Maple Glazed Pumpkin Cupcakes

When mixing up the ingredients for this pumpkin cupcakes recipe, I realized how lucky I was to have a sister who makes me amazing baking ingredients, like homemade vanilla sugar, vanilla, and poudre douce.

I’m not the baker sister; Steph McVox is. But I do love it. Baking is a stress reliever and I think of the people I love while doing it. My sister, her cakes and scones will spoil you for life. My grandmother, we all have our favourite Frankie baked goods (mine is her shortbread, but I also love her hermit cookies). My aunts, who take after Frankie and bake and decorate beautiful cakes. My mom, whose pies are works of art (here and here). My mother-in-law, who claims to not like baking but bakes delicious bars and cookies. My friends, sister-in-laws and cousins, who bring or bake cookies and cakes when I see them!

I break vegan for these homemade baked goods—and when baking for others I still bake with butter and eggs. This is because I haven’t found many vegan baking recipes I can trust! I’ve made a few muffin recipes but get discouraged by dense and flat muffins—that taste just OK. The need to use up some thawed pumpkin had me thumbing through some cookbooks and I came across this recipe for Oh She Glows High Rise Pumpkin Cupcakes. These cupcakes are a keeper and I’ll use this recipe as a base for other cupcakes. They rise nice and high and the crumb is tender. Not overly sweet, the maple glaze round them out nicely. –bvox

Maple Glazed Pumpkin Cupcakes

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar (I used Steph McVox’s vanilla sugar for this)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons pumpkin spice blend (or 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 2 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/4 tsp ground allspice, 1/8 tsp ground cloves)
  • 1/tsp poudre douce (optional)
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened pumpkin purée
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil or refined coconut oil melted (refined has no coconut smell or flavor)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • Maple glaze (recipe below)

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Lightly grease a 12-cup muffin tin with oil or line it with large nonstick paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices until combined.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the pumpkin purée, milk, maple syrup, oil, lemon juice, and vanilla until smooth.
  4. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and stir until combined. Stop mixing as soon as there are no dry patches of flour, on the bottom of the bowl; it’s important not to overmix spelt flour as it can result in a dense cupcake. The batter will be quite thick but this is normal.
  5. Scoop the batter (I use a retractable ice cream scoop) into each well of the prepared muffin tin, filling them two-thirds to three-quarters full. Smooth out the tops a bit. Bake for 24 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of each cupcake comes out clean and the cake springs back—very slowly—when touched.
  6. Let cool in the pan on a cooling rack for about 10 minutes, then transfer the cupcakes to the rack and let cool completely.
  7. Drizzle the glaze or frost the cooled cupcakes with maple glaze
  8. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

 

Maple Glaze

  • 2 tablespoon melted vegan soy free butter (I use Earth Balance)
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • Heaping 1/2 cup or more powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
  • pinch of salt
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Loaded Nachos with “Cheesy” Dip

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This dip is full of veggies, so sort of healthy, no? Since going to the dark side (mostly vegan), every now again I crave nachos. I’m not a fan of fake cheese so decided to try making my own vegan cheese dip. Not bad! I combined a couple of recipes to come up with this one (America’s Test Kitchen Vegan for Everybody and Minimalist Baker). You don’t have to be too precious about it; play around with flavours and ingredients. This one works for me and I often use what I have. Cauliflower florets are also good chucked into the cooking water. It seriously helps to have a high powered blender—mine is a shiny red vitamix! Serve with your favourite salsa and guacamole and call it supper. -bvox
 

Loaded Nachos with “Cheesy” Dip

Ingredients

Nacho Dip
  • 12 ounces russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1‐inch pieces
  • 1 small carrot, peeled and cut into ½‐inch pieces (1/3 cup)
  • 1/4 cup chopped cashews
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1½ tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1½ teaspoons distilled white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon of your favourite hot sauce
  • 1/4 spicy salsa
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ⅛ teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1 tsp mixed spices*

*Feel free to add any spices you like! I added some of Steph McVox’s homemade taco seasoning, but you could add chili powder, cayenne pepper etc.

Nachos

  • 8 ounces tortilla chips
  • 1 recipe for nacho dip, warmed
  • 1 small can of black beans, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup fresh salsa
  • 1 jalapeno chiles, stemmed and sliced thin
  • 1/4 each red and orange peppers, seeded and diced
  • Green onions, sliced thin
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Lime wedges

Instructions

For the Nacho Dip

Bring 2 quarts water to boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Add potatoes, carrot, and cashews and cook until tender, about 12 minutes; save 1/2 of cooking liquid then drain in colander.

Combine cooked vegetables and cashews, 1/3 cup reserved cooking liquid or water, 2 tablespoons oil, nutritional yeast, vinegar, hot sauce, salsa and salt in blender. Pulse until chopped and combined, about 10 pulses, scraping down sides of blender jar as needed. Process mixture on high speed until very smooth, about 2 minutes. Add more cooking liquid if you need to thin it out.

Meanwhile, heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in now-empty saucepan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onion and jalapeno and cook until softened and lightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, chipotle, cumin, and mustard and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds; remove from heat.

Stir processed potato mixture into onion mixture in saucepan and bring to brief simmer over medium heat to heat through. Transfer to bowl and serve immediately—or top it with nachos. Note: this usually makes extra and it freezes well. Bring to room temperature and whisk well.

For the Nachos

Spread half of tortilla chips evenly into a large oven-proof dish. Drizzle 1 cup nacho dip evenly over chips, then top with half of the salsa, followed by half of beans. Repeat layering with remaining chips, nacho dip, salsa, beans and then the jalapeños. Bake until warmed through and edges of chips on top layer are beginning to brown, 5-8 minutes.

Let nachos cool for 2 minutes, then sprinkle with green onions, chopped peppers and cilantro; serve immediately with lime wedges, your favourite guacamole, and more salsa. 

Pistachio and Cranberry Biscotti with Chocolate

IMG_2824This biscotti originates with ‘Biscotti di Stephi’, Steph McVox’s biscotti recipe. I love this biscotti for its soft cookie-like crumb. Not too crisp, yet it holds up when dunked into a coffee (or wine, if you will).

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Bon’s Party Mix

Some people call this snack nuts and bolts, but it’s party mix to me. I only make this party mix around the holidays or for a party because if left alone to my devices, I will eat the whole bowl and it becomes a party of one.

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Cherry Crumb Cake

If life is a bowl of cherries, then what is a freshly baked cherry crumb cake? Not to wax poetic, but the cherry season is so short and when the cherries come in from British Columbia, I get excited and get busy in the kitchen. I usually make some type of preserve with cherries but decided to make this cake after browsing a past issue of Baked from Scratch magazine. Continue reading

Chickpea Coconut Curry with Roasted Squash and Cauliflower

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This vegetable curry recipe was inspired by one of my celebrity crushes, Vikram Vij. Vij, as he’s fondly known, is an exceptional Vancouver chef with dreamy blue eyes.

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Vegan Macaroni and ‘Cheese’ with Peas

Most people like pizza and grease when hungover; I turn to macaroni and cheese to fill my comfort food void. Mac and cheese is one dish that I’ve missed since taking dairy out of my diet.

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