Lemon Strawberry Cupcakes: Recipe #239

Citrus + berries is a vibrant combination with many delightful variations: orange blueberry, lime blackberry, grapefruit raspberry, and of course today’s feature of lemon strawberry cupcakes.

As we savor this recipe, let’s also take a second to remember that every piece of food we put in our mouths is a gift from the whole universe. We give thanks for all the soil, and plants, and sunshine, and rain, and farmers, and grocery store workers who came together to produce each little bite that nourishes us.

Thanks also to Isa for this recipe’s inspiration and to all of you for being part of our delicious, mindful, planet-saving family!

Ingredients ($18 for 12 cupcakes)

Cupcakes:
3/4 cup brown sugar – $0.39
1 cup soy milk – $0.37
1/4 cup coconut oil – $2.20
1 tsp vanilla – $0.20
2 lemons, juiced and zested – $0.40
1 1/2 cups flour – $0.74
1 tsp baking powder – $0.02
1/4 tsp baking soda – $0.01
1/2 tsp salt – $0.03

Icing:
1 cup strawberries – $2.50
3/4 cup coconut oil – $6.60 (or use margarine if you want to save money!)
4 1/2 cups icing sugar – $3.96
1 tsp vanilla – $0.20

Directions for Lemon Strawberry Cupcakes

1. In a large bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, soy milk, and coconut oil very well, then add in the vanilla, lemon juice and zest. Next, mix in the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir together just until it’s combined, without overmixing.

Scoop the batter evenly into 12 paper-lined muffin tin cups. Bake at 350F for 16-18 minutes until they spring back to the touch and an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a cooling rack.

2. Make the icing: blend the strawberries up in a blender, then transfer them to a large bowl, add the coconut oil or margarine, and beat with an electric mixer. Add the icing sugar in small amounts as you beat the mixture, then add the vanilla in. Refrigerate to set the icing if it’s too runny.

Once the cupcakes are cooled and the icing is set, spread the icing on top of the cupcakes. Then enjoy your lemon strawberry cupcake on behalf of all the wonderful beings who helped you make it! 🧁❀️

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 3 = <1 hour
  • Servings: 3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness:Β 3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 1 = eat rarely
  • TOTAL: 16/18

If any of you lovely readers tried it, or have other recipes you’d like us to experiment with, please let me know. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes (Vegan): Recipe #236

How can a cupcake help me become enlightened, you might ask? Or maybe you didn’t ask, but now you’re curious. Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh talks about how we can all become “part-time Buddhas” whenever we take a moment to enjoy a mindful breath, a smile, a mindful step, or… a thoroughly savored bite of cupcake! These dark chocolate peanut butter cupcakes, made without any animal ingredients, are our gift to you on your path of awakening. πŸ™‚

Thanks to Isa for inspiration, and thanks to you all for being part of our delicious, mindful, planet-saving family!

Ingredients ($14 for 24 cupcakes)

Cupcakes:
2 cups soy milk – $0.74
2 tsp apple cider vinegar – $0.20
1 1/2 cups brown sugar – $0.79
2/3 cup coconut oil, warmed to liquid – $5.50
3 tsp vanilla – $0.60
1 cup flour – $0.16
1 cup white whole wheat flour – $0.18
2/3 cup cocoa powder – $0.73
1 1/2 tsp baking soda – $0.03
1 tsp baking powder – $0.02
1/2 tsp salt – $0.03

Icing:
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter, room temperature – $1.16
1 tsp vanilla – $0.20
2 1/2 cups icing sugar – $2.20
1/4 cup soy milk – $0.08
2 tbsp coconut oil – $1.10

Directions

1. Make the cupcakes. In a large bowl, mix the soy milk and vinegar and let it sit for 5 minutes to curdle and get thick. Then mix in the brown sugar, coconut oil and vanilla. Whisk until it gets foamy.

Next, in a separate bowl, mix the flours, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Then pour the dry ingredients into the wet ones and mix just until they’re combined. It will be a little bit lumpy and that’s ok.

Scoop the batter into 24 paper-lined muffin tins and bake at 350F for 18 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from the muffin tins and cool on a rack.

2. While the cupcakes are cooling, make the icing. Mix the peanut butter, vanilla, icing sugar, and soy milk in a large bowl. Use a fork or an electric beater (if you have one) to combine it all together. Then add the coconut oil and keep mixing until it’s very smooth. Finally, cover the bowl and refrigerate for half an hour to firm up a bit.

3. Once the cupcakes are cool and the icing is chilled, spread the icing on the cupcakes either with a knife or using a piping bag and fancy tip. Enjoy your moment of enlightenment, savoring the darkness of the chocolate against the sweet, creamy icing. 😍

Any leftover dark chocolate peanut butter cupcakes freeze well for future mindful moments too!

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 3 = <1 hour
  • Servings: 3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness:Β 3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 1 = eat rarely
  • TOTAL: 16/18

If any of you lovely readers tried it, or have other recipes you’d like us to experiment with, please let me know. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Black Forest Cupcakes (Very Fudgy!): Recipe #212

The normal chocolate-cherry combination typical of German black forest cake isn’t my favorite flavor medley, but with apricots and the extreme fudginess of this recipe, I could eat these black forest cupcakes all day long! It’s a modification of our chocolate zucchini cake recipe, only fudgier. Hope you enjoy this decadent and healthy plant-based treat. πŸ™‚

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($8 for 12 cupcakes and 24 mini cupcakes)

Cupcake batter:
1 cups white flour – $0.16
2 cup whole wheat flour – $0.32
3/4 cup cocoa – $0.83
2 tsp baking powder – $0.03
1/2 tsp baking soda – $0.01
1/2 tsp salt – $0.03
3/4 cup brown sugar – $0.39
1 1/4 cup dark chocolate chunks – $1.25
1 cup soy milk – $0.28
3/4 cup canola oil – $0.56
3 eggs – $0.87
1 tbsp vanilla – $1.00
2 cups grated zucchini – $1.40

Icing:
2 tbsp apricot jam – $0.16
1 tbsp soy milk – $0.02
1/2 cup icing sugar – $0.44

Directions for Black Forest Cupcakes

1. Make the batter base: In a large bowl, mix the flours, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt, brown sugar, and chocolate chips. Stir to combine. Add in the soy milk, canola oil, eggs, and vanilla and mix well.

Grate and add the zucchini to the chocolate batter, and fold it in with a spatula until the zucchini is evenly distributed throughout the batter.

2. Pour the batter into cupcake tins lined with cupcake wrappers – we filled 3 tins to make 12 large cupcakes and 24 mini cupcakes. Bake at 350F for 20 mins (large cupcakes) and then 9 mins (mini cupcakes).

Make the icing by mixing together all the ingredients for that, adding more icing sugar if you want it thicker.

3. Cool on a wire rack and enjoy your black forest cupcakes just as they are, drizzled with icing, or topped with non-dairy ice cream!

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 3 = <1 hour
  • Servings: 3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 2 = healthy-ish
  • TOTAL: 17/18

If any of you amazing home chefs tried it, or have other recipes you’d like us to experiment with, please let me know. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Sweet Sheep Cupcakes (Dairy-Free): #144 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

These cupcakes are almost too cute to eat! A little flock of marshmallow sheep with coconut-scented frosting and vegan vanilla cupcakes underneath. Thanks to Rachel Fong for design inspiration and Isa Chandra Moskowitz for cupcake batter ideas.

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($17 total for 12 cupcakes)

Cupcakes:
1 cup vanilla soy milk – $0.37
1 tsp apple cider vinegar – $0.11
1 1/4 cups flour – $0.20
2 tbsp cornstarch – $0.20
3/4 tsp baking powder – $0.01
1/2 tsp baking soda – $0.01
1/2 tsp salt – $0.03
1/3 cup canola oil – $0.22
3/4 cup sugar – $0.66
2 tsp vanilla – $0.20

Frosting:
1 cup coconut oil – $8.79
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar – $3.08
1 1/2 tsp vanilla – $0.15
1/4 cup vanilla soy milk – $0.09

Decorations:
1/2 cup chocolate chips – $0.25
2 cups mini marshmallows – $0.99
24 whole cashews – $2.00

Directions

1. Make the cupcakes: In a measuring cup, mix the soy milk and apple cider vinegar and sit for a couple of minutes to curdle. In a large bowl, mix the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together, then add in the canola oil, sugar, vanilla, and curdled soymilk. Stir just until there are no clumps of flour, then pour evenly into 12 lined cupcake tins.

2. Bake the cupcakes and make the frosting: Bake the cupcakes at 350F for 20 minutes, then lift them out of the tin with a blunt knife and cool on a wire rack. Meanwhile, add the coconut oil and powdered sugar to a large bowl and mix together with an electric mixer until smooth. You could also do this by hand if you don’t have an electric mixer. Add the soy milk and vanilla and mix for a couple more minutes to get a nice spreadable texture.

3. Decorate: On each cooled cupcake, spread some frosting evenly over the surface with a blunt knife or spreader. Add cashew ears, place the chocolate chip eyes and nose, and break the mini marshmallows in half to make sheep fluff. Place the sheep fluff marshmallows all over the sheep faces as desired. Get creative and have fun! Warning: if you give cute names to your cupcake sheep (like Sheepy, Peep, and Fluffball), they will be harder to eat. πŸ™‚

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 2 = 1-3 hours
  • Servings: 3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness:  3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 1 = eat rarely
  • TOTAL: 15

Experiment Outcome: This recipe gets added to our Family Favorites! πŸ™‚

If you tried it, please let me know how it came out for you. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Megan’s Double S’mores Emoji Cupcakes: #119 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

My daughter made these for fun last weekend – s’mores cupcakes with mini emoji s’mores on top. The vegan chocolate cupcakes have a graham cracker base, and they’re almost too adorable to eat! We were inspired by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Rachel Fong for today’s treat.

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($8.50 total for 12 cupcakes + lots of extra fudge sauce)

GRAHAM CRUST:
5 graham crackers, crushed – $0.83
1 tbsp sugar – $0.06
2 1/2 tbsp margarine, melted – $0.39

CUPCAKE:
1 cup plain soy milk – $0.37
1 tsp apple cider vinegar – $0.11
3/4 cup sugar – $0.66
1/3 cup canola oil – $0.22
1 1/2 tsp vanilla – $0.30
1 cup flour – $0.16
1/3 cup cocoa – $0.33
3/4 tsp baking soda – $0.01
1/2 tsp baking powder – $0.01
1/4 tsp salt – $0.01

DECORATIONS:
1 cup mini marshmallows – $0.52
3 graham crackers, cut into 2Γ—2β€³ pieces – $0.55
12 large marshmallows – $0.74
Chocolate fudge sauce, mostly chilled but soft enough to pipe – $3.25

Directions

1. Make the graham crust: in a small bowl, mix the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted margarine. Divide evenly into 12 muffin cups, and press with your fingers to flatten each clump into an even disk at the bottom of each muffin wrapper.

Bake at 350F for 5 minutes, then cool in the tin for 10 minutes.

2. Make the cupcakes: in a medium bowl, whisk the soy milk and vinegar, and let it sit for 3 minutes to curdle. Then add the sugar, oil, and vanilla, and whisk until frothy. In another medium bowl, mix the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Pour the dry into the wet ingredients and mix until well combined, but don’t overmix. It will have a few small lumps.

Spoon the batter into the muffin cups over the cooked graham cracker crusts, and bake at 350F for 18 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack before decorating.

3. Decorate! Take the large marshmallows and use some fudge sauce to glue the top and bottom graham cracker bits to it, leaving the flat face exposed for decorating. Draw any kind of face or emoji or hair you like with a piping bag and thin tip. You could also draw with edible markers if piping isn’t your thing.

Break the mini marshmallows in half and arrange over the top of the cupcakes, then put under a low broil in the oven for 30-60 seconds, or until they puff up and just start to turn golden. Watch carefully or they will burn quickly!

Use a bit more fudge sauce to glue each s’mores face to the top of a marshmallow-topped cupcake. Put in the fridge for a few minutes to set, then enjoy your sweet creation!

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 2 = 1-3 hours
  • Servings: 3 = lots of leftovers 
  • Cost per person: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 1 = eat rarely
  • TOTAL: 15/18

If you tried it, please let me know how it came out for you. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!