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Feeding an army – cupcakes, fast.

February 27, 2011

Over the last few days, I’ve been trying to play to my strengths – making food as part of the Chch baking army, and helping out the food prep people at the UCSA for a morning, to feed the student volunteers. The chocolate cupcakes are not pictured, but I made some of those and (from the top): filled grainy bread rolls, blueberry and almond cupcakes, and spinach feta muffins. In the process, I have discovered the amazingness of vegan baking, but particularly one recipe for chocolate cupcakes from my friend Whitney (originally from the Moosewood cookbook). I tweaked the recipe slightly for the blueberry cupcakes and they still turned out wonderfully, so here are the recipes for both (I can make them off the top of my head now, as I made a chocolate cake too! It’s that awesome). I love that the cakes stay moist and soft for days, and really stretch the capacity of my pantry. The recipe also uses very little baking soda (unlike a lot of other vegan cake recipes, due to the lack of eggs), to let the chocolate flavour really shine.

I also realised I’ve never posted my favourite recipe for spinach/feta muffins, which are freakin delicious! So those are at the end. Also a reminder if you do some baking for the Christchurch Baking Army: log it, so they can keep track of all the lovely things people have done! If providing baking for the student volunteers, try to wrap each portion, and bake things that will not crumble too easily, or need “additions” like jam to taste good (I didn’t but realised while working with food prep people that individual wrapping is kinda important for people who have muddy hands!). If you don’t have wrapping stuff, there’s also the Comfort for Christchurch volunteers distributing baking (they’re the welfare side of the student volunteer army). They would prefer savoury things at the moment, including bread. Also fruit. If you’re in Christchurch and want to help they have a huge range of positions to fill, so check out the “how to help” page.

Chocolate cupcakes

makes 12 regular sized muffins

  • 1 1/2 c plain flour
  • 1/3 c cocoa
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • pinch salt
  • 1c caster sugar
  • 1/2 c vegetable oil (NOT soy oil, as it has quite a strong flavour)
  • 1 c cold coffee (I used about 1 tsp instant) or water
  • optional: 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 Tbs cider or white vinegar (non-meyer lemon juice would probably work too)

Preheat oven to 180C (355F). Sift first five ingredients into a medium sized bowl with pouring lip (if making cupcakes anyway). Definitely sift for this recipe, ok? Just trust me.

Pour liquids EXCEPT vinegar over the dry and whisk until your mixture is smooth and glossy. Pour into cupcake liners in your muffin tray or well greased muffin cups (just more than 3/4 full), and bake in the centre of your oven for about 12 minutes, until a fork inserted into the centre of a cupcake comes out clean, or with only a few crumbs attached. If baking a cake (8 or 9 inch will both work), it takes longer – I think mine took about 30 minutes, so check at the 30 minute mark. Store at room temperature.

I frosted mine with salted caramel buttercream (scroll down that page for recipe) – stunning!

Blueberry & almond cupcakes

makes 12 regular sized muffins

  • 1 1/2 c plain flour
  • 1/3 c ground almonds
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • pinch salt
  • 1c caster sugar
  • 1/2 c vegetable oil (NOT soy oil, as it has quite a strong flavour)
  • 1 c water
  • optional: 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 Tbs cider or white vinegar (non-meyer lemon juice would taste perfect and work well here)
  • 125g punnet blueberries, or more if you love them!
  • optional: I think these would be phenomenal with the zest of an orange or lemon rubbed into the caster sugar, or a tangy citrus cream cheese icing.

Preheat oven to 180C (355F). Sift first five ingredients into a medium sized bowl with pouring lip (if making cupcakes anyway). Definitely sift for this recipe, ok? Just trust me.

Pour liquids EXCEPT vinegar over the dry and whisk until your mixture is smooth (there will be small flour specks but these disappear in the final product). Stir through blueberries (or add into each cupcake after pouring). Pour into cupcake liners in your muffin tray or well greased muffin cups (just more than 3/4 full), and bake in the centre of your oven for about 12 minutes, until a fork inserted into the centre of a cupcake comes out clean, or with only a few crumbs attached. If baking a cake (8 or 9 inch will both work), it takes longer – I think mine took about 30 minutes, so check at the 30 minute mark.

Store at room temperature.

Spinach and feta muffins

makes 12 regular sized muffins

  • 120ml vegetable oil (not soy)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2c water + 1/2c cream/sour cream, OR 1c milk
  • 2 1/3c plain flour
  • hearty amount of freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 c freshly and finely chopped packed spinach, silverbeet leaves or silverbeet (grated courgette would probably also work)
  • handful freshly chopped spring onion/scallions/green onion
  • 100g crumbled feta
  • about 1/3 – 1/2 c freshly grated parmesan
  • optional: 1 tsp grainy mustard

Preheat oven to 190C (375F), with a rack centred.

Mix oil, egg, milk (or cream & water), mustard if using, and spinach, in a medium sized bowl. Sift dry ingredients over the the wet and top with feta, tossing the feta to coat in flour before stirring dry and wet until incorporated (the mixture will be like a super super wet dough). Spoon into well greased or lined muffin trays, and bake about 25 minutes until golden on top. Best served slightly warm or at room temp, on the day they were baked.

PS. Don’t forget to try your treats before sending them out! Also if you’re looking to treat yourself, Mefco is open again and makes the most sublime baklava in Christchurch.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. February 28, 2011 9:02 pm

    So awesome, I’m sure it’ll be hugely appreciated :) really glad to hear you’re doing okay. I love that the cupcakes are vegan but don’t contain tons of baking soda, sometimes it’s all you can taste :P

  2. peasepudding permalink
    March 1, 2011 10:15 pm

    Well done with the support, I’m contributing to a bake sale this Saturday in Auckland, Delish Cupcakes in Forest Hill I’d anyone is local. Take cake, Alli

  3. March 2, 2011 11:37 pm

    Laura: Yeah, that generally tends to be my problem with many a vegan cake :P I find adding some ground nuts adds a little richness too.

    Allison: Yay! It’s so heartening reading about all of the baking drop offs and fundraising efforts from all over the country!

Trackbacks

  1. Cleaning up « Further Than You Think
  2. Citrus and blueberries – a match made in heaven, captured in cake form «
  3. Two Spoons: Feeding an Army fast series « chchbakingarmy

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