A few nights ago, my older son turned on the charm and asked if I could make some cupcakes for a friend of his who just had a birthday. He’s quite the charmer, but this one was an easy win for him. I’m always happy to make cupcakes. Plus, vegan cupcakes are one of the best ways to let everyone know that vegan food rocks!
As it turned out, this was the beginning of a minor kitchen adventure in which I made a big mess and my husband murdered a spoon. And no, this isn’t what happens every night! Honestly. It’s normally either a mess or a spoon, but very rarely is it both!
My son gave me no guidance regarding the flavor of the cupcakes. His exact response when asked if he still wanted them for tomorrow was “Yes idk what kind though.” This might’ve been great fun, but I don’t know the person and was a little concerned that if I went too creative I’d later find out that her favorite is vanilla. The safe bet, I decided, was the middle of the road.
I made two different types of cupcakes because each recipe only makes a dozen. I wasn’t sure how many people would be at the shin-dig (I need to ask better questions, apparently). Plus, there was the small issue of the folks here at home who had to smell them baking.
Younger son: “Um, what’re you baking?”
Me: “Cupcakes for your brother’s friend.”
Younger son: “Cupcakes for us?”
Me: “No, cupcakes for your brother’s friend.”
Younger son: “So, cupcakes for us?”
Even before this conversation, I knew I couldn’t bake cupcakes and slap everyone’s hands away all night. Besides, slapping my own hand away would have been very odd and I probably wouldn’t have been able to do it anyway.
Ah, so tonight I used Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World and made “Your Basic Chocolate Cupcake” recipe with the Cookies ‘n’ Cream variation. I’ve made these before and know that they’re always a success. I follow the recipe exactly. To cookies ‘n’ cream them up, I beat the tar out of ten Newman-O’s for the cookies that go into the batter and then crumbled a few more for the frosting.
I also made “Chocolate and Vanilla Marble Cupcakes.” These were new to me but sounded like fun. They were pretty straightforward until I got to step 6. The directions tell you to add the chocolate batter and the vanilla batter to the cupcakes liners at the same time. “Some people may not have the hand-eye coordination to do this,” it warns. I don’t have great hand-eye coordination on my best days, so I asked my husband to help. One of the skills necessary for his job is hand-eye coordination, but this one defied even his well-honed skills. After a few moments of “Ugh!” and “Oh no!” and “What is happening?” we decided to use the alternating spoonful method described as the second liner-filling option.
The marbled cupcakes turned out a little differently than I anticipated. For some reason, they pulled away from the sides of the cupcake pan and didn’t rise very well. They were also more crumbly and less cutesy than I’d hoped. Although I followed the directions very carefully, the marbling process turned into a… process. It’s possible that I did something then that caused the issue. The next time I make them, I will be mindful of this and see if a change in my process results in a better outcome. Overall, it’s not too big a problem because the frosting made them all appear more uniform and I sprinkled chopped up vegan chocolate chips over them for decoration. Besides, I’m hopeful they’ll be quickly devoured anyway.
I’d hurried a bit to get this project done before it was too far past bedtime. The kitchen was looking a little battered (yes, pun intended) but, in all fairness, it smelled terrific! While I mixed up a batch of the Vegan Fluffy Buttercream Frosting, my husband decided to help clean up and began washing dishes. After a moment, the garbage disposal began screaming, or maybe it was the spoon, but in any event, we lost a spoon tonight.
I’m always bummed when we lose a spoon, so we had to take a moment to mourn the loss. I turned back to my frosting and promptly broke the handle off of a measuring cup. I don’t appreciate it when the kitchen supplies start revolting in some misplaced show of solidarity, so it was good that we were almost done. Plus, I really wanted a cupcake.
After the cupcakes cooled, I frosted them. I added more crushed cookies to the frosting for the Cookies ‘n’ Cream batch. Both recipes looked deliciously awesome. Now I’m off to figure where to hide these babies until they can make it to the party. I hope my son’s friends enjoy them and that the birthday girl has a wonderfully happy birthday!