Friday, September 2, 2011

Celebrating Three Years of Blogging with Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes

Happy 3rd Birthday to my little blog! 
Vegan chocolate cupcake topped with my son's number 3 birthday candle

Wow! Has it really been three years since I started this blog?  I can't believe it.  What started out as a creative outlet for silly ol' me (sidelined by motherhood and having to face the challenge of raising two kids with multiple food allergies) has turned into something so fulfilling and so rewarding.

Pineapple Apple Pie a la Mode 
My very first post! Pineapple Apple Pie

When I started blogging, I didn't think anyone would be interested in reading it except for my friends and family.  I never would have imagined that sharing my stories and my recipes would impact so many people, especially all the parents (and grandparents) who've written to me, thanking me for opening up a brand new world of desserts for their kids.  I am so incredibly humbled by your kind words.  It makes me so happy that the recipes I've created for the love of my kids are also being enjoyed by kids (and grown-ups) all over the world.

Egg-Free PancakesEgg-free pancakes

The first recipe I adapted to accommodate my kids' food allergies was my Mom's banana cake and till this day, I still make this special treat on a regular basis.  This is the recipe I used for their first birthday cakes and it warms my heart to know that other kids were able to have their birthday cake and eat it too because years ago, I wanted so badly for my son to have a cake that he could enjoy on his birthday. I realize now how simple little things like cake and cookies could make such a big difference for anyone who couldn't enjoy them because of food allergies or even dietary restrictions. I had no idea that so many vegetarians and vegans visit my blog searching for delicious desserts. Thank you so much for your support!

Banana cake
Banana Cake from my post, Dealing with Food Allergies

As I browse through my blog and see all the cakes that I've made, I remember the rollercoaster of emotions that I went through with each cake.  I never took any formal training in art so I always have a healthy dose of self-doubt when I take on a project. Of course, whenever I make my kids' cakes, it's a total labor of love and the payoff is seeing their faces light up when they see their birthday cakes.

Lego Birthday Cake 
Lego birthday cakes and cupcakes

When I made my sister's handbag cake, I was in tears when I tried and tried but couldn't get the handles to stay upright.  But in the end, she loved her cake and to top it off, Elisa Strauss left a comment on my post (Omg!) and I found out that David Lebovitz shared a link on his Facebook page.  Thank you Elisa for inspiring me to make the cake and thank you David for shining the spotlight on me that day!

Marc Jacobs Blake Bag Cake  
My sister's Marc Jacobs Handbag Cake

And when I made the Twilight cake, I knew nothing about Twilight.  I was actually scared to death to make that cake because I knew there were alot of diehard fans out there and if I messed it up, I was gonna hear about it. Whew! Thank goodness I pulled that off.  It's been a huge learning process for me making all these cakes and despite all stress and anxiety, I love it and I wanna learn more.

Twilight Cake
These are just some of the highlights of the past three years and I hope to continue sharing more stories and recipes with everyone.  Now, I know my posts have been few and far between lately, but now that both kids are going to school (one full-time and the other part-time), I can actually put more time and focus into my blog. Yay!

To celebrate this milestone, I'd like to share a cupcake recipe I created for my son.  He just celebrated his birthday last month and since he's still allergic to eggs and dairy, I made him some vegan chocolate cupcakes. They're so moist and chocolatey, you can't even tell there's no eggs, milk or butter in them :-)

Update: I just found out about America's Test Kitchen's "Dish It Your Way" Blogger Challenge and this week's challenge: CUPCAKES. I'm gonna cross my fingers and submit this recipe :-) If you have a great cupcake recipe, please visit their site (see link above). You could win a 1-year online subscription to Cook's Country Magazine!

vegan chocolate cake

Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes
makes 2 1/2 dozen cupcakes
Allergy note: contains wheat

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups water (you can also use rice milk, soy milk or even cooled brewed coffee)
1 cup canola oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp. agave nectar or corn syrup
1 cup EnjoyLife brand chocolate chips or Chocolate Dream brand baking chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line three muffin tins with cupcake liners.

Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine sugar, water, oil, vanilla extract and agave nectar. Slowly add the dry ingredients. Mix till combined. Fold in chocolate chips. Pour into lined muffin tins (about 2/3 full). Bake for 20-25 minutes or till a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean). Let cool completely before adding frosting.

Vegan Chocolate Frosting

1 1/2 cups vegetable shortening (I use Spectrum organic)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup rice milk or soy milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
8 cups powdered sugar
2 cups cocoa powder

Using an electric mixer on low speed, combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl till well blended. Increase the speed to medium or high. Beat till light and fluffy.

Please note: I am not a paid endorser nor did I accept any freebies of the brands or products mentioned in this post.  I just love them and wanted to share it with you :-)


  1. happy blog birthday!! this is a sweet pic!

  2. Congratulations Rianne!!! You indeed have an amazing blog, a ray of hope for those looking for vegan and egg-free recipes. Nice to read about your earlier posts and your journey. Wish you many many more fulfilling years of blogging and creating awesome recipes.
    And can completely undestand your joy on finding time for blogging once the kids go to school :)))

  3. Oh my goodness these look so moist and decadent. Almost better than some of the regular chocolate cupcakes I've seen. I subscribed to your blog because a lot of my co workers are vegetarian and I wanted to bake goodies that they could also enjoy. Thanks for sharing and happy 3 years anniversary. Looking forward to more recipes and posts.

  4. Congrats on your 3 year bloggiversary! I thought that only my friends and family would read my blog too, but actually they're probably the only ones that DON'T read it! I guess they hear me ramble on enough without getting on the Internet! :)

  5. Congratulations on your blog's 3rd Anniversary.