December 13, 2009

Happy birthday to me! (Vanilla Bean Cupcakes)

After getting a major dump of snow this week Michigan brought out a perfect snowy and sunny day for my birthday. Per our tradition we went to get a Christmas tree and then headed home to decorate. To refuel us after trudging through the knee-deep snow I baked up a batch of cupcakes. My favorite combination has always been yellow cake and chocolate frosting but dairy-free versions of yellow cake typically leave me disappointed. I solved the problem by using a whole scraped vanilla bean and coconut milk yogurt.

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes
Real vanilla bean and coconut milk yogurt combine to make a very flavorful dairy-free yellow cake substitute.
Makes 12 cupcakes

2 large eggs
2/3 cup sugar
the seeds from one vanilla bean
5 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon So Delicious Vanilla Coconut Milk Yogurt
5 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon neutral oil (I've been using grape seed lately)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

-Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and line or grease your cupcake tins.
-Beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla bean seeds with the whisk attachment on a stand mixer until thickened and light yellow. Adding the vanilla bean at the beginning ensures that the seeds will be evenly distributed.
-Add the yogurt, oil and vanilla extract and beat until combined.
-In a separate bowl, whisk or sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
-Gradually add the flour mixture to the egg mixture while beating on low until the flour is incorporated.
-Spoon into the cupcake tins and bake for 18-20 minutes (check for doneness with a toothpick).
-Cool and frost*.

*I made the frosting using Earth Balance margarine, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, almond milk and King Arthur Flour's Double-Dutch Dark Cocoa. Sorry but I rarely measure when making powdered sugar frosting and it *was* my birthday after all. The special cocoa is smoother and darker than regular cocoa and I'm really looking forward to trying it in this year's Winter Mint Cookies or maybe some Dairy-free TKOs.

This week's 9 Bean Rows share: (clockwise from top)
Two small pac choi heads, eggs, whole wheat loaf, garlic, red potatoes,
small yellow potatoes, apples, arugula, kale and red Swiss chard
Alex the tree hunter
Our tree, a little scrappy (and scratchy) but you can't beat the $10 price.
Three cheers for the Cedar-Maple City Lions Club!