Friday, December 5, 2014

Vegan Gingerbread Christmas Tree Cupcakes

For the gingerbread:
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup dark molasses
2 tablespoons ground flax
4 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground clove
3/4 cup Earth Balance vegan butter
1 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 12 cup muffin tins. Combine boiling water, molasses and baking soda. Stir to combine. Mixture will foam up. Set aside and let cool. 
Combine ground flax with the 4 tablespoons water. Set aside to thicken up.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and spices. 
Cream together the Earth Balance vegan butter and the brown sugar till creamy. Add in the flax egg and mix to combine. Add in 1/3 of the dry ingredients. Mix. Add in half of the molasses. Mix. Another third of flour, last of the molasses and then last of the four. Scrape down sides of bowl and mix again. Divide batter among the greased muffin tin, filling each one about 3/4 full. This batter doesn't rise very much so you can be heavy handed. Bake for 35 to 35 minutes till set in the middle. Let cool. 
For the buttercream:
1/2 cup Earth Balance vegan butter
1/2 cup Earth Balance vegan shortening
3 cups powdered sugar
2 to 3 tablespoons non-dairy milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup shredded coconut
Make sure the butter and shortening are at room temperature. Cream the butter and shortening together. Add in the powdered sugar, non-dairy milk, and vanilla. Beat until creamy. Using a piping bag and large star tip, top each cupcake with frosting and then dip the frosting into the shredded coconut for a snowy look. 

For the trees:
1 10-ounce package vegan marshmallows 
3 tablespoons Earth Balance vegan butter 
6 cups puffed cereal of your choice (rice, millet, etc.)
All natural food coloring (I get mine at Whole Foods)
I find that the vegan marshmallows soften and melt up best in the microwave. Trying to do it over the stove takes a really long time. I start them off in the microwave and then finish melting the marshmallows with the vegan butter in a pan over the stove. Once melted, add in you food coloring and puffed cereal. Mix well. I waited till it was just cool enough to handle and used my hands to mix! Then form into little tree shapes the size that you want and decorate with sprinkles. Top each cupcake with a tree! 

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