Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Vegan Carob Cupcakes with Icing

Imagine the birthday parties you've been to....or imagine the photos you've seen of your own first birthday. What image comes to mind most frequently? Chubby faces and hands smeared with chocolate, right? It's an important milestone is every baby's life, as well as every parent's.

Last night I had a first birthday to celebrate, but this baby is special. She can't have chocolate, because it's poisonous to her. Dairy is off the table because of lactose intolerance. While it would be easy to make a cake just for her, we wanted to celebrate this milestone with her....

Surprise! It's my puppy, Trillian's, first birthday!

This moist, fudge-y, melt-in-your-mouth cupcake uses carob powder to keep it as dog-friendly as you can get while maintaining high human satisfaction. Rice milk was substituted for milk, coconut oil for the necessary butter element. While eggs are on the safe list for puppies, I had a bag of Jonathon apples that I was desperate to use up, so I blended one up for some au naturel applesauce.

Put it all together, and what do you end up with? A tasty treat for canine and human alike. The dogs had cupcakes topped with just the icing. For the humans, I spooned a bit of strawberry-balsamic purée over the top and then added a dollop of icing. Trillian had a very happy birthday, indeed!

Carob Cupcakes

3/4 cup unrefined cane sugar
1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons whole wheat pastry flour
3 tablespoons
carob powder
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of sea salt
1/4 c applesauce
1/2 cup rice milk
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup hot water

Preheat oven to 350F. Line or grease 12 muffin tins and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine sugar, flours, carob, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a second bowl, whisk together applesauce, milk, oil, and vanilla.

Add applesauce mixture to the flour mixture and beat for 2 minutes. Whisk in the hot water. Pour batter evenly into the muffin tins, filling each about 3/4 of the way full.

Bake in the preheated over for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes. Serve warm or remove from pan and cool completely on a wire rack. Enjoy as is or add toppings as desired.

Carob Icing

1/4 c rice milk
1 tbs cashew butter
1 tsp coconut oil
1/4 c carob powder
1 tbs agave (adjust to taste)
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

In a small, heavy saucepan warm the milk, cashew butter, and oil over medium-low heat. Whisk frequently until the cashew butter is well-combined with the milk. Add the carob powder and the agave and continue stirring until all ingredients are incorporated, dark, and shiny. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Allow to cool, then use to top your favorite desserts. Makes about 3/4 cup of icing, which is perfect for one dozen cupcakes.

Strawberry Balsamic Purée

8 medium-sized ripe strawberries
1 tsp balsamic vinegar (I used my chocolate-infused!)
2 tbs sugar

Purée all ingredients in the blender. Serve over your favorite desserts. Makes 1 cup of purée.


  1. Aww, you made her vegan cupcakes! I don't think I've put carob in a cake form before (just cookies), but this sounds great, especially with coconut oil, rice milk, and applesauce.

  2. I dare say it rivals your best ever chocolate cake ;). If I had time, I'd have used different flour for my baby girl (since wheat isn't exactly the best choice), but it was just one cupcake on one day. These disappeared FAST though. My own mother--who never eats anything I make--had two of them, and she complimented them heavily. She doesn't drink, so I have to assume it was the truth....