Next to parades, frolicking in meadows is my all time favorite staged amusement that somehow feels both mandatory AND fun. There are two ways to do it right: if you are alone, just execute the “Sound of Music” twirl including reverent arms raised to the sky and a look of holy wonderment. If you are with a loved one, or there is a willing person near you, ensure you begin red-rover-style on opposing sides of the meadow then make slow-motion movements towards each other, including overcompensated facial expressions and awkward pouncing. Finish the move off by holding hands and spinning before making your getaway (seen in picture above.)
With meadow inspiration in mind, and the Easter holiday giving me a reason to cook for those I love, Meadow & Bunny Bliss cupcakes were born. Both cupcakes are a combination of ideas that I found during a blanket Google image search for ‘Easter Cupcakes’ – then I just chose some of my favorite flavas and vegan candy, and winged the crap out of the process.
LOW-FAT VANILLA MEADOW CUPCAKES *Gluten-Free
INGREDIENTS *based off of Sexy Vanilla Cupcakes in Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World :
- 1/2 cup soy yogurt *choose flavor if desired
- 2/3 cup vanilla soy milk
- 1/4 cup applesauce
- 3 tablespoons canola oil
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cup Bob’s Red Mill All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line muffin pan with cupcake liners
In a large bowl, whisk together yogurt, milk, applesauce, oil, sugar, and vanilla. Sift in flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and mix.
Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full, and bake 22-24 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Transfer our of pan and onto a cooling rack to finish cooling completely prior to decorating. I recommend waiting to prepare the frosting until marzipan/fondant decorations are completed. Makes 12 cupcakes.
DECORATING INGREDIENTS & UTENSILS
- 3-5 oz of marzipan or fondant
- Petal shaped mini fondant cutter
- Round gum paste tool
- desired food coloring for flowers and grass (I prefer Chefmaster gel color)
- approx. 36 jellybeans
- half batch of Buttercream frosting
- wilton decorating tip #233
- coupler attached to piping bag
Take a small chunk of white marzipan/fondant and make 12 small, round balls – this will be used for center of flower. Roll the remaining into a ball, poke a hole halfway into the ball, add the food coloring and knead until color is desirable, then roll about until about 1/4 inch thick. Use the small petal-shaped cutter, cutting out 60 petals for 12 cupcakes. Use 5 petals per flower, moving clockwise while layering petals on top of one another while pressing together, then take white ball and press into center of flower. Using gum-paste tool, shape the petals to desirable look.
Prepare piping bags by attaching coupler with tip, then put the bag tip down into a large glass and fold over the bag, this makes for easy filling. Once the buttercream frosting is complete, color frosting to desired color of green (I used about 3/4 tsp) and use a spatula to put into bag. Be sure not to overfill, you should have about 4-6 inches of additional bag to twist and secure. Hold bag at 90 degrees, squeezing while pulling the bag towards you to get grass look. Practice makes perfect, so always practice on parchment paper first, and you will just get better and better as you go! Once the grass is complete, place the flower and, spear jellybeans onto the toothpicks, placing them next to the flower. YEAH!!!
CHOCOLATE BUNNY BLISS CUPCAKES *gluten-free
INGREDIENTS (*also based off of Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World):
- 1 cup vanilla soy milk
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup canola oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp orange extract
- 1 cup Bob’s Red Mill all-purpose gluten-free flour
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder, dutch-processed
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line muffin pan with liners.
Whisk together milk and vinegar in a small bowl and set aside to ‘curdle’ for a few minutes. In a large bowl, add sugar, oil, and extracts then add curdled milk, then beat until foamy. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In two batches, add dry ingredients to wet and beat until no large lumps remain.
Pour into liners, filling 3/4 of the way full. Bake 18-20 minutes (rotate if necessary) until a toothpick comes out clean. Transfer onto a cooling rack until completely cook to decorate. Makes 12 cupcakes.
- half batch of vegan Buttercream frosting
- brown gel food coloring (I use Chef master gel color)
- Newman-O’s Chocolate-Peanut Butter cookies (or Oreo version – either is good! I used about 6 cookies)
- 12 orange Starbursts
- Edible Easter grass OR green Pull-n-Peel Twizzlers
I recommend making the carrots and crunching up the Oreo ‘dirt’ prior to making frosting. To make carrots, roll a Starburst in your hand until it takes the shape of a carrot, then use a toothpick to hollow out the center of the mini-carrot. If you are struggling to soften the Starburst (I was literally breaking a sweat at one point), try rolling them a little with a rolling pin, then folding in half before rolling between your hands. Cut either the grass or Twizzler’s into 1-2″, varying strips and put into hollow hole in carrot, then lightly pinch the top together the secure. Finally, use the side of a toothpick to press horizontal indentations into carrot to give an authentic look.
Smash cookies in a small bowl until there are no chunks, but not to the point of dust (I used a slap-chop…oh yeah, we own one!) Prepare frosting and add gel coloring to desired color, I used about 1/2 tsp. Spread a moderate layer of frosting on cooled cupcake, then roll cupcake in ‘dirt’ until covered. Finally, place your carrot inside the dirt…and share with no one! These babies are delicious. 🙂