My baby boy, Miles, turned 1 year old yesterday. I can hardly believe it. He’s been the sweetest, most easy-going baby I’ve dealt with so far. His only problem is that he still only has two teeth. I’ve been reluctant to try too many different foods, like the chewier or harder kinds, because of this. He doesn’t like a lot of the solid food that I give him, but so far he likes French fries (I know, worst food ever!), bread, crackers, cheese, yogurt and cucumbers. Bananas and strawberries and apples, not so much.
He doesn’t like pureed food. I believe it’s because he has to be spoon-fed to eat it properly, and when he sees his older sister and brother eating with their fingers or a fork or spoon, he wants to eat like they are. After all, spoon-feeding is for babies!
Recently I went shopping for bigger clothes for Miles with my mother-in-law and bought him a couple of outfits. You’d think that he could just wear clothes that his 3-year-old brother had grown out of, but don’t forget that we moved to the Southern Hemisphere – the summery clothes that fit his older brother when he was 1 year old will not do in winter Down Under! Our seasons are completely opposite and this has been a little annoying, as we’ve had to basically buy all new clothing for the baby. Ah well, it’s not all bad though – shopping for baby clothes is so fun (and terribly addicting)!
For Miles’ first birthday celebration I planned on making a simple batch of colorful cupcakes. I decided on chocolate-on-chocolate cupcakes with mini rainbow chocolate chip decorations.
The chocolate cake is vegan. No, we haven’t turned vegan, or even vegetarian. When I saw these cupcakes at Sweet Tooth I thought they looked so incredibly soft and moist that I wanted to make them straight away. The cupcakes have no eggs and no butter in them; instead they use coconut milk and canola oil, plus a touch of almond meal. They sounded fabulous, and they tasted amazing. They had the most lovely soft texture and the moistness factor was extreme. I’m seriously considering using this recipe as my go-to chocolate cupcakes.
What I also love about these cupcakes is that they stay soft when refrigerated. The butter in cupcakes usually make them too firm when eaten straight from the refrigerator, but these vegan cupcakes, with no butter, stayed soft (okay, well, they firmed up slightly) and tasted great straight out of the refrigerator.
And something else I love about these cupcakes – you don’t have to wait for your butter, eggs and milk to come up to room temperature to begin this recipe. You can grab the ingredients from your pantry and get straight to work.
The frosting on these cupcakes is chocolate cream cheese frosting (not vegan). It was only so-so. The recipe is from Martha Stewart and is simply a combination of melted chocolate, cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar. I won’t be making it again. I’m not really big on cream cheese, which is possibly why I didn’t like this frosting.
With the cake being so soft and the frosting being so smooth, the crunch of the rainbow chocolate chips was a welcome addition. And they made these cupcakes very colorful!
My final word – I wholeheartedly recommend making these cupcakes (just the cake part, not the frosting!) no matter if you’re vegan, vegetarian, omnivore or even carnivore! If you love soft-textured and moist chocolate cakes, this recipe is definitely for you.
1 cup coconut milk
1/3 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons almond meal
1/3 cup cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk together, by hand, the coconut milk, sugar, oil, and vanilla extract. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, almond meal, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. With the mixer on low-speed, slowly add the dry ingredients to the coconut milk mixture until it is uniform and smooth (do not overmix).
Pour batter in liners, filling cups no more than 2/3 full (3 tablespoons of batter). Bake 18-20 inutes, or until cake tester comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.