Wednesday, August 17, 2011

No Butts About It

"The recipe that started it all. After five thousand or so failed attempts to produce a vegan, gluten-free cupcake in my slanted, 6-foot-by-5inch kitchen in Brooklyn--with an oven that flared to broil at whim and had long since lost its temperature dial--I had to tape a picture of a cupcake on the fridge to remember what a cupcake should look like. When I finally hit the right formula, though, I knew it immediately. The cake was delicate and golden, tasting subtly of vanilla with a faint hint of lemon. Now, when I see rows of these beauties on the speed rack at the bakery awaiting frosting, it's hard not to slip into nostalgic reverie." -Erin McKenna, Founder. 

Vanilla Cupcakes: 
Yield: Makes 24 cupcakes

2 cups garbanzo-fava bean flour
1 cup potato starch
1/2 cup arrowroot
1 tsp. plus 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. salt
2/3 cup coconut oil
1 1/3 cup agave nectar
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce 
3 tbs. pure vanilla extract 
grated zest of 1 lemon
1 cup hot water

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line 2 standard 12-cup muffin tins with paper liners. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, potato starch, arrowroot, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, and salt. Add the oil, agave nectar, applesauce, vanilla and lemon zest to the dry ingredients and combine. Stir in the hot water and mix until the batter is smooth.

Pour 1/3 cup batter into each prepared cup, almost filling it. Bake the cupcakes on the center rack for 22 mins, rotating the tins 180 degrees after 15 minutes. The finished cupcakes will be golden brown and will bounce back when pressure is applied gently to the center. Let the cupcakes stand in the tins for 20 mins, then transfer them to a wire rack and cool completely. Using a frosting knife, gently spread 1 tablespoon of vanilla frosting over each cupcake. Store the cupcakes in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. 

Vanilla Frosting:

1 1/2 cups unsweetened soy milk
3/4 cup dry soy milk powder
1 tbs. coconut flour (essential as a thickener for the frosting)
1/4 cup agave nectar
1 tbs. pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups coconut oil (warm slightly to achieve liquid state)
2 tbs. fresh lemon juice

In a blender or food processor, combine soy milk, soy powder, coconut flour, agave nectar and vanilla. Blend the ingredients for 2 minutes. With the machine running, slowly add the coconut oil and lemon juice, alternating between the two until both are fully incorporated. Pour the mixture into an airtight container and refrigerate for 6 hours before frosting cupcakes. 

"Saving your behind, one cupcake at a time"

I discovered BabyCakes a few years ago while working for Ford Models (photo shoots to in office meetings, BabyCakes would linger!); from then on these vegan treats became a necessity! Diet restrictions, allergies or just love sweets and trying new things-you'll appreciate BabyCakes. I personally don't have food allergies or need to eat any different than the average person, just choose to for the sake of knowing better (and for my future-I want to have the healthiest kids in the whole wide world! Not anytime soon though-yikes!). BabyCakes doesn't make me miss the average sweets and allows for an option that is "healthier"-even when indulging (who doesn't love that?!). The shop itself is tiny with a retro vibe. Just like any other bakery, BabyCakes has it all-scones and donuts to cakes and cookies! 

These photos were taken at the Greenwich Village location, but you can also find BabyCakes in downtown Los Angeles (another opening on Larchmont at the end of December) and downtown Disney in Florida with plans to someday expand to San Fransisco and Chicago! The vanilla cupcake recipe is one of my favorites because I like to experiment with different flavors when I bake; it's the perfect base to work off of or make as is, plus a pretty manageable start to baking from scratch-vegan style. All the ingredients you can find at Whole Foods. 

Our health, bum and sweet tooth can now all agree-for once! xo