How To Decorate Succulent Cupcakes + Vegan Chocolate Cupcake Recipe and Vegan Buttercream Recipe

Hello everyone! Today I’m doing something a little different; I am going to be doing a mini tutorial of how to decorate succulent cupcakes. I made these for my sister’s baby shower a couple weeks ago and got a lot of inquiries about how I did it. So, I’ve decided a  “How To Decorate Succulent Cupcakes” post was warranted. I also included a very basic vegan chocolate cupcake recipe and vegan buttercream recipe in this post for the frosting. Yum!

Cacti style cupcake

I also made a “How To Decorate Succulent Cupcakes” video tutorial, if you’re more of a visual learner. I did not show how to make the cupcakes and frosting in the video; it is mostly a tutorial of the frosting process.

I can also make cupcake and frosting videos, if that’s something people would be interested in.

Bloom cupcake

Now, onto these cupcakes. The first time I made them, I used Oh She Glow’s No-Fail Chocolate Cupcakes because it was the first recipe that came up when I googled “easy vegan chocolate cupcakes” on my phone. I added chocolate chips to them and cut the sugar a little and they worked great. Feel free to use literally whatever cupcake recipe you want. I would suggest chocolate for the “dirt” color affect, but truly, any flavor will do. I am including a vegan chocolate cupcake recipe from my ebook below if you want another option.

bloom cupcake succulent cupcakes

And next up, the frosting. I would suggest making 2 cups of vegan buttercream per 12 cupcakes. This will give you a little wiggle room with extra frosting, which is nice when you’re decorating cupcakes in case you mess up or use more than you intend to. I have included a very basic vegan buttercream recipe below, but again, feel free to use your favorite buttercream recipe.

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Vegan Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

These Vegan Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies were heavily inspired by Chris Morrocco’s “BA’s Best Chocolate Chip Cookies” recipe that I stumbled upon first on YouTube, because I obsessively watch the BA YouTube channel because it is the best YouTube channel of all times, as far as I’m concerned.

Vegan BA's Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

I realized while watching Chris stir his brown butter mixture that I have never had brown butter anything in my life and became deeply intrigued in the idea of making it – vegan, of course.

Vegan BA's Best Chocolate Chip Cookies with Veganized Brown Butter

So here we are – Vegan Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies – my riff on BA’s Best Chocolate Chip Cookies. I subbed dairy butter for Earth Balance baking sticks (which are the best for vegan baking and frosting), and the eggs and yolks for a bit of apple sauce and a spoonful of sunflower seed butter. Another neutral-flavored nut butter (such as cashew or almond) would also work well, as would a tablespoon of plain old oil. I also added a pinch more leavening agent for any extra lift the eggs provided to the original recipe.

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Recent Vegan Early Summer Eats

Hi again my lovely friends from across the interwebs! Back with another recent vegan eats recap for your reading pleasure. I promise the tutorial on the succulent cupcakes will be out in a day or two…until then, onto some foods and life!

Banana Oatmeal Cookies

Vegan Banana Bread Oatmeal Cookies

Recipe here! Yummo.

Mini Vegan Strawberry Shortcakes

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Another dessert recipe coming to this page soon!

Scrumptious Vegan Cookies

I posted these on Instagram, but I’ll share the recipe tomorrow or Saturday! Stay tuned. 🙂

Tofu Veggie Stir-Fry

The other evening I marinated tofu in a mix of soy sauce, liquid aminos, coconut aminos, sesame seeds, a dash of sesame oil, a healthy squirt of Sriracha, some maple syrup and some ginger (I eyeball the whole thing and adjust, tasting as I go), and let it chill in the fridge for a bit.

A few hours later after some chaos, I baked it off at 425 for 30ish minutes and served with Trader Joe’s quick frozen rice and a stir-fry veggie mix steamed in the microwave using Stasher bags (which works perfectly!). Trader Joe’s Soyaki sauce and more Sriracha and TJ’s green dragon sauce were added on top. I ate this bowl times two. Yay FODMAPS and bloat and gas.

This was a perfect super quick meal after a long evening pup scare that involved two trips to the ER vet. Sometimes fast and tasty is the way to go.

Beans and Barley Salad

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We got Beans to cater my sister and her husband’s baby shower. It was a super scrumptious home run slam dunk, to put it mildly. Almost everything went…except a bulk of the giant salad we bought. So I took it home (along with their magnificent homemade balsamic) to munch on over the courses of a few days.

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Flourless Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies

Welcome to the only recipe for Flourless Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies you will ever need! These babies are originally from my ebook, but I had a request for a recipe #vegan peanut butter cookies on Instagram, so I thought I’d publish them here, with one minor modification I’ve made to the recipe since writing the ebook!

*GF and Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies

I will keep this post short and sweet because sometimes I get comments that the text for my recipe posts is too long. I honestly do not really care much what other people think of me. That said, do have a tendency to write and speak for days and days longer than I should, so I’ll do y’all a favor and give brevity a whirl.

Vegan GF Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

These Flourless Vegan Peanuts Butter Cookies are definitely worth your time. They are very simple to prepare and very delicious. The cookies give off wholesome, old-school baking vibes in the best way possible. They also happen to be naturally gluten-free, if that’s important to you.

Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies

For best results, allow these Flourless Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies to cool completely before transferring from the baking sheet, as they need a moment to firm up after coming out of the oven.

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Vegan FAQs Q+A (5 Years Vegan)

Hello my internet friends! Here today with a really strange vegan FAQ Q&A session for ya. After being “vegan” for 5 years and vegetarian for roughly 20, I feel I’ve gotten the swing of things and am always happy to answer questions for those plant-based or plant-based-curious.

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I actually get asked a lot of questions about plant-based living in real life from friends as well as acquaintances, and on my blog, as well as Instagram, so I posted a “Ask me a question” response tab on my stories and answered most of them in the video below!

This is a little different for me but I found it kind of fun.

I am happy to go into more detail and/or do another Q+A.

I hope you enjoy!

Feel free to leave me your thoughts, comments, questions, emotions, etc, anytime on InstagramTwitter, or YouTube.

Vegan Gluten-Free Banana Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies

Oh joy! We have Vegan Gluten-Free Banana Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies, which are carby and nourishing and naturally sweet and banana-y to nosh on for breakfast or as an anytime snack! Aka one of my favorite categories of snack foods. Let’s dive right in.

Vegan Banana Bread Oatmeal Cookies dough with walnuts

Today I really wanted something banana bread-esque, but I didn’t feel like birthing an entire loaf of banana bread. Because sometimes, you just want something that’s easy to grab and snack on. Enter these Vegan Banana Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies, which are naturally gluten-free!.

Vegan and Gluten-free Banana Bread Oatmeal Cookies

I’m a big fan of breakfast-y cookies or baked goods, hence my plethora of recipes for this category of foods, including but not limited to these Oatmeal Almond Butter Blueberry Pancake Cookies and Vegan Strawberry Almond Butter Oatmeal Crumb Bars and these Vegan Blueberry Flax Breakfast Muffins (my most popular recipe on my blog!) Yum.

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Recent Vegan Eats and Photos from Late May in NYC

Good morning, afternoon, or evening to you, internet friends! Going to do a mini photo/brain dump with some recent vegan eats now that I’m home in Milwaukee for the summer after a very stressful move where literally everything that could have gone wrong went wrong. As the struggle bus was REALLY bumpy last week, a lot of the random snacks I ate escaped my phone’s camera because documenting my protein bars and other random snacks for the blog was the last thing on my mind. Yay good times! These eats pick up where this post left off. I will be recapping my sister’s bridal shower desserts in a future post. I am also working on a vegan Q&A that will be live soon so check back later this week if you’re interested!

And here’s a fun twist: the first person to comment the correct number of times Millie is in this post will get a surprise from me! Now onto the post:

Brunch at ABCV:

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Backing up to being back in NYC/Jersey City a couple weeks ago: here is a lovely brunch I had at ABCV with my mom. After going to ABCV for dinner the previous week, I wanted to try their brunch, so the very night I dined there I made a reservation for the following Saturday for brunch.

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Verdict: delicious. I would say, though, that I think ABCV shines brighter at dinner, at least based on the two meals I had. Anyways, I had the Vegan Eikorn pancake, which had some strawberries and bananas baked in, some tangy raspberry powder on top, and came with the cutest little beaker of maple syrup and a scoop of coconut cream that melted all over the top. YUM. I love pancakes. These were very good pancakes. They had the texture of a very fluffy thick pancake/muffin that was magical. For $18 though…I thought I’d maybe get more than one.

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I also shared the avocado lettuce cups again and had some of my mom’s dosa. I am feeling inspired to up my pancake game, make those lettuce cups, and try my hand at dosa making!

After dining at ABCV, we went to Union Square Green Market and walked around. I hadn’t been in years and it was honestly really nice! I used to live on Union Square my sophomore year at NYU and went all the time. It truly is one of the most magical farmer’s markets.

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7 Win-Win Plant-Powered Solutions To Global Hunger That Benefit Human Health and The Planet

Hello friends! Popping in after a hectic week to share a more formal piece about fighting global hunger with sustainable solutions. This is a mash up of my two academic passions: environmental health science and nutrition.  have an extended version I may share later with much greater detail. For now, hope you enjoy the following!

7 Win-Win Plant-Powered Solutions To Global Hunger That Benefit Human Health and The Planet

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Despite producing more than enough calories per capita needed to feed each person on earth, a stunning 830 million people have insufficient access to food, and many suffer from malnutrition-related conditions, including stunting, wasting, and micronutrient deficiencies. Meanwhile, obesity and chronic diet-related diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease present an additional concern, creating the ‘dual burden of malnutrition.’

While finding hunger solutions, we must also consider the urgent threat of global climate change. The problem is complex, as the food system is both a leading cause of anthropometric climate change, and an industry deeply impacted by its effects.

Ameliorating these problems simultaneously is an onerous task. Luckily, there are many ways to build a healthy and sustainable diet, and many innovations at our fingertips that can help get us there. The following “win-win” plant-powered solutions benefit both human health and the environment, and have use across a variety of contexts. If applied on a global scale, these innovations could help lead a path towards a healthful, sustainable,  food systems future.

1.Win-Win: Swapping protein

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It is well-known that meat, particularly livestock meats have some of the largest carbon and water footprints of all foods, representing 14.5% of all global greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). Red and processed meats have also been associated with increased risks of cancer and cardiovascular disease. But there are other ways to consume protein. Plant-based proteins including legumes, nuts and whole grains are far less carbon and water-intensive than animal proteins, and offer numerous health benefits, including lower rates of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. A paradigm shift from meat to lesser-processed plant proteins will remain important moving forward.

2. Win-Win: Focusing on whole plant foods

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Fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains are all micronutrient-dense foods, filled with powerful plant compounds, including cancer-quenching flavonoids and heart-friendly plant sterols. Their high levels of dietary fiber provide satiety while lowering risks of developing various chronic diseases, such as stroke, hypertension, and diabetes. Fruits and vegetables vary in their water and carbon use, but are generally far less detrimental to the environment than animal-based foods, especially when carefully planned according to optimal growing seasons, and delivered to consumers at a local level, whenever possible.

3.Win-Win: Algae as food

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Although algae has been consumed as part of the human diet for thousands of years, large scale adoption of algae as food has not yet fully taken off. However, it should. Algae offers a potential sustainable source protein and vitamin B-12, an essential micronutrient primarily found in animal-based foods, offering a valuable source of nutrition for those shifting towards a sustainable plant-based diet. Algae could also be considered as an alternative to seafood as a source of DHA and EPA, while helping decrease the current harm caused to the oceans by overfishing. The humble plant also boasts a substantial amount of iodine, a mineral that ranks among the leading micronutrient deficiencies in the world. Scaling up nori (dried green and purple laver) and red algae production is worth considering for planetary and human health.

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Some Exciting Recent Vegan Eats & Life Lately

Hello friends! Let’s get right into it. Finals are over and playtime is in full swing! I have been enjoying some time hanging with friends and eating yummy food while tying up some loose ends around the NYC area and packing up my studio apartment! Read on for some yummies + life.

NYC Bagels with Vegan Tofu Cream Cheese

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Bless the beauty of New York City-style bagels. Last Friday I went to Brooklyn Bagel and Coffee Company near NYU with an old friend from studying abroad in France.

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We caught up over bagels and walked around campus and caught up on life. The kind people at Brooklyn Bagel and Coffee Company let me have half veggie tofu cream cheese and half strawberry tofu cream cheese to appease my indecisive personality. It was delicious!

Hummus Toast with Everything Bagel Seasoning

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This was DELICIOUS and a nice change of pace.

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The Best Hummus Dressing

I love hummus. Always have and always will. Hummus = yummus. I was that kid being made fun of in first grade for eating my hummus and tomato sandwiches while the rest of the class noshed on ham and cheese. Since then I’ve enjoyed hummus in various forms, including as a base for salad dressing. And here today, I am sharing my favorite vegan hummus dressing recipe, on what is appropriately apparently #NationalHummusDay. Get ready; your salad may not be ready for the flavor explosion coming its way.

Vegan Hummus Dressing

I distinctly recall the very first time I had hummus dressing. It was the night before my Organic Chemistry II Final. I used to have this ritual I engaged in the evenings before Organic Chemistry exams: I’d end my night at the library with a late-night trip to the Union Square Whole Foods salad/hot food bar and load up on whatever tickled my fancy (this is dangerous…I’ve accidentally spent $16-18; be warned!).

Easy Best Vegan Hummus Dressing.

On this particular evening, I came across hummus dressing in the dressing section. It immediately caught my eye. What a concept! Hummus dressing?! I was so into the idea.

Hummus Dressing Recipe - Vegan & GF

I proceeded to squirt hummus dressing all over my box of goodies, and proceeded to savor every last hummus dressing-coated bite. It was so savory, nourishing, creamy, and delightful. I was inspired.

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