Sunday, December 18, 2011

A cupcake for the occasion

Hi everyone. Sorry about the not-so photogenic and even less professional video demo of today's yummy raw vegan cupcake. That's just what happens when you try to do something spontaneously within the chaos of the holiday season. The countdown to Christmas is on, and I'm lacking in opportunities to get this post done.

Usually, I post some raw treats for the occasion, like my cookies for Santa in 2007, 2008 and 2009 (somehow I skipped last year, but these cookies almost ended up posted in 2010). I have even posted a few raw vegan holiday cupcakes over the years (I'll refresh your memory with some pics/links at the bottom of today's post).

After my buddy Bitt requested to see some more raw cupcakes in the comment section of our OpenSky contest plea
(until she posted that, I thought I had started to bore all of you with them), I began to crave one myself. Then, I missed National Cupcake Day (I think I saw someone tweeting about it), but was honored to see my e-book listed as a recommendation on Lori and Michelle's Pure2Raw site.

I've mentioned those talented twins in an interview/review of their scrumptious products (you know they're good when I use the word "scrumptious," which is my favorite word of all), as well as in a recipe post inspired by them (and Brendan Brazier, too). I was inspired yet again, while coming up with the flavor of today's cupcake.

I remember Lori and Michelle making Candy Cane Macaroons on their site quite some time ago, using chopped goji berries for the red specks in the minty cookies. Since I was thinking about making a holiday version of my Rawified Pillsbury Halloween Cupcake (I recently saw the box cake mix in the store), I just knew goji berries and mint would work perfectly. Thanks girls.

You can see Hayden and I quickly demonstrate how to make this cupcake (the very same one in the photos), before heading out the door to a family Christmas celebration a.k.a. "Hootenanny." My mom's side of the family thought it would be fun to have everyone play an instrument and sing Christmas songs together this year. It really was a "hoot." Ha ha :-)

Here are some photos from the event:

Everyone in attendance

Some of the guitar players (two of them are in this band)

A kid trio and guitarist

Kiddie silliness (Colin stops time)

Me and my Hay Hay

Hay Hay and April the hero (in reference to this post)

The pomegranate spinach salad I brought

Anyway, back to the video. Hayden and I made our best attempts to film it ourselves while Matthew and Jacob were still getting ready. You can hear Jacob run down the stairs and distract Hayden from behind the camera. All that movement kept shifting the camera, too (it's like a ghost kept moving it), and made me loose my train of thought. Thank goodness I can still post the recipe here for you.

Speaking of the recipe, I highly advise gently melting down the raw cocoa butter (at a very low heat; I usually just stir grated raw cocoa butter in a warm ramekin until melted, much like in our warm chocolate post) prior to adding it to the blender with the other frosting ingredients. Since I was in a rush, I skipped that step, putting the grated cocoa butter directly into the blender and resulting in a grittier end product. Keep that in mind when following the recipe below:

Raw Vegan Holiday "Sprinklemint" Cupcake
*Makes one cupcake for those times you just want what everyone else is having. Feel free to make a larger batch if needed.
  • 1/4 cup cashews
  • 1/4 cup coconut flakes
  • dash of sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp. date paste
  • touch of vanilla
  • 1/2 Tbsp. chopped fresh mint
  • 1/2 Tbsp. chopped goji berries
  • White Chocolate Mint Green Frosting (see below)
  • more coconut flakes, fresh mint leaves and chopped goji berries for decorating
Add cashews and coconut flakes to a mini food processor or blender and grind into a flour-like consistency. In a small bowl, combine the cashew and coconut flours, sea salt, chopped mint and goji berries. Stir with a whisk or use an electric mixer.

Next, add the date paste and a touch of vanilla. Whisk/mix to combine. The batter should be moist, but not so damp that it requires "baking" in a dehydrator (although you could if you desire). Form it into a cupcake shape.

Frost the top of the cupcake with White Chocolate Mint Green Frosting (see recipe below), and decorate it with a sprinkling of coconut, fresh mint leaves and chopped goji berries. As always, enjoy!

White Chocolate
Mint Green Frosting

  • 1/2 cup cashews, soaked overnight
  • 1/8 cup gently melted cocoa butter
  • 1/8 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1/8-1/4 cup coconut milk or nutmilk (use a little at a time to reach the desired texture)
  • 1/2 Tbsp. agave nectar
  • 1/4 tsp. spirulina
  • dash of sea salt
In a high speed blender, blend all of the ingredients until smooth, making sure to scrape down the sides of the blender jar, as needed. Allow to set in the refrigerator, so it thickens into a spreadable frosting.

*This frosting also tastes great atop a chocolate mint cupcake, like this one. Yum!


And, as promised, here's a look back at the raw cupcakes of Christmas past :-)