Thursday, February 5, 2015

Vegan Maple Cupcakes and a Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World Cookbook Giveaway

It all started with just one cookbook.  You see, some 25 years ago I met my husband, and when I began cooking for him my repertoire included scrambled eggs and pasta.  Hence, he ate pasta 3 different ways (red sauce, pesto or alfredo... from a jar) for about 10 days before he came home from an errand with a cookbook in hand and a suggestion that perhaps we might have something that didn't include eggs or pasta that evening.  I settled myself in front of the fire and read the book cover to cover, adoring the beautiful photo splashed pages along the way.

That cookbook still sits on my shelf, though it's a bit dusty as 25 years has seen an evolution of change to my cooking style in addition to a collection of cookbooks that I don't ever see ceasing to grow.

Collage courtesy of Christina Chavez - Mama's High Strung
And today I'm thrilled to be one of 14 Food Bloggers participating in the 14-Day Valentines Day Cookbook Affair Giveaway to help you grow your own collection!  After all, who doesn't love a new cookbook?

Our group has books to suit all tastes and chances to win every day through Valentine's Day.  Here's a list of what's already up and a sneak peek at tomorrow's giveaway:
  • Alice (our coordinator!) from A Mama, a Baby and a Sharpei in the Kitchen started the event with Artisan Bread Every Day .
  • Christina from Mama's High Strung is featuring the incredible The Flavor Bible written by some of my favorite authors, Karen Page and Andrew Dornenberg. 
  • Christy - Confessions of a Culinary Diva, takes us on an international journey with a French bundle including Around my French Table as well as My Paris Kitchen 
  • Adriana from Great Food 360º keeps us traveling with The Cuban Table
  • And a Sneak Peek... check Heather, from girlichef, tomorrow for a chance to spice up your Valentine with Cooking with Frank's® RedHot® Cayenne Pepper Sauce Cookbook
  • Follow my Facebook page (Liv Life) for daily updates for the remainder of the giveaway! 
Me?  I'm turning to dessert with a little book I picked up on a whim, but one that has become our most reached for book this year.

Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World: 75 Dairy-Free Recipes for Cupcakes that Rule by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero has brought cupcakes back into our life in a big way.

Along the path of my food and cooking evolution, both of my children became lactose intolerant.  My son severely so.

As such, the last few years have found me turning to vegan recipes, knowing they will guarantee diary-free results.  Further exploration into the vegan world has actually brought my family to a nearly all plant-based diet, but vegan baking is occasionally difficult to transition into something the whole family enjoys.

Enter Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World... light, gorgeous, flavorful, luscious, decadent, purely spectacular recipes have even my non-vegan friends asking for recipes and has also made me one of the most popular dance moms at Liv's studio.

Showing up with a batch of Toasted Coconut Cupcakes after a long day of rehearsals is a sure way to gain dance girl love, complete with hugs all around.  Not a coconut fan?  No worries, I can assure you that Peanut Butter Chocolate Heavencakes bring the same reaction.  As do Golden Vanilla Cupcakes with luscious Vegan Fluffy Buttercream.

This book, complete with glossy photo-splashed pages, is 168 pages of pure cupcake love, and I'm guessing your copy will soon be batter splattered just like ours.  I think the authors described it best:

"75 dairy free recipes that are sure to satisfy your sweet tooth and add some extra padding to your butt (or not, we do have some low-fat options!) Named “Cookbook of the Year” by VegNews, vegan cupcakes is the perfect book for beginner bakers wanting to learn the basics as well as the accomplished home baker who wants to expand her repertoire. What’s more, it’s a really awesome looking book with color photos by Rebecca Bent throughout.

We’ve got recipes to fit your every mood and to work with every dietary restriction. While most recipes are decadant and all out naughty, we didn’t leave anyone out. Your aunt is gluten free? No problem! Your boyfriend is trying to lose a few pounds? Send him our way! Your third cousin once removed is diabetic? We’ve got you covered."

Today (and until March 2nd) we are giving away one copy of Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World and one set of 300 Count Polka Dot Standard Baking Cups .
  • Giveaway is open to US Residents as well as those with APO/FPO addresses
  • Givewaway ends March 5th, 2015
  • Givewaway includes one copy of Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World and one set of 300-count polka dot standard baking cups.  (Giveaway is paid for by me, Liv Life)
  • Please enter using giveaway widget below
  • Winner will be notified by email.  Winner has 48 hours to respond or we will then choose another winner. 

Vegan Maple Cupcakes
Although I didn't ask permission from the authors to post this recipe, I'm hoping they won't mind so I can show you that these vegan cupcakes are indeed awesome (just like their book!) and not difficult to make.  While we've made the chocolate, vanilla, coconut and peanut butter versions, today we bring sweet maple.

The book offers frosting to go with each cupcake, or you can choose your own from the frosting/ganache/topping list from the back of the book.  We chose to modify the simple vegan buttercream by adding maple syrup for a slightly sweet, "maply" topping that we loved.

1/2 cup soy milk (we used almond)
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking power
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup canola oil
2 tbs brown sugar
1 1/4 tsp maple extract
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Vegan Buttercream Frosting with Maple (recipe to follow)

Vegan Fluffy Buttercream Frosting (Liv adapted a version from the book)
1/4 cup nonhydrogenated margarine (we use Earth Balance)
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
2-3 cups powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350º Line muffin pan with cupcake liners.

Whisk together the soy milk and vinegar in a large bowl.  Set aside and allow to curdle for a few minutes.

Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg into a sepearate bowl and mix.

To the soy milk, add the maple syrup, oil, brown sugar, vanilla and maple extract.  Whisk to combine.

Pour the milk mixture into the dry ingredients and stir until combined, being careful not to over mix.

Fill the cupcake liners 2/3 full.  Bake 20-22 minutes.  Transfer to cooling racks and make the frosting.

Beat the margarine until fluffy.  Add maple syrup, vanilla and 1 cup of powdered sugar.  Beat until combined.  Add more powdered sugar until you find the consistency you like, then continue beating until the mixture is light and fluffy.  Liv beat hers about 3 minutes.

Place into a piping bag with a special tip if you like and pipe onto cupcakes when they are cool.  Top with chopped sugared walnuts if desired.

Liv Life Note:  Liv Life was not paid to write this review or run this giveaway.  I bought this book myself and simply want to share the love! 


  1. Very nice post, Kim! Beautiful cupcakes!

  2. I love your images and the layout for the cookbook and cupcakes... Newest follower!

  3. WOW! Your photography is impressive!

  4. I am sooooooo excited to try these! You have no idea!

  5. I agree with DB! Your pics are really lovely!!! I want to try vegan cupcakes now!!!

  6. I would never in a million years think that these were vegan, they look so delicious Kim. Very impressive!

  7. I absolutely love maple-anything, and the fact that these are vegan makes them even more appealing. Sounds like a fun cookbook!

  8. I love the story of your early meals as newlyweds! Sounds like my parents when my mom made tuna casserole every single Friday after one compliment from my dad---he finally had to tell her to stop! She ended up being a marvelous cook :) What a wonderful cookbook---those cupcakes look amazing. I want to put a spoonful of that icing topped with the sugared walnuts straight into my mouth!!!

  9. This cookbook would be a very hot ticket in my house as both my daughter and grandson are lactose intolerant - any kind of sweet without dairy is welcome! Like you, I had about 4 things in my repitoire for years.............until I was 49! I've only been cooking about 3 years luckily I had all my Nana's recipe cards and even though I didn't cook, I was smart enough to copy down all her standards one weekend when she was willing to tell me. now I get to cook them every day if I want!

  10. So, what was that first cookbook your husband brought home. Just curious.

  11. i would love to add this little tasty nugget to my collection : ) either way, good luck to all and good eats!

  12. I love chocolate raspberry cupcakes.

  13. Anything with chocolate. So a chocolate cake with a chocolate buttercream is perfection!


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