02 April 2012

Springtime Carrot (Cup)cake + So Delicious Giveaway Winners!

Let's get to the fun stuff first... although, this entire post is a lot of fun, if I do say so myself :-)
It's time to announce the winners of the So Delicious Giveaway! The lucky winners are...


[moment of suspense]


Audrey  Mar 27, 2012 08:31 AM
I want to try the butter pecan ice cream!


Jenna Z  Mar 28, 2012 03:17 PM
Unsweetened almond milk for me! Yum!

Butter Pecan? Unsweetened Almond Milk? Ladies after my own heart :-)
Well, now you get to try them for free! Congratulations, friends!!
Please make sure to send me your email addresses, especially if you haven't yet heard from me. If I am unable to contact winners by Friday, April 6th, I will select a new winner(s).
(EDIT: New winner selected - corrected above.)


Also a big Thank You to everyone for participating. This was my first giveaway, and it was so much fun. I really enjoyed reading everyone's product choices. I may be doing another fun product giveaway in the near future, so keep checking back :-)

I'd have loved to give every participant a voucher, but since I only had two, it was just not possible. I can share some extra love by way of a yummy Springtime recipe, though. What say ye?
Carrots... cake... spice... creamy frosting... Sound appealing at all?

We haven't actually experienced Spring here quite yet. We went from winter temps to summer temps and then basically back to Winter.

Despite the wacky weather, I had Springtime recipe ideas running through my head. The stretch of warm weather caused the trees to bud and flowers to blossom early. That gives something of a sense of spring, despite the chilly temps.

There's something about carrot cake that makes me think of Spring. It's probably...


BUNNIES!

Spring > Bunnies > Carrots > Carrot Cake


Carrot cake became a birthday tradition, when we were little. It was a "sweet" treat my mom was willing to give us - NO artificial yellow cakes with artificially colored/flavored frostings. Later on we were allowed to get one certain cake from the local Italian bakery - always (only) the one layered with actual strawberries and real whipped cream "frosting".1
For a long time, I thought carrot cake was the most boring cake ever. It was not oozing a sweetness that permeated the entire cake. It was full of vegetables, and not at all a cake-y color.2
It was just this single-layered lump, covered with an off-white layer of frosting made from cream cheese.
Weird.3

Then I got wise and recognized the amazingness that is carrot cake... moist, oh-so-flavorfully spiced, and the perfect amount of (primarily natural) sweetness. In particular now, I am able to appreciate the amazingness of vegan, gluten free, allergy free carrot cake - even better still.

I Spring-ed/snazzed up the cupcakes with some homemade coconut candy buttons. They can literally be whipped up and ready in 5-10 minutes. I thought they lent an extra bit of "Spring" to the cupcakes, but without the sugars, artificial colors, and other potentially undesirable ingredients of store-bought candies and decorations. I've included the recipe for the candy buttons below as well.

Carrot (Cup)Cake
(makes 6 cupcakes or one 8" single-layer cake)
  • 1/2 Cup + 2 Tbsp (85g) Sorghum Flour
  • 5 Tbsp (45g) Tapioca Flour
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp Sea Salt
  • 3/4 Cup (130g) Pulverized Carrots
  • 3 Tbsp Maple Syrup
  • 1 Chia or Flax Egg (1T Ground Chia/Flax + 3T filtered water)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp (20g) Olive Oil
  • 2 tsp (10g) Virgin Coconut Oil
  • 2 Tbsp So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk
  • 1/2 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Cream Cheeze Frosting
Oven: 350F/180C
Bake time: 25-30 mins

Lightly grease or line a muffin tin with baking cups.

Prepare the chia or flax egg and set aside.

Using a food processor, pulverize/process the carrots until they are very finely chopped and shredded.

In a mixing bowl, combine the flours, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and sea salt.

Add the remaining wet ingredients (carrot, oils, maple syrup, chia egg, coconut milk, vinegar) to the dry ingredients. Mix until well combined and batter becomes fairly smooth.

Fill the muffin cups about 3/4 or 7/8 full, and bake in a preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Allow the muffins to cool for a few minutes, before transferring to a cooling rack.
Once the muffins are completely cooled, frost them with some Cream Cheeze Frosting, and decorate with the coconut buttons.

Enjoy!

Coconut Candy Buttons
  • 3/4 Cup Coconut Butter (Not coconut oil - I used Let's Do Organics... Creamed Coconut for this batch)
  • 1/4 tsp Beet Powder
  • 1/8 tsp Turmeric
  • pinch of Sea Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla, Lemon or Almond Extract or any other flavors you wish! (optional)**
  • Liquid Sweetener [stevia, coconut nectar, maple syrup] to taste (optional)* 

Gently warm the coconut butter, so that it is soft and easy to stir.

Add the sea salt, flavored extract and any preferred sweetener (if you're using it), and mix well.
*Coconut Butter has a wonderfully subtle, natural sweetness. I think it's perfect as-is and did not add any  sweeteners.
Evenly divide the coconut butter mixture into two separate bowls. Add the beet powder to one bowl and the turmeric to the other. Stir in well. It may a take a few minutes to get the powder dissoled and the color evenly distributed.
**If you'd like to make different flavored buttons, add the flavor(s) after dividing the coconut butter, and add only 1/4 tsp of flavor to each half.

Line a plate or baking sheet with parchment paper.
Now it's time to create the buttons. I used a 1/4 teaspoon measuring spoon to scoop out the mixture and then carefully slide it out of the spoon and onto the parchment paper. The mixture should be thick enough to also try to roll out little beads/buttons with your fingers; although you would need to work quickly.
Small candy molds would work really nicely as well. Since, I don't happen to own any, I just got creative.

Once the buttons are formed/molds filled, pop them into the fridge for 1-2 hours, or until solid. The candies can be stored in the fridge, in an airtight container, for several weeks (possibly more).
I wouldn't recommend freezing them, as it can cause a whitish film to form.


1. This was a HUGE treat for us.
2. Not to my young mind, at least. This was the same young mind that vowed to one day fill my cabinets with white bread, Coca Cola, and rainbow-colored cereals.
3. Again, my 8 year old "I-wish-I could-have-sugar" mind talking thinking.

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