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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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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Recent vegan eats (Trying New Vegan Yogurts And Trader Joe’s products)

Hey hey! I decided to bring back random bi-weekly recent vegan eats post after this recent post about food as an afterthought. So here we go! A couple of bites that went into by belly the past couple weeks. This is just a all snapshot of what I eat. I hope it inspires some yummy snacking or meal making in your life! Enjoy!

Salted SunButter Caramel Date Truffles:

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An old favorite! I love making these because they are easy, require minimal ingredients, and are so very sweet and satisfying. They make an ideal mid-day snack or after dinner treat when you want something sweet but energizing. You can use any nut butter you’d like, but I can’t get enough of the sun butter + date combo. They are so good together!

The recipe is here, and the video tutorial is here!

A Big Old #TBT Simple Goodness Bowl:

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The other night I realized it had been a while since I made a kbakes-style bowl. So I got down to business and roasted some sweet potato wedges, and paired them with organic mixed greens, Trader Joe’s frozen grilled cauliflower (the BEST frozen veggie product), hummus, random frozen broccoli, cherry tomatoes, avocado, and some crunchy seeded ShopRite crackers. I drizzled Trader Joe’s Green Goddess dressing all over this bowl for an extra punch. All the flavors + textures = veggie-powered satisfaction. Yum.

Gregory’s Coffee Lemon Poppyseed Loaf:

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I love love love Gregory’s Coffee. It always holds a special place in my heart. I used to work at NYU Child Study’s Center on Fridays while in undergrad, and would always treat myself to Gregory’s after. The fact that there is a Gregory’s in Jersey City warms my heart and soul!

You know what else warms my soul? The fact that they now have 1/2 price baked goods after 5pm! Yes!!! I keep picking up half price lemon loaf as a treat. It is so delicious, moist, and lemony, and barely sweet. I love it. Can’t wait to try their new Vegan Egg Scramble breakfast sandwich (made with JustEggs!)…will report back!

Pancake mix cookie chocolate chip cookies:

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I had a craving for chocolate chip cookies the other night, and was low on ingredients, so I whipped up some cookies using Bob’s Red Mill 10-grain whole wheat pancake mix, oats, flax, a bit of baking soda, almond milk, and avocado oil. And a solid handful of dark chocolate chips, of course.

Honestly, they turned out pretty good. They tasted hearty and substantial. Not the sweetest or most indulgent cookie, but really good in its own right. I’m gonna work on this concept and share on the blog when it’s ready….

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Vegan Dark Chocolate-Dipped Homemade HobNobs

Do you ever just randomly get the urge to bake something British in the middle of a Saturday afternoon? Because same. I’m not sure if Mary Berry was whispering in my ear as I was sleeping last night, or what (okay, more likely that I saw a pile of HobNobs in the clearance section at Sendiks the other day), but for some reason, I had quite the hankering to make some homemade dark-chocolate dipped homemade hob nobs this weekend.

After chanting “On your mark, get set, Bake!” to myself, I got to the kitchen and made my British bake-off homemade Hobnob dreams come true.

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Now what is a HobNob, you may ask? ‘HobNobs‘ are a brand of commercial biscuits popular in the UK (and according to Wikipedia, parts of Ireland).

They’re simple, salty-sweet, crispy cookies that are similar to digestive biscuits, but are visibly studded with oats, making for a rustic-looking round cookie.

Easy Vegan Hob Nobs

The best way I can think to describe the flavor of a Hobnob to someone who has not yet experienced their glory is as follows: imagine a salty and more-textured-than-usual, oat-studded circular graham cracker. That’s kind of what you get when you eat a Hobnob. And they are nothing short of glorious.

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Midterm Season Vegan Eats + Cherry Bombe University Recap

Hello once again to my fine internet friends! I hope you are having the warmest coziest fall filled with mugs of tea, hearty soups, scrumptious baked goods, and warm blankies. I’m back in the blogging game after a fatiguing few weeks of midterms and application work.

Midterms really did not bring out the best in me this year, and after crying in public from lack of sleep and overloads of stress, I decided it was a healthful idea to take a step back from the internet and putting pressure on myself to blog for a few days and focus on learning how to chill and sleep and and socialize and eat like a normal homeostatic human being again.

But! I’m feeling quite restored after this weekend of naps and friends and oodles of baking and wanted to share some meals and snacks from the past few weeks. Hope you enjoy! Leave me your favorite snacks and cozy meals in the comments below, or pop over to my Instagram and slide into my DMs.

I’ll also be recapping my experience at Cherry Bombe University, so keep on reading for that!

Avocado Toast with Za’atar:

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This was a new-to-me-combo that I’d wanted to try out for a while. I also added some hemp hearts and nutritional yeast for extra flavor/texture/satiety. It was pretty good, but not my favorite avo toast flavor combo. Still fun to try though!

Oatmeal with frozen blueberries and almond butter

I cannot get enough of this combo lately. I basically make this cinnamon banana-blurberry-oatmeal thing by cooking a 1/2 cup oats with 1/2 a mashed banana and about 1/4 cup frozen blueberries stirred in towards the end of cooking. I then pour my oats into a bowl and top with almond butter while the oats are still warm so the almond butter gets melty, and pour almond milk on top to cool it off, and enjoy.

Dumplings and the Sweet Soy Bowl from Luanne’s Wild Ginger

I visited one of my BFFs Raag in Brookyln last weekend for an early bday celebration. We grabbed lunch at Luanne’s Wild Ginger and it was excellent.

We started with dumplings (<3) and tempura. I’m not a huge fried-foods person, but I love me some doughy doughy dumplings.

For my entree, I got a sweet soy something bowl (can’t remember the actual name), with chewy brown rice, tangy-sweet-sour-spicy gluttonous soy medallions, steamed Japanese pumpkin, house-madee pickled veggies, and kale, and some yummy sauces. This was incredible. I’d eat it every day. Yum.

Happy birthday Raag!

Cinnamon Rolls

Made from scratch with Raag. We used this minimalist baker recipe. Delish! Cinnamon rolls are life.

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Vegan Eats Roundup: Back to School Edition

Back to school, back to busy season! My goodness it’s been just over a week and I already am feeling all the feels for this fall. Excitement, stress, uncertainty, and gratitude for opportunity! Between being a full time graduate student, TA, and rewatch assistant, it’s been a 10-day whirlwind and we’re just getting started.

I thought I’d do a recent eats recap for ya. I was doing them weekly for a while, but have sort of transitioned to bi-weekly, just because most of the time I’m lazy and forget to take pics and/or because I usually eat some variation of pb&j for most lunches during the school year (hey, it packs well and tastes delicious, don’t judge me). So here we go! Hope this inspires some yummy plant-based food ideas for you.

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Weekly Vegan Eats

Another week to roundup some of the nommie things I ate. I had kind of a rough week between a couple bad allergic reactions causing skin rash outbreaks and eye swelling (cute, I know), and Millie getting super sick, but regardless, here are some scrumptious vegan food highlights to help inspire your eats if you’re in a rut!

(PS: Millie is doing much better now thanks to our wonderful vet in Hoboken and a couple rounds of antibiotics!)

Pistachio Butter

Easy Homemade Pistachio Butter

Holy cow! This stuff is incredible. I have been fluctuating between inhaling and trying to slowly savor this stuff since I made it last week. You can get the recipe here. It’s lovely on bread and toast and on bread with jelly and with chocolate. Can’t get enough!

Cherries cherries cherries

Holy cow ShopRite came through with the cherry sale this week. This was a particularly juicy, plump, and flavorful batch. I mowed through a huge bag in under 36 hours. Could have done it faster, but wanted to spread the wealth over more than one day. YUM. I actually went back on Thursday for another bag, which I ate in its entirety that day.

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