Tag Archives: coffee

Putting the “Cup” in Cupcake

6 Oct

This week was something special – not in a good way.  In a crazy, sort of awesome, super hectic stressful yet satisfying sort of way.  And there’s still more to come.

There was a paper written last night:  four hours, five pages, in Spanish.

There was a hyper-mega-inspiring lady speaking in my Sign Language class:  deaf and legally blind (called Usher syndrome); she’s been losing peripheral  vision since she was in her early twenties, and her night vision left her when she was a teenager.  Now, she only has ten-degree vision.  That’s like looking through a hole that’s about 2 centimeters in diameter.  You have to stand directly in front of her and four feet away to sign with her so she can see you.

She was hilarious.

She made me wish I was deaf so I could be that funny and inspiring.

There’s an art history test tomorrow.  There’s 26 images I have to memorize; to be able to regurgitate the title, location, and date and be able to speak intelligently about it.

It’s timed.  Gross.

There’s fruit flies.  Also gross.

There’s traps all over our room trying to make them die.

They’re not working.

There’s mug cakes.  Tonight.

I’d heard of them.   I’d stashed them away in that little file cabinet in the back of my head to maybe make someday.

Tonight it happened, and me-oh-my, it was fabulous.

This is what happens in real life.  Cooping yourself up in your room with a mugful of cake in one hand and a mugful of coffee in the other.

Trying to put off studying for just a few more blissful minutes of chocolate hazelnut coffee goodness.


(serves 1)

  • 4 tbsp. flour
  • 3 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. ground flax seeds mixed with 3 tbsp. water
  • 3 tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 1 heaping tbsp. Justin’s chocolate hazelnut butter
  • 3 tbsp. vanilla soy milk
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 3/8 tsp. baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • dash of instant coffee granules.
Mix it all up in a mug with a fork.  Stick it in the microwave for 1 1/2 to 3 minutes.  Enjoy.

Drinks and dresses

7 May

Let me tell you how this post was supposed to go today.

I was going to start off by saying how great it is that it’s spring, and how some of my favorite things about spring (and summer, for that matter) are being able to drink frappuccinos instead of lattes and wear sundresses and capris instead of jeans and sweat pants.

But then it rained today.  And I’m not talking about those wimpy little warm sprinklings you sometimes see in May.

It rained big time.

It rained like May was having an identity crisis and thought it was March.

And now I’m wearing sweat pants.

So, I’m not sure what these are supposed to be now.  Maybe they’re caramel frappuccino cupcakes (which is what they’re called on the brainstorm sticky note on my laptop) if where you are it’s actually spring-ing right now, or maybe they’re warm, cozy caramel macchiato cupcakes if you’re here in the great Pacific Northwest, or you’re just feeling cloudy today.

Either way, they’re delicious.  They have coffee in them.  Lots of coffee.  And no stupid chocolate to mask that coffee flavor, or any superfluous frosting to dampen the amazing caffeinated zing that comes from the cake.

Just coffee cupcakes filled with caramel.

(Please forgive me for using a previously posted recipe.  It’s worth repeating, trust me.)

  • 1 cup soy milk
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2-3 tablespoons of instant coffee

 Preheat the oven to 350°F and prepare your cupcake tin for lift-off.  Mix together the dry ingredients, then add in the wet.  Scoop into the cupcake tin and bake for about 20 – 22 minutes.  Once they’re cool, carve out a little well in the middle of the cupcake and fill it with caramel sauce.  You can (and should) make your own, but mine failed pretty spectacularly, which is why I’m not giving you a recipe.

Enjoy with good friends, a good book, and hopefully the good weather will follow.

Earth Day, sort of…

10 Apr

Hi.  Remember me?

That’s okay, I’m not sure I remember me either.  In fact, I’ve been gone so long, WordPress kicked me off their “keep me signed in” thing.  I actually had to remember what my password was.  Seriously?

I have been away from my blog for exactly 1 month and 21 days.  Would you like to hear what’s happened in my life in that 1 month and 21 days?  Doesn’t matter, I’m going to tell you anyway.  That’s why we call this a blog.

I went to the Glass Museum in Tacoma.  Wow.

I took an Anthropology midterm and got a 90%.

I began attending the knitting club on campus regularly and am now teaching my club-mates how to make socks.

My dear laptop, Agamemnon, crashed and then came back to life.  His name is now Jesús.

I spent a week almost living in the library due to said computer crash.

I read Charles Dickens’ Hard Times and wrote an essay on it.

I wrote another essay in Spanish about Gabriela Mistral’s poetry.

I also read Mitch Albom’s The Five People You Meet in Heaven.  If you have not yet read it, go read it.  Now.  Right now.  As in, stop reading this blog post and go read it.  It’ll only take you about two hours.

I made about $300 working at the bakery over spring break and another $250 babysitting.  Cha-ching!

I spoke Spanish almost all day long at work this past week with my old friends at the bakery.

I tried a new bubble tea spot in Northwest Portland called the Fat Straw.  I had the honeydew milk tea, and it was amazing.  It was like sucking on a freakin’ melon.  Yum.

I went to my favorite baking/decorating store in Portland, The Decorette Shop, and the lady helping me looked at me like I was crazy when I asked her if the circle cookie cutter I was looking at would fit inside a cupcake.

I had a great idea for the March Mystery Box Cupcake Challenge and missed it

And that’s where this story begins.  Mystery Box Cupcakes.  More like, Mystery Frickin’ Beastly Amazing Box Cupcakes.  Yeah, you heard me.

The idea for these cupcakes came from an entremet I made with one of my dearest friends, Carina, which was composed of hazelnut cake, fresh strawberries, and chocolate mousse.

Well, the cake part did.  But the actual cupcake part of the cupcake came from something I saw online around Valentine’s Day, and I applied it to Earth Day Cupcakes.

Oh.  That’s the theme this year.  Earth Day.  I didn’t just decide to celebrate it a week and a half early.

Now, here’s all the stuff I have to put in my blog to qualify for the challenge this month:

These are the official rules.  And these are the sponsors and prizes.  Yay!

The winner of April’s Mystery Box Cupcake Challenge will receive prizes from:

Thank you to all our prize sponsors!

But before we get to the cupcakes, I need to share some Earth Day comics with you.  My personal favorite comic strip artist is Dan Piraro.  He’s amazing.  And witty.  And funny.  I love his style and one of the things I miss about home is seeing his little one-square strips in the paper everyday.  So we’ll start with some from him.

I’ve had this comic sitting in my room for about two years waiting for a chance to use it.  And now I have one.

Oh, the irony…

Alright.  Now the cupcakes.  Are you ready?  You might want to not look directly at them, or their awesomeness could blind you.

Just FYI.  Drum roll please….

That’s right.  ♪♫♬ He’s got the whole world, in his cupcake, he’s got the whole world, in his cupcake! ♪♫♪

More pictures.  Because that’s how proud I am of these cupcakes.

Because when you’re vegan, every day is Earth Day!  Seriously.   Go hug one.  Right now.

Okay.  Now a recipe.

These are hazelnut cupcakes with coffee buttercream.  And super, duper rich.  But totally worth it.


(adapted from my peanut butter cupcakes)

  • 1 c. soy milk
  • 1 tsp. vinegar
  • 1 1/4 c. AP flour
  • 2 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 3/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 c. hazelnut butter
  • 3/4 c. granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract


Keep your oven at 350°F, line your cupcake tin with liners.  Whisk the soy milk and vinegar together in a cup and set aside for a few minutes.  Mix the dry ingredients (except sugar) in a bowl.

In a larger bowl, cream the hazelnut butter and sugar until fluffy (don’t beat past two minutes).  Add in the vanilla.  Then, alternate beating in the flour mixture and milk mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.

Take your half batch of batter and split it in half.  Color one half green and one half blue, and then marble them in your 8×8 pan.  Bake off your 8×8 cake, cut out your circles, and set aside.  Then, mix up a full batch.  Get your cupcake liners in your tin.  Put a little scoop of batter in the bottom, and then stand up the circle vertically in the cup part of the tin (if that makes sense).  Then, pour a little more batter around the circle and on top of the circle.  PAUSE AGAIN.  MAKE SURE YOU KNOW WHICH WAY THE CIRCLES ARE FACING.  PUT THEM ALL FACING THE SAME WAY.  YOU HAVE TO SLICE THE CIRCLE THE RIGHT WAY TO SEE THE CIRCLE ON THE INSIDE. (If you don’t understand what I mean, go back up to the Valentine’s Day link in this post and read that.  It’ll make more sense).  Seriously.  Listen to me. If you cut the circle the wrong way, you’ll just see a rectangle.  There’s nothing very Earth Day about that.

Top off with coffee buttercream.  Here’s how you do it.  Use my buttercream frosting, but mix in about 1 1/2 tbsp. of instant coffee into the 2 -3 tbsp. of soy milk before adding it into the frosting.  (PS, I actually used 1/2 c. shortening and 1/2 c. margarine, because I was low on margarine).

Once they’re frosted, and you know which way they’re supposed to face, slice them open and see the magic!  Happy Early Earth Day!!

“Egg” Nog Latte Cupcakes

23 Nov

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It snowed here on Sunday.  On my way to the University Center to get breakfast on Sunday morning, it started snowing.  I was wearing flip-flops.  And then, I got to the market and they were playing Christmas songs.  And they had written their holiday specials up on the board:  egg nog latte, peppermint mocha, etc.  And there was egg nog in the fridge.

VEGAN egg nog.

So I decided I needed to make Christmas-y cupcakes.

Don’t shoot me – I know it’s not even Thanksgiving yet, and it’s ridiculous how stores put out Christmas decorations the day after Halloween, but I just couldn’t help myself.

Plus, today is the first Snow Day of the year, and I’m trying to put off packing to go home, cleaning my dorm room, and writing my two papers that are due today and tomorrow.



  • 1 1/4 c. Silk eggnog
  • ¼ c. vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 1/3 c. AP flour
  • ¼ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350° F.  Mix the dry and wet ingredients in separate bowls, then pour the wet into the dry and stir just until combined.  Scoop into mini cupcake tins and bake for about 10 minutes.


  • 1 c. non-dairy margarine
  • 4 c. powdered sugar
  • 1/4 c. Silk egg nog
  • A couple tablespoons instant coffee
  • Vanilla extract

Mix the instant coffee with the egg nog.  Prepare just like a normal buttercream, substituting the Silk egg nog for milk.  Top off your cupcakes, and enjoy!

Mini Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes

31 Oct

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Sunday is my baking day.  Today is Sunday.  So, naturally, I had to bake something today, or face the wrath of my floormates.  But today I had baker’s block.  Nothing sounded like fun.  First, I was thinking cinnamon rolls, since that’s on my to-do list.  But I’ve never done a yeast dessert before, and I don’t have a pastry brush to brush on the filling (lame, I know, but give me a break).  Then,I thought RAVIOLI!  I got a pasta roller a few weeks ago, and I’ve been wanting to make pasta for forever and a day.  But, if I wanted to make ravioli, I would need a sauce, and had no way to get my hands on some onions for a sauce.  Idea number two, slashed.  So then I thought homemade OREOs, but that sounded like way too much work.  Then I thought about a whole slew of different cupcake ideas, nixing each one because they weren’t creative enough.

Then it hit me.  Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes.  I always loved fall because of the coffee drinks that hit for the holidays.  I haven’t had a holiday season as a vegan yet, so I don’t know the low-down on all those floofy holiday drinks and whether or not they’re vegan.  BUT, I do know how to make vegan cupcakes.

BAM.  Problem solved.  (I also really wanted an excuse to take pictures with this mug…)



  • 1 c. soy milk
  • 1 tsp. vinegar
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 1/3 c. canola oil
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 1/3 c. all purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2-3 tablespoons of instant ground coffee (note:  don’t you dare skimp here; the coffee flavor bakes off quite a bit, so the batter is stronger than your cupcakes will be)
  • If you want, you can add in a couple tablespoons of pumpkin puree, but not too much because you don’t want to overwhelm the coffee flavor.

Preheat oven to 350°F and prep your mini cupcake tins.  Mix wet ingredients in a large bowl.  Add the dry ingredients into the wet and mix until combined.  Scoop into your tins and bake for about 10 minutes.  Let them cool and then top off with pumpkin frosting (Just a regular buttercream or cream cheese frosting, but substitute pumpkin puree for the soy milk).