’ve got some of the same elements between the cream cheese and shredded coconut, but adding a couple cans of crushed pineapple and some crushed pecans take this dessert to a whole new level.

The most awesome part about this dessert (you know, other than it being ridiculously easy to throw together), is that it only has FOUR ingredients and no added sugar. (I mean, because between the pineapple, cream cheese and coconut shreds we’ve got that sweet part covered).

This recipe makes two dozen one-inch sized «snowballs,» but if you plan on serving it to people I highly recommend just doubling the batch. We made 24 and these were gone in like no-time in our household.

The second best thing about this treat? They taste as amazing as they look. I highly, highly recommend making these for the next party or get together you’re having. They’re the perfect amount of sweet (but not overpowering) and the pecans give them a nice salty boost to balance out the other elements.

Vegan pineapple, coconut and cream cheese balls
(Makes 24)
Ingredients: 
1 container (or 8 ounces) of your favorite vegan cream cheese (we used Trader Joe brand)
1 8-oz can of crushed pineapple (drained)
1 cup crushed pecans (I pulsed them in the food processor)
3 cups shredded coconut (I used sweetened to balance out the pecans)

Directions: 
In a food processor, crush your pecans until they’re tiny pieces. In a small bowl, beat together cream cheese and pineapple. Stir in your crushed pecans. Refrigerate this mixture for two hours. After it’s been refrigerated, take a baking sheet and line it with wax paper. With a bowl of water nearby, grab a little smaller than a golf-ball sized amount of the cream cheese mixture and form a ball with your hands. If it sticks too much try wetting your hands a little with the bowl of water off to the side. Next, drop your rounded mixture into a small bowl of shredded coconut. Roll more into a ball shape if necessary and repeat until all the snowballs are formed. Once full, refrigerate overnight and until they’re gobbled down.

Which won’t be long.

Because they’re easy, but they don’t taste that way!

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