Vegan vanilla maple cupcakes with chocolate avocado frosting to celebrate UpBeet Kitchen’s first birthday! These beauties are the perfect dessert for celebrations all summer long.
It’s my blogiversary! Yes, this blog is one year young! What better way to celebrate, I thought, than by baking birthday cupcakes? Clearly, I just really love having an excuse to eat cake.
Believe it or not, I had wanted to start a food blog since 2014. I had recently discovered Oh She Glows and Deliciously Ella, and from there, I had begun to create my own recipes. I wrote them down and kept them in a binder, but I never moved beyond the recipe development stage. By 2018, I felt that I had to let go of all of the fear that had been holding me back for so long, and I created this blog on WordPress. I recall everything feeling so daunting and foreign (what the heck are hosting/themes/widgets/plugins/how do I possibly take food photos with my iPhone 5/what if nobody reads my blog or cares about what I have to say?), but gradually, with the help of the awesome blogger resources at Minimalist Baker, I’ve been able to build a simple, functional website that people are beginning to visit quite regularly. Eventually, I would like to enlist the services of a web designer, but I don’t quite have the budget for that yet!
I’ve learned a lot in this first year of developing recipes, photographing, and writing blog posts. I’ve learned the importance of perseverance in spite of often feeling like a small fish in a vast sea of food bloggers. The power of determination and stick-to-itiveness, two qualities that I’ve always had in the athletic arena, but not so much in the creative realm- has also become clear. I’ve come to realize that my voice matters- that I, too, have a role to play in this community of creatives and foodies. I’ve seen firsthand that all good things take time: success doesn’t happen overnight in anything, and it most certainly doesn’t happen when starting a food blog in 2018. I’ve had to constantly remind myself not to fall into comparison traps with the likes of Oh She Glows, Deliciously Ella, Blissful Basil, Cookie and Kate, The First Mess, My New Roots, The Full Helping, and others–in fact, I’ve actually visited food blogs that I’ve read over the years and gone wayyyy back through their archives to realize that they, too, were in my position 8-10 years ago, just starting out and wondering if anybody actually cared to read or make their recipes. It takes time to build a devoted following in this day and age with the sheer number of food blogs out there. It isn’t 2008 anymore!
More important than anything else, I’ve learned not to seek validation from external sources. I feel more creatively fulfilled than ever before, and I believe that it shows in my relationships and in all other areas of my life. I love creating recipes, taking photos, and writing posts. Sometimes I’m in the mood to pour my heart out into a long-form post, and other times, I feel called to focus on the food only. I appreciate the freedom that this space provides, and I hope that this blog will continue to be a home for people who care about nourishing not only their bodies with wholesome, healthful food, but their hearts and their souls, too.
That being said, the UpBeet Kitchen audience is growing slowly but surely! The first 8 months or so were very slow, but over the past 4 months, I’ve seen a steady uptick in readers, and the month of June 2019 has been my best month yet for page views. My Homemade Beyond Meat Burger recipe is my most popular to date!
I’m so happy that my recipes are being made, loved, and shared. Without you, dear readers, I wouldn’t be able to do what I love most!
So, what’s next for UpBeet Kitchen? In the next 12 month period, my goals are to:
-Learn the art of food photography with a DSLR so that I can provide you with more stunning visual content
-Learn the art of videography, with the goal of starting a YouTube cooking channel.
-Continue creating wholesome, delicious recipes and having meaningful conversations around health and well-being.
-Share more about myself. I’ve never been a particularly personal individual, preferring to maintain a clear distinction between my public and private lives. And while I know that there is value in that, I also know how much I enjoy reading about other people’s lives. It helps us feel united in the struggles and wins of everyday existence. There’s got to be a happy medium, which I intend to seek out in the coming months.
And now for the fun part: these vegan vanilla maple cupcakes (because let’s be honest- that’s the real reason you’re here!).
These cupcakes received my non-vegan brother’s hearty seal of approval. He said, “I don’t usually like vegan desserts, but you can’t tell that these are vegan!” Yes, my friends, it was one of those “I CAN’T BELIEVE IT’S VEGAN” moments. If you want to convert anyone to veganism, just serve them a Homemade Beyond Burger and a platter of these cupcakes and get back to me in the morning. Seriously!
Beyond the sheer deliciousness of it all, you will also love the ease of preparation of this recipe. The cupcake batter is one of the simplest imaginable. Simply stir together light spelt flour, baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt in a bowl. In a separate bowl, mix together melted coconut oil (or grass-fed organic butter if you eat it), pure maple syrup, non-dairy milk, and vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients, add apple cider vinegar, and whisk to incorporate. Pour 1/3 cup of batter into muffin cups and bake.
For the fudgy avocado frosting, you’ll throw pitted avocados, maple syrup, cocoa powder, cashew butter (or perhaps coconut cream for a nut-free option), salt, vanilla, and non-dairy milk into a food processor and blend until smooth.
Then, ice the cupcakes and serve. Easy peasy lemon squeezy! These cupcakes are ridiculously good. They’re:
-Light and fluffy
-Packed with healthy fats from coconut oil and avocado.
Hot diggity dang. Let’s get on to the recipe, shall we?
Vegan Vanilla Maple Cupcakes with Chocolate Avocado Frosting
Healthy vegan vanilla maple cupcakes with chocolate avocado frosting that are easy to make and perfect for celebrations.
Vanilla Maple Cupcakes
- 2½ cups light spelt flour // or sub all-purpose flour in a pinch
- 2 tsp aluminum-free baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
- 1 cup pure maple syrup
- 1¼ cups non-dairy milk, at room temperature
- 1/3 cup virgin coconut oil, melted // sub organic grass-fed butter if desired
- 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
Chocolate Avocado Frosting
- 2 large ripe avocados, pitted and flesh scooped out
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
- 5 tbsp cocoa powder
- 3 tbsp cashew butter//sub coconut cream for nut-free option
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp non-dairy milk
For the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with unbleached paper liners. In a large bowl, whisk together the light spelt flour, baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, non-dairy milk, coconut oil or butter, and vanilla extract.
Pour the wet ingredients over top of the dry ingredients and whisk to combine. Quickly whisk in the apple cider vinegar.
Pour 1/3 cup batter into each cup. Bake for 22-27 minutes, or until golden on top and a toothpick inserted in the center cupcake comes out clean.
Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan for 20 minutes before removing them to finish cooling on a wire rack.
For the frosting, place the avocado, maple syrup, cocoa, cashew butter, vanilla, sea salt, and non-dairy milk in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the 'S' blade. Blend until smooth.
Once the cupcakes have cooled completely, frost them and serve immediately.
Keep any leftovers in the fridge due to the perishable nature of the avocado frosting.
MAKE-AHEAD OPTION: You can make the cupcakes and the frosting a day in advance. Store the cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature and the frosting in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Cupcake recipe adapted from this cake by My New Roots.
If you make these cupcakes, leave a review or a comment below, and don’t forget to tag me in your photos on Instagram with @upbeet.kitchen and #upbeetkitchen! I love seeing your takes on my recipes!
Cheers to another year of good health, wholesome recipes, and stories shared around the dinner table, friends!
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