When my youngest son was little he loved to help in the kitchen. There were times when it made the meal prep a bit longer but I always tried my best to appreciate his interest. As he grew up he would show up in the kitchen, and like a mad scientist just start pulling stuff out of the pantry and fridge and create recipes. Sometimes my husband would walk in and say, “Why do you let him do this?” because it would look like a crime scene while he was working. I would usually play the role of kitchen cleanup and often I would think, “Why do I let him do this?”. He is now a teenager and if he offers to cook for us, we all start salivating. Even a simple Grilled Cheese sandwich is a work of art. He is very at home in the kitchen and uses it not only as a place to express himself creatively , but also as a place to whip up an all- natural yummy dessert or meal for himself and if we are lucky- for us as well. He has also learned to keep up while he is cooking so I no longer need to be in the kitchen with him and it is all neat and tidy when he is done- which is obviously HUGE! We need to be fearless in the kitchen and we need to teach our children to be fearless in the kitchen as well. Let them play, let them learn and when they make you that first meal while you sit back and relax you will know it was worth the mess. He whipped these us for us last week and they were so delicious! One of my sons took two up to his room and hid them because he knew they wouldn’t last too long!
One more thing- someone asked me recently, “Shouldn’t you be posting healthy, sugar- free, low calorie dessert recipes using whole wheat flour?”. The answer: If I find a recipe with those ingredients that I think you will appreciate I will share it here. However, we all need to be “bad” sometimes and have a little fun; it makes life worth living, yes? It beats buying packaged processed cupcakes and these are worth the effort and the calories, trust me.
Original Recipe from the cookbook: Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. by Isa Chandra Moskowitz & Terry Hope Romero (link at bottom of page)
- 1 cup of soy milk (we used almond milk)
- 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
- ¾ cup of canola oil (we used vegetable oil)
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- ½ tsp. almond extract, chocolate extract, or more vanilla extract
- 1 cup of all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder, Dutch processed or regular
- ¾ tsp. baking soda
- ½ tsp. baking powder
- ¼ tsp. salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line muffin pan with foil liners.
- Whisk together the milk and vinegar in a large bowl, and set aside for a few minutes to curdle.
- Add the sugar, oil, and vanilla extract and other extract to the milk mixture and beat until foamy.
- In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add in two batches to wet ingredients and beat until no large lumps remain (a few tiny lumps are okay).
- Pour into liners, filling three-quarters of the way.
- Bake 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Transfer to cooling rack and let cool completely before adding frosting.
Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
- ¼ cup vegan margarine, softened (I admit- we used butter)
- ¼ cup of shortening
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder (sifted if there are clumps)
- 2 ½ cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 3 tablespoons soymilk (we used almond milk)
- 1 ½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
- Cream together the margarine/butter and the shortening until well combined.
- Add the cocoa powder and incorporate well.
- Add the powdered sugar in about ½ cup batches and beat well, adding a little splash of milk after each addition.
- When all ingredients have been well incorporated, add the vanilla and beat until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes with a hand mixer, 7 minutes if mixing with a fork)
Add a teaspoon of coffee extract for mocha buttercream.
He added little yummy touches to the icing as toppings like lemon, lime and orange peels, crushed nuts, chocolate chips, coconut, jalapenos and powdered sugar.