This Saturday there’s going to be a whiz-bang party to celebrate my daughter’s graduation from high school. Because her academic career was so spectacularly successful, I want the food for this party to be spectacular as well. Louise loves her sweets, but we wanted the menu to be healthy, so for dessert we decided to bake up Morning Glory muffins and top them with vegan cream cheese frosting. Truth be told, it looks and tastes like a muffin with cream cheese frosting. I believe, however, that once you top any baked good with frosting, it automatically enters the realm of cupcake. Therefore, these have been renamed Celebration Cupcakes.
My version of these muffin-cakes is different from the original. I offer the recipe here in its altered state, because this is how I’m serving it on Saturday. Feel free to tweak it to suit your tastes. This will make about 32-34 cupcakes. You can stretch it to 36 if you don’t fill your cups all the way. You might also find it easier to cut the recipe in half and only make 16 at a time, depending on the size of your mixer.
- 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 T ground cinnamon
- 4 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
- 1 1/2 cups chopped dried apricots or dried cranberries
- 2 large apples, peeled and grated
- 2 cups crushed pineapple, drained (a 20-oz. can is just right)
- 4 cups peeled and grated carrots (about 8 large carrots)
- vegan substitute for 6 eggs (I use EnerG brand)
- 1 1/2 cups applesauce
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 2 tsps. pure vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line 3 muffin pans (a dozen on each pan) with cupcake liners, then spray the liners with Pam.
- In a large bowl, combine the first six ingredients. Add the coconut, apricots, apples, pineapple and carrots and stir well. (I find that a large meat fork works well when mixing in all the shredded ingredients.)
- In a separate bowl, whisk the egg replacer with the applesauce, oil and vanilla. Pour into the bowl with the dry ingredients and blend well.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pans, filling each one to the brim. Bake for 35 minutes, or until your muffin passes the toothpick test. Let cool 10 minutes in the pan, then transfer to a cooling rack to finish cooling. Top with cream cheese frosting. Refrigerate whatever you are not eating right away.
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Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting
- 3/4 cup non-hydrogenated margarine, softened (I use Earth Balance)
- 1 cup vegan cream cheese (I use Tofutti)
- 6 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1 T pure vanilla extract
(Note: If you have a stand mixer, use the whisk attachment to make this frosting.)
- Cream together margarine and cream cheese until combined.
- Add confectioners’ sugar in 3/4 cup batches until smooth and creamy, scraping down the bowl as needed. Add vanilla and whip until smooth. Spread on cooled cupcakes.
Variation: You can add 2-3 T of grated lemon or orange zest for a citrusy twist. Garnish with minced candied ginger or toasted coconut.
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