Friday, May 20, 2011

Sugarless, Gluten Free, Vegan Chocolate and Vanilla Cupcakes!

Today I ate a cupcake for breakfast.

 Ok. I lied. I ate 2 cupcakes for breakfast. And lots of icing too. It’s now noon. I’m contemplating having a third. Don’t judge me.

In my defense, I made 40 cupcakes yesterday, and needed to see how they tasted the next day.

In case you haven’t already guessed, these are gluten free, vegan cupcakes with a special twist – no sugar. What’s that you say? No sugar?

True story. The cupcakes and icing were sweetened with agave nectar.

 If you are wondering about the advantage of agave over regular sugar, you are not alone: I wondered about it too. Turns out agave is significantly lower on the glycemic index than refined white and brown sugar (agave measures below 30 while other sugars measure above 60). This means it doesn’t spike your sugar levels too quickly, which means less is stored as fat. For more information, check out the link below.

Anyway, what ensued over the past 24 hours was what inadvertently ended up being my very own amateur version of Cupcake Wars: Lauren Battles Vegan Frosting. To be clear, I like watching cupcake wars…sometimes. But I’m not a fan of having to complete cupcakes while a clock counts down, raising my anxiety level with every passing second. In short, I would never want to compete on the show.

I happily agreed to make 30 cupcakes for a Brownie meeting happening today at 2:45pm. 15 chocolate, 15 vanilla. So off I went, my new chef coat on (early birthday gift from Ted – so thoughtful!), a smile on my face, feeling confident. 

 The baking of the cupcakes yesterday went beautifully – they rose like a cupcake should, they were moist – in short: they were delicious.

Then I attempted the frosting. Soy milk and soy milk powder? Check. Coconut oil? Check. Coconut flour? Agave nectar? Vanilla? Check, check, check. I followed instructions. The mixture was like liquid. No problem – according to the recipe, this is what it is supposed to be like. Phew! Put it in the fridge to chill for 6 hours, and the liquid substance will turn to thick, creamy icing.

Flash forward 6 hours. 11pm yesterday night.

Still liquid. 


Should I put it in the freezer? Should I make another batch (and keep in mind, each batch costs about $20 to make)?

I do both, and go to bed, slightly worried, but still hopeful.

7am today. The frozen one is too hard. The second batch I made is still liquid. Ugh! The clock is ticking – I have to deliver these cupcakes in just under 8 hours.

I call Babycakes NYC in New York and talk to Ryan. Such a sweetheart! She tells me to melt down 1/3 a cup of coconut oil and add it to the icing. Refrigerate it again so the oil can harden the mixture. Good plan, but I don’t have that kind of time.

I call Babycakes NYC in L.A. Kaitlin, another lovely girl, tells me they sell icing – a great last resort! 16oz. for $21. Gulp. I need 2 jars. Double gulp.

I get to work on the internet, frantically searching for another recipe. If I use silken tofu, the texture will be more like icing, right?

Then it hits me – what if I put the icing back on the mixer, and slowly add coconut flour? I need to dry it out a bit to make it thicker, but I want to avoid powdered sugar, as that would, of course, defeat the whole purpose of these sugarless, vegan, gluten free cupcakes.

It’s now 10:45am. 4 hours and counting.

I add a tablespoon of coconut flour. Then another. And like magic, the icing thickens, and a rush of relief runs through me! The vision and subsequent panic created of 30 angry little girls beating me down because I messed up their cupcakes subsides. I can breathe again.

 I do a little jig, and finish the icing. I ice the 30 cupcakes, decorate them, box them up and look at the clock.

 11:45am. 3 hours to spare.


Stay tuned for more adventures!


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