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The BEST Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes

12 Jan

Best Vegan Chocolate Cupcake PassionfruitThese are moist, tender little cupcake morsels packed with chocolate flavor. Oh yes, and these happen to be vegan chocolate cupcakes! Pair them with your favorite vegan (or non-vegan) icing for a decidedly decadent treat.

I made these little cupcakes with a fair amount of trepidation. Cake without eggs? How unnatural! Would they be terribly dry? Would the cupcakes fail to rise and instead resemble brown hockey pucks? I took the plunge with my vegan neighbor coming to dinner. I was prepared to grab my car keys and run to Whole Foods for a vegan dessert if they were a flop.

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Tacky Christmas Sweater Party Cookies

21 Nov

My new friends at Empire Vintage in Palo Alto are hosting a Tacky Sweater Party this evening, complete with a DIY-photo booth, hot cocoa and lots of mini cookies provided by Decadent Dragon Bakery. Yay – that’s me!

I was thrilled to get Empire Vintage’s call for goodies for their party. Ugly Sweater parties are this new phenomenon embracing the tacky holiday sweater. Or maybe it’s just an excuse to have another party and hit the egg nog? Either way, Empire Vintage has got you covered!

 

For the party, Empire Vintage was looking for mini holiday-themed goodies. Below are some photos of what we provided.

Peppermint Cupcake Bites


 Spicy Gingersnap Bites


Chocolate Chunk Brownie Bites

 *Konjakransar* Sugar Cookies

Our *Infamous* Vanilla Bean Chocolate Chunk Cookies

You’ll be seeing a number of these recipes on the blog (once I get to them). For now, you can stop by Empire tonight and enjoy the treats and awesome clothing! If I get my hands on some, I’ll post photos of the event. (I did, see below!) Good luck, Empire Vintage!

Update: Empire Vintage let me know the party went very well! Below are a couple photos from the party.

- Beth

RETURN of the RAINBOW CUPCAKE

29 Oct

Rainbow cupcake no wrapper

Rainbow Cupcakes are back this week. The photo above is my Cream Cheese Buttercream Cocoa Cupcake.

I had the honor of baking these cupcakes for a very special birthday girl. She was celebrating her birthday with a scary movie party. Exciting!

I’m by no means the inventor of the rainbow cupcake but I am proud of my technique. There are multiple paths to the rainbow-frosted cupcake, which I’ve outlined below.

Decadent Dragon’s Technique 
I riffed on Option #3 below.  First, I made a large batch of butter cream frosting, then separated it into five (5) bowls.  Next, I colored each bowl of icing with gel food coloring.

Once all bowls were colored to my liking, I prepared a single pastry bag fitted with a 1M Wilton tip.  Instead of layering the frosting colors one on top of the other, I layered them side by side into the pastry bag.  This created more separation between the colors when swirled than the layered technique, which I prefer.

Here is my super-official diagram on filling your pastry bag – viewing the bag from above.  (And yes, this was created in Microsoft Paint.)

But note that this technique can be challenging.  It may be difficult to get all colors equally situated in the bag.  I found it easiest to hold the bag at an angle to the ground (nearly perpendicular) and then spoon the colors in, rotating the bag between colors.  You may need to use your spoon to force some colors of icing down into the bottom of the bag.  Ideally, all colors will meet near the bottom of the bag.  And luckily, rainbow icing is forgiving!

Here are some of the other Rainbow frosting techniques floating around online -

Bag & Re-bag Technique
This technique yields clean lines and looks great for a multi-colored icing.  With this technique, you individually color your icings, place them separately in pastry bags and then place those filled pastry bags in a larger empty bag fitted with your tip.  For a rainbow icing, my personal belief is that it’s too wasteful of bags.  However, I’m sure it looks great.

Paint the Bag Technique” A simplified version.  Paint the inside of a large pastry bag with your  food coloring.  Then, fill the bag with white icing and pipe.  Very straightforward.  But it does produce a different icing effect.  Up to you whether you like it.

Individually Color & Layer Technique” With this, you divide your white frosting into multiple bowls and color them separately with food dye.  Then, you take one large pastry bag and individually layer the icing on top in layers (like geological strata??).  This yields a beautiful true rainbow result.


Whether you choose any of the listed techniques, or create your own, just remember to have fun!  And send me photos – I’d love to see what you create.