April 6, 2012


Did you think I would leave you hanging and give you a cupcake recipe with no icing?? Of course not!

Today, we will be making a Chocolate Ganache Filling for our Bourbon Scented Vanilla Cupcakes and topping them with a Bourbon Nut Buttercream.

Get excited, because not only are both equally delicious, they are both VEGAN!! But don't let that discourage you. No one will be able to tell and everyone will just love this icing. I think it has just become my go-to recipe!

Let's start with the ganache. Pretend you've already made the delicious ganache and now you will want to fill your lovely cupcakes with the chocolate (Recipes are at the end of this post).

To assemble your cupcakes, you will need to hollow out the middle of your cupcakes:
I use the bottom of the icing tip to make a shallow hole

Then use a 1/4 teaspoon to hollow out the very middle of the cupcake, making the crater deeper

It should look about this deep

Fill cupcake with your cooled ganache

Finally, you need to top the cupcakes with some rich and creamy Bourbon Nut Buttercream!

Make your icing! It will look like this:
I used a big star tip to make the cupcakes look extra special.

Both the recipes for chocolate ganache and buttercream are below. You will not be disappointed!

I just took the traditional ganache recipe that is usually made with cream, butter, and chocolate chips, but vegan-ized it. It is extremely delicious and would also be perfect for using as a dipping chocolate for strawberries or whatever else you might like.

Vegan Chocolate Ganache

  • 1/3 cup soy milk
  • 4 Tablespoons Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks
  • 6 oz. vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips


In a double boiler, heat butter and soy milk together over medium heat until butter is completely melted. It will take about 10 minutes to completely melt.

Once melted, add in the chocolate chips and continuously stir until the mixture is shiny and smooth. About another 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and set aside to let cool to pudding like consistency. It will take about 2 - 3 hours to cool to this stage. Stir mixture every 15 - 30 minutes during the cooling process.
Shiny and Smooth!
NOTE: Do NOT let any drop of water get into the mixture while heating, otherwise bad things will happen.

Bourbon Nut Buttercream

Adapted from Eat, Live, Run

  • 2 sticks earth balance buttery spread, softened
  • 5 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons soy milk
  • 4 Tablespoons bourbon
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts

First things first, if you do not have your walnuts finely chopped, chop them up in a food processor until very fine and meal-like.

In a large bowl, beat butter on medium high speed for 4 - 5 minutes or until light and fluffy.

Add in the powdered sugar (carefully), soy milk, and bourbon. Beat on low - medium speed until everything is combined.

Finely, beat in the finely chopped walnuts until evenly incorporated.

You are now ready to top your favorite baked good with this delicious concoction!

April 4, 2012


Cupcakes are definitely one of my favorite things. They are so cute and dainty and you can be so creative with them. Cupcakes can be molded and shaped into any flavor combination possible and the result is almost always delicious.

So naturally, last week I was going through cupcake withdrawals having not produced a single mini cake in my oven in MONTHS! And with the Kentucky Derby coming up soon, I got a little creative with the traditional Derby dessert...Derby Pie.

Here's what I came up with:
Bourbon Scented Vanilla Cupcakes
 with a 
Bourbon Nut Buttercream 
Chocolate Ganache Filling

I was essentially going for the same flavors you would find in this traditional pie...chocolate, nuts, and bourbon... but put into a slightly different form.

I was extremely happy with the result, and I hope you make these for your next Derby Party on May 5th, 2012!

For starters, I'll give you the cupcake recipe.

Print this recipe!

Bourbon Scented Vanilla Cupcakes
Adapted from Eat, Live, Run

  • 3 cups bleached cake flour
  • 1.5 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 12 Tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1.5 cups cane sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup soy milk
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons bourbon
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon cane sugar
Sift all of the dry ingredients together and set aside.
It may get a tad messy
In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together for 3 - 4 minutes or until light and fluffy. 

Add in the eggs, one at a time, until everything is fully combined. Beat of medium high speed for another 3 - 4 minutes.

Next, alternately add in the sifted flour mixture and the milk + vanilla, being sure to start by adding the flour, and ending by adding the flour. The pattern should look like this:

1/3 flour mixture, 1/2 milk, 1/3 flour mixture, 1/2 milk, 1/3 flour mixture

Be sure you do NOT over-mix the batter, or your cupcakes will turn out tough!

Fill cupcakes liners 2/3 of the way up with batter and baked at 350 degrees for 20 - 22 minutes, rotating the pan 180 degrees half way through baking.

Allow to cool on a cooling rack. Once the cupcakes are cool enough to handle, mix the bourbon, water, and sugar together in a small bowl. Take a teaspoon of the liquid and drizzle onto the top of the cupcake. The liquid should instantly soak in.

You are now ready to fill and frost your cupcakes!

April 3, 2012

Salsa Time

 Let's talk about tomatoes for a sec...

You know when you leave them in the refrigerator for too long, and they are on their last leg and you are this close to throwing them in the trash?

Well DON'T!

Instead, chop them up and make them into salsa! Salsa is the easiest thing to make and it is a great way to use that produce you might have just thrown away.
doesn't it look tasty?
Print this recipe!

First you will need some very ripe tomatoes. Any kind will do....they should be slightly soft. I had a red heirloom tomato and half of a yellow heirloom left over.

Now, chop up your tomatoes very finely! They should be very juicy. Important: Save All of the Juice!! The juice will make the salsa the right consistency.

See! Very liquid-y! Put your chopped tomato with juice in a glass bowl.

Finely chop up some fresh garlic (about 2 cloves) and a whole jalepeno pepper!

Finely chop the garlic and add to bowl

Finely dice as well
Remove the seeds for the flavor, but less heat

It should look like this once chopped
If you want to score bonus points with your salsa, add a bit of chopped mango. Extra Refreshing!

Do you have everything dumped into the bowl? Good!

Finally, squeeze the juice from half of a lime all over everything. Stir to combine. Don't forget to add some salt! Just a pinch!

Tada! You made it!
 You can consume right away if you wish, but the flavor get better with time. You should really let it marinade for a few hours before enjoying!