Vegan Baking: Chocolate Mint Cupcakes

It was a rainy, chilly weekend. The kind of weather that is strange and unusual for the desert. It was the kind of weather where you just want a fluffy comforter, a warm body to snuggle, and something hot for your belly. I really do love these kinds of days and miss them dearly since moving to the desert. So I cherish every moment of rainy moodiness that I can get. Instead of hibernating and doing these things, I decided to bake since baking fills a home with warmth and cozy feelings and really there’s nothing like the smell of fresh-baked goods floating through your home. My desire for baked goods was strong and after exploring my pantry I decided on Mint Chocolate Cupcakes.

Why? Well, we are entering that festive time of year where we say goodbye to our pumpkin favorites and say hello to chocolatey goodness (at least according to Starbucks and the massive change over in seasonal beverages.) In my zone, I created these lovelies without really paying attention to the process. They are incredibly moist and so minty fresh you don’t feel like you need to brush your teeth. I tried this recipe from Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s and Terry Hope Romero’s Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. The best part about this is that you don’t need any specific recipe to make these. You can take any old chocolate cupcake recipe and just add about a 1/2 teaspoon of peppermint extract and call it a day. If you are adapting a chocolate cupcake recipe to make it vegan, remember to substitute the milk for an alternative like soy or almond and to find a vegan binder. The binder for this recipe happens to be canola oil, which is probably why they are so moist.

Unfortunately, my decorating skills are not up to par, it’s something I am working on. I seem to have misplaced my pastry bags so I kind of globbed this icing on with a decorating spatula. I also had some issues mixing the food coloring for the frosting. Sometimes I need to stop day dreaming about my future Vespa riding adventures in the mountain towns of Italy and pay attention to what I am doing.  Always remember, made from scratch, not out of a box, will always give you superior flavor. I will reiterate this often, Snuggle Friends, because it is a tried and true tradition for me. You are allowed a little more flexibility with ingredients when you bake from scratch. For example, feeling a little bit crazy? Try different flours and see what happens. Get your kitchen creativity going and try some experiments!

Oh yeah, crazy with some polka dots!

Oh yeah, crazy with some polka dots!

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