See that beautiful (and yummy) cupcake up there? Sure, I made it and all, but I can’t take credit for it. That would belong to the creative minds behind The Bear & The Blackberry. In less than 24 hours after reading their recipe for Matcha and Vanilla Bean Cupcakes, I had these babies rising magnificently in the oven. Sure, I made my standard tweaks: used applesauce in place of canola oil; whole wheat pastry flour for white and used maple sugar and stevia to achieve the proper sweetness. I did not have matcha powder but did have green-matcha tea bags. I snipped a few and emptied them of their lovely green, powdery contents and voila! Almost-matcha powder. The biggest change I made was to modify the Lean Cocoa Frosting recipe from The (Almost) No Fat Cookbook, by Bryanna Clark Grogan. Do not expect thick, creamy, buttery decadence here, folks. But do expect lots of tasty vanilla flavor and zero eater’s remorse. Here’s the (very quick) recipe:
Lean Vanilla “Frosting”
Makes enough to coat 8 cupcakes
1/2 cup soy milk
1/4 cup maple sugar
half of 1/3 of a cup (I’m not a mathematician) cornstarch
1 tsp. vanilla extract syrup, vanilla extract or a vanilla bean, scraped
Combine everything but the vanilla in a blender and process until smooth and well-combined. Pour into a small saucepan and turn the heat to medium. Whisk constantly until the mixture thickens. Remove from the heat and add the vanilla. Let sit until it reaches room temperature and then you’re ready to frost the cupcakes.
And now for some more blender action…Despite promising myself I would stop, I need to share another green smoothie recipe with you all.
Can’t Not Share it Green Smoothie
1 6 oz. container coconut-flavored almond milk yogurt
1 cup coconut water
1 orange, peeled and quartered
1 apple cut into chunks
1 stalk celery, cut into chunks
1 carrot, peeled and cut into chunks
1 cup frozen pineapple
1 big handful of spinach or other green
Process until smooth in your favorite blender-type appliance.
Recently I received this cuddly little cutie (above) in the mail from Rachel of Rachel in Veganland – why? because I won (woohoo!) the very first giveaway she held on her blog. Rachel must know that the color of my thumb hovers between gray and black and that I can’t do much harm to a crochet cactus! When I opened the package, all kinds of sparkles and fuzzies tumbled out of the envelope along with her handmade gift – it was kind of like getting a hug from my blogging friend. Thank you, Rachel! Your cactus has a place of honor right next to my computer.
Last but most definitely not least: Have you been thinking about what you’re going to bring to the next Virtual Vegan Potluck?? I have!
While I’m not quite ready to divulge what recipes I’m considering nor the work behind the scenes of the next one (November 3, mark your calendars!!), I will share that I recently asked two of my favorite bloggers to help me out with the details. Apparently my powers of persuasion are better than I imagined. I’m happy to report that both Jason of Watch Me Lose 150 Pounds fame and Somer, the plant-based heart and soul of Good Clean Food, have graciously agreed to help plan and execute November’s Potluck – and they’ve already been contributing awesome content to the VVP Facebook Page. (If you haven’t Liked us, please do!) If all goes as planned, the facade is going to look a lot different – but (pardon the expression) the meat and potatoes of the event will remain true to the first go ’round.
Yes, in fact, I HAVE been thinking about what I’ll bring to the next potluck! (and I’m thinking dessert…:-) )
Makes me happy to hear you’ve been thinking about it! Cool!
It was a very cool event, and I’d be happy to participate again! 🙂
Yay! Counting on you ;-)!
Planning in the works already! Sounds amazing..can’t wait! Your smoothie looks perfect, it’s breakfast time here! 🙂
I’m so excited you’re having another virtual vegan potluck!! I read about the first one but didn’t participate due to a lot of reasons, being busy, and sick all the time, but I’m so excited that hopefully I can join in on the next one!
I hope so, Liz!!! I’m so sorry to hear you’ve been ill – hope that you are on the mend.
Woohoo! You got the cactus! I’m so excited! So glad you love it!!! I’ll be sending Melanie’s off as soon as I fill out the customs form! Love the vanilla frosting recipe looks so simple and decadent!
🙂 Cactus love! The frosting is totally tweakable, too.
That cupcake looks magnificent. I am salivating!
And low, low fat!! Yay!
Those cupcakes look so yummy! And the oil free frosting is going to be a new go to around here. So happy to be a part of the VVP team! Promise to start pulling my weight!
Hey Somer – so happy to see you on the VVP team! You guys are rocking it!
Unfortunately I have done diddly squat with it lately, got knocked down with pneumonia that even my industrial strength essential oils couldn’t kick. On the mend, so hopefully I can start kicking some VVP butt 😉 2.0 is gonna rock!
Girl, you’ve been a lifesaver.
xoxo. Tried to run twice in the last few days. Lungs won’t let me do more than 2 miles. I’m totally screwed for Ragnar!
Oh no!! When is the run, Somer?
10 days, I have 18 miles total :/
Thank you – frosting is NOT my forte!
Absolutely getting ready for the next VVP! I’m planning another main course, for sure. Ann, you rock!
Yay!! Thanks, Jennifer!
That cupcake looks divine, and I can’t wait for the next potluck!
I can’t wait for the next one – I’m thinking maybe breakfast but who knows? 😀
Fun! We’ve all got lots of time to scheme and plan!
W00t! I didn’t know the VVP had a Fb page. I liked. 🙂
The cupcakes look amazing, I love that you won the giveaway, and I CAN’T wait for the next VVP!! YAYAY.
Woohoo! It’s great that everyone is still so enthusiastic about it.
So excited for the next potluck! You are so on the ball for this next one- it’s going to be stellar!
Looks like some awesome food is coming out of your kitchen lately- love the sound of that green smoothie!
I also have some matcha green tea powder at home. I might just give this recipe a try. Hooray for passing recipes around. I’m looking forward to the next potluck!
I love the little green flecks in the cupcakes.
I’m totally there! The last one was so much fun!
Those cupcakes look so lovely, and the zero-guilt frosting recipe is genius!
loving the recipes! frosting heaven
Those cupcakes look awesome! I love green tea and will have to try them out 🙂 Glad to hear there’s another pot luck in the works!
I know, now I kinda want to put tea into everything ;-)!
Your cupvcakes with the maple glaze look utterly beautiful! And that greenish smoothy looks like fun & so appetizing! So refreshing too! 🙂
Ha, I like your fraction-measurements…. I hated maths at school!
Coconut flavoured almond milk yoghurt!? You guys get ALL the delicious vegan stuff on your side of the globe!! Amazing 🙂
Lou…I know. I’d never seem almond milk yogurt before and then finding one that tasted like coconut?! Jackpot!! I need to try and make it at home, however, as the only store that sells it is 2 hours away from me.
I agree with Karyn. Rice flour has no gluten, so will not hold up like wheat flour will. You must add stcarh to it, and some type of gum would also help with the texture. I do gluten free vegan baking, & find if I don’t get the mix right I have flat muffins & cupcakes. Prior to going gluten free I never had problems with mu vegan cupcakes & I cook vegan cupcakes for my parrots all the time. I would advise finding a proven vegan recipe and following it. I use ENER-G replacer or flaxseed to replace eggs. Chia seeds work like flaxseeds.
That frosting looks wonderful! I look forward to seeing what you all come up with for the next VVP, I’m glad you’ve got a couple of side-kicks to help you out.
Feeling a lot of pressure to come up w/ something amazing ;-)!
Ooh la la! Your adaptation looks beautiful and sounds healthfully amazing! : )
Your cupcakes look so pretty and very very delicious!! And the green smoothie with coconut flavored almond milk yoghurt!! – I learn something new every time I visit you – it sounds really amazing! Where would I find it?
And there will be another VVP in November – exciting 🙂
Anne, I found it at Whole Foods. I had no idea it even existed! Here’s the brand: http://amandeyogurt.com/
Perfect, thank you!!
Ah, interesting. Thing is I’m not geutln-free or rather, I don’t have an allergy or anything but my friend is who I was sharing cupcakes with (or was going to be sharing cupcakes with) and I am vegan..so I was trying to accomplish so many things. I used ALL brown rice flour. No combination. I used .brown rice flour, turbinado sugar, baking powder, baking soda, pinch of salt, coconut oil, coconut milk, vanilla, and apple cider vinegar
Can’t wait for the next VVP!
Nov 3rd, YAY!!! 😀 Can’t wait to participate and drool this time. I’m glad you got your friends to help out with the organizing because I bet there are going to be a WHOLE lot more participants this time, considering the immense success of the first one.
That handmade gift is just adorable and I *love* what you said about the package being like a hug from a blogging friend. 🙂 It would totally make my day if I heard my customers/friends describe the packages I send out in those words.
Your nearly guilt free icing looks soooo slurpalicious! And sounds so easy to make too. I’m definitely trying it the next time I bake cupcakes!! Thanks for sharing. 🙂
How exciting!! another potluck OMG I know what I am thinking about doing already!! at this point im practically bouncing off the walls with excitement and aww what a cute gift from Rachel vegan bloggers are the best 😛
Can’t wait to see what you come up w/ for the next Potluck! And yes – I heart my vegan blogger buds!
We’ll probably need to know what rpciee you used to be able to tell what about it may need to be changed. Did you JUST use brown rice flour for the flour, or that along with something else? Only knowing what is in this post, I’ve found that with gluten-free baking you have to have a good mixture of flours to starches; we usually do about a 2:1 ratio of gf flours to starches (tapioca, potato, etc.). Before we figured this out, a lot of our early rpciees turned out very dense. To put it nicely.
Oh, vegan cupcakes…how I love you. Great recipe and thanks for the VVP announcement! What to bring, what to bring….
Another VVP? Annie, you totally rock!! And yay for help with it too.
I’m thinking decadent desserts, but I’ve just created an awesome new salad, and a magical curry with accompaniments (Ate it last night, actually). Tough call…