Orange Mini-Cakes with Bourbon-Pecan Caramel & Orange Buttercream–A Memorial Birthday Cake for Mama

Orange Cake with Caramel Filling and Orange Buttercream Frosting 3Yield: 8 mini-cakes (2 1/2-inch diameter)

[for recipe, skip to bottom]

Monday, the day I went live with The Blooming Platter’s fresh new look, would have been my mother’s 83rd birthday. But sadly, she has passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on October 2.  My mother and I were different enough to challenge and occasionally frustrate each other, but similar enough in some of our views–you should have heard us get going on theology–and many of our passions to have long been joined by the apron strings even across the miles from Virginia to Mississippi.

Even in our shared interests, we often took different approaches.  An illustrated essay I wrote entitled, “The Sacred Canon,” was published by Alimentum in June 2015 and paints a picture of my complex mother and some of her culinary dogma in which I took great delight even as it occasionally annoyed me.

I’m not sure that my mother had a favorite birthday cake.  Besides Creme Caramel,  I think her favorite dessert was ice cream–I remember from my childhood that she voted for Baskin Robbins’ “Jamoca Almond Fudge” for family ice cream outings (my sister and I always begged for Dairy Queen)–and she ate a small dish with Hershey’s syrup every night of her life in recent years, sitting with my father in their bedroom, each in his or her blue chair, watching a British mystery, many of which I sent them on DVD.  She claimed she had to have “food” to take her evening handful of pills.

But, I associate her with citrus flavored cakes, possibly because she used to always make an orange cake with lemon frosting for my sister’s March birthday.  So, this year, I decided to create mini-memorial cakes.  I forwent the lemon frosting, though, for an orange buttercream paired with a luscious Bourbon-Pecan Caramel.  I think Mom would approve because, well, she loved her evening cocktail.  She was from that generation, you know?

Orange Supreme Cake MixThe recipe starts with a boxed cake mix because that’s how I got my start baking.  In those days, there were no canned frostings, but rather boxed mixes as well, and I recall them as being superior.  Still nothing beats homemade frosting which is what I include here along with my simple-as-pie, to mix my metaphors, homemade caramel.

Orange Mini-Cakes with Bourbon-Pecan Caramel and Orange Buttercream Frosting

1-18.25 ounce Duncan Hines Orange Supreme Cake Mix

3 tablespoons flaxseed meal

1 1 /2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

Zest and Juice of 2 oranges + enough water to equal 1 cup (reserve zest of 1 orange for frosting)

1/3 cup vegetable oil

Bourbon-Pecan Caramel (recipe follows)

Orange Buttercream Frosting (recipe follows)

Garnish: 8 pecan halves

Grease and flour a 9-inch metal baking pan.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine all ingredients except caramel, frosting, and garnish.  Beat at low speed for 30 seconds or just until combined.  Increase speed to medium, and beat for 2 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary.  Transfer batter into prepared pan, gently smoothing top.  Bake for 24-27 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool in the pan on a wire rack.  Using a 2 1/2-inch biscuit or cookie cutter or even a juice glass, cut cake into 16 rounds.  Place 1 in the bottom of 8 muffin liners.  Top each with about 1 tablespoon of the cooled caramel, remaining rounds of cake, another tablespoon of caramel, and piped on or swirled frosting.  Garnish each mini-cake with a pecan half.  Serve or store in refrigerator until serving time.  Remove about 20 to 30 minutes before serving time.

Bourbon Pecan Caramel 

1/2 cup vegan butter

1 cup dark brown sugar

1/2 cup agave nectar, dark corn syrup, or maple syrup

1 tablespoon soy, almond or coconut creamer

1 tablespoon bourbon

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup chopped pecans

Place butter, brown sugar, agave nectar and creamer in a 2 quart saucepan over medium-high heat.  Stir until mixture comes to a simmer and then simmer gently, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes (and no more!).  Remove from heat and stir in creamer, bourbon, vanilla, salt, and chopped pecans.  Pour into a small bowl, and allow to cool.  Cover with plastic wrap gently pressed into the surface.

Orange Buttercream Frosting 

(You will have leftover frosting.)

1/2 cup vegan butter

1/2 cup vegetable shortening

Reserved zest of 1 orange (or 1 to 2 tablespoons dried orange zest)

4 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar

Approximately 1 to 2 tablespoons soy, almond, or coconut creamer, if desired for consistency

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine butter and shortening and beat on medium speed until fluffy.  Add orange zest followed by 1 cup of confectioner’s sugar at a time, turning off the mixer in between additions, and scraping down sides of bowl.  Thin, if desired with creamer and beat to combine.  Store any leftovers, covered, in refrigerator.


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Vegan Vanilla Cake Log with Fig Preserve Filling and Caramel-Cream Cheese Frosting

Fig-Filled Vanilla Log Cake with Caramel-Cream Cheese Frosting

Yield: approximately 12 servings

The secrets to a rolled vegan cake revealed…

A rolled sponge cake made with eggs is child’s play, as the protein in the eggs add just the right pliable structure necessary to hold it together as it smoothly spirals like wrapping paper around a spool.

Not so much with vegan cakes.  It took me four attempts to get it right.  In the end, it turned out to be both a matter of ingredients and rolling technique (thank you Martha Stewart via my good friend, Sonya Harmon, who witnessed one of my epic fails).

In terms of ingredients, I ended up adding a couple of tablespoons of flaxseed meal as an egg substitute.  I don’t think you’ll find a single other recipe on this website that calls for flaxseed meal as it simply isn’t necessary or, sometimes, even desirable for most baked good.  For this one (an my other rolled cakes), it is critical.

Also, though I am not a big fan of xanthan gum–it quickly creates kind of a slippery, slimey, glue-like texture if you don’t use a very light hand, and is as expensive as heck–less than a teaspoon is key to the success of this recipe. (Here, a bag costs almost $12 on Kroger’s organics aisle.  I recommend buying a bag and sharing with a gluten-free baker friend.)

And, finally, sprinkling a hand towel with confectioner’s sugar–not granulated sugar as Martha Stewart recommends–turning the cake out onto it, and rolling it up with the soft towel, instead of the crinkly parchment paper used to line the pan, is essential.

Lastly, trimming the edges of the cake–so that even the slightest bit of browning doesn’t create a “crust” that refuses to bend nicely–and  not unrolling the cake completely flat to fill will yield the most satisfying results.


Vegan Vanilla Cake Log with Fig Preserve Filling and Caramel-Cream Cheese Frosting

1 cup soy or other non-dairy milk

2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons flaxseed meal

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour (I use white whole wheat)

3/4 cup natural granulated sugar (I use demerera)

2 tablespooons cornstarch

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup canola or other neutral vegetable oil

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 cup Fig Preserves (or any preserves you prefer), brought to room temperature or gently warmed

Caramel-Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe follows)

Optional garnishes: shredded toasted coconut,, toasted if desired, chopped nuts, etc.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a rimmed 10 x 15″ pan with non-stick spray.  Line with one sheet of parchment paper and spray lightly again.  Sprinkle a tea towel with a little powdered sugar in a 10 x 15″  rectangle.  Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together soymilk, vinegar, and flaxseed meal and set aside to curdle, making a thickened vegan buttermilk.  In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, xanthan gum, baking soda, and salt.  Make a well in the center and pour in canola oil, vanilla extract, and soymilk mixture.  Whisk together for 100 strokes until smooth.  (Whisking for a portracted time like this will develop gluten and, hence, structure.)  Transfer batter into prepared pan and gently smooth into the corners.  Bake for 12 to 13 minutes or just until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Allow to cool in pan for 3 minutes and then invert onto prepared tea towel.  Carefully peel off parchment paper.  With a very sharp knife, trim 1/8 inch of cake from all of the edges.  Working from a long side, fold the excess inch or so of towel over the edge of the cake and carefully roll up like a jelly roll.  Tuck edges under and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.  Carefully unroll, avoiding trying to flatten the cake completely.  Gently spread with preserves.  Reroll and place seam side down on a serving platter, nestling it onto a flattened side from the previous rolling.  Frost with Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting and garnish with shredded cooconut and/or nuts.  Serve immediately or cover, refrigerate, and bring to room temperature before serving.



Caramel-Cream Cheese Frosting

1 cup vegan butter, divided in half

1 cup packed dark brown sugar

1/2 cup (4 ounces) vegan cream cheese

1 teaspoon vanilla

4 to 5 cups confectioner’s sugar (1 pound box)

Up to 1/4 cup non-dairy milk or creamer (e.g. soy, coconut, almond)

Optional for a frosting with even more body: up to 1/2 cup vegetable shortening


In a small saucepan, melt 1/2 cup butter over medium-high.  Stir in dark brown sugar and simmer, stirring, for 2 to 3 minuutes or until a deeper brown with a caramel-y aroma; lower heat if necessary.  Remove pan from heat and pour caramel into a bowl.  Cool and then chill, covered, for a couple of hours or until cold.  Using an electric mixer, beat remaining half cup butter and cream cheese until fluffy.  Beat in chilled caramel mixture and vanilla until well combined.  Beat in powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, thinning with non-dairy milk if desired.  For a frosting wtih even more body, beat in vegetable shortening, a couple of tablespoons at a time, again until desired texture is achieved.

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Day 8: Pear-Rum Cupcakes with Tea-Infused Buttercream Frosting–“Cooking ‘The Blooming Platter Cookbook’ Julie & Julia Style

Pear Cupcakes(A sequential installment from Kim Hastings, my photographer friend and, along with her vet husband, owner of Independence Veterinary Hospital, who decided on her own to cook her way through The Blooming Platter Cookbook: A Harvest of Seasonal Vegan Recipes Julie & Julia Style for her omnivorous family as a strategy for more healthy eating.)

Today was a total girls’ day with my little grand daughter Henley. We spent the morning baking these awesome little cupcakes and then went shopping for clothes. After years of raising boys, this is a new experience for me and I love it.

I chose Pear-Rum Cupcakes with Tea-Infused Buttercream Frosting. So, as instructed, I prepared the tea bags and cream the evening before while I was making my own tea. Today I started the batter right when little one went down for a nap hoping she would stay down long enough for me to get them in the oven.

I started reading the recipe and really??? Again with the food processor?! I swear if a certain vegan chef and cookbook author was stranded on a deserted tropical island and could only take one kitchen gadget, it would be the food processor! So here we go again. I’m really thankful little Henley is sleeping so she doesn’t hear some of the words that always fly out of my mouth when I use my processor.

I have to admit I analyzed the recipe trying to find another way but I have to give in on this one. No other gadget that I own would be the same and I didn’t want to screw it up. Because we are not a vegan household, I confess I used white flour, white sugar, and whole milk. Aside from that I followed the recipe – winky face. I admit the part where you add baking soda to the vinegar was so fun I thought I was back in grade school building a volcano as a school project. I decided on mini cupcakes because I know myself too well. I never finish a whole cupcake although I will eat all the icing – so really a lot like a three year old.

Henley with FrostingLuckily for me they came out of the oven right before Henley woke up, so she got to help me with the frosting. She especially loved the decorating and the taste testing. That was her favorite part of the day. Shhh! Please don’t tell her mom and dad!!! So here’s the results… I thought the cake part was fresh tasting and not too sweet but I thought the frosting was too sweet so I added a little salt to it. Then I realized that together they are perfect.

My husband is not a big dessert eater but he loved the cake after he scraped off the frosting. My youngest son got so excited seeing cupcakes on the counter when he got home from school. He asked what kind they were and without thinking I said pear. I forgot pears are his least favorite fruit. So he loved the frosting and left the cake…much like how I eat cupcakes! I sent a dozen to work after lunch and my other son texted me “THEY ARE VEGAN!” the minute he saw them. Remember…vegan phobic family. I texted back ” No they aren’t. I used whole milk and white flour.” Still he insisted they tasted “vegan”. Whatever. It’s ok because little Henley was a huge fan and it was our special day.

~Kim Howard Hastings

Kim Hastings





[Betsy’s note: white flour is vegan–just not particularly nutritious–and white sugar is, though sometimes animal bone char is used to refine it.]

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Vegan Twilight Brownie Bites with Peanut Butter-Cream Cheese Frosting (nuggets of Twightlight bars–think vegan Milky Ways–tucked inside the best brownies ever)

Twilight Brownie Bites

Yield: 2 1/5 dozen brownie bites

Voila!  My third recipe in the trio of treats I have created so far using Go Max Go vegan candy bars (no dairy, eggs, hydrogenated oils, trans fats, artificial ingredients, or cholesterol).

Sometimes I feel that my creations are gilding the lily since the candy bars are so good on their own–7 different and delicious varieties–but when the occasion calls for something different than a candy bar, I encourage you to give these a “go”!

These dark-as-midnight brownie bites conceal hidden nuggets of Go Max Go “Twilight” bars–think vegan versions of Milk Way bars–beneath sweet fluffy swirls of peanut butter and cream cheese goodness.

1/4 cup vegan butter

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 cup granulated sugar (I use demerara)

3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons pumpkin puree

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (I use white whole wheat)

2 1/4 teaspoons cornstarch

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/8 teaspoon sea salt

3 Go Max Go “Twilight” bars

Vegan Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe follows)

Garnish: Additional “Twilight” bars, whole peanuts, and mini vegan chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line miniature muffin tins with 30 miniature cupcake liners.  Place butter, oil, and sugar in a microwave safe bowl and microwave on high for about 45 seconds.  Whisk together until sugar is almost dissolved, microwaving another 10 seconds if necessary.  Add all remaining ingredients except frosting and garnishes, whisk to combine, and then whisk an additional 50 strokes.  Spoon by heaping teaspoon into prepared mini muffin tins; each should be about 2/3 to 3/4 full.  Bake for 10 minutes or until set.  Cut each Twilight bar into 12 equal pieces with a sharp knife, place one piece on top of each brownie bit and gently press to partially submerge.  (Save remaining slices from third bar for garnish.)  Cool completely, frost with Vegan Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting using a piping bag, if desired, and garnish with “Twilight” bar pieces, peanuts, and mini chocolate chips.

Vegan Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting

2 tablespoons vegan butter

2 tablespoons vegetable shortening

2 tablespoons vegan cream cheese

2 tablespoons smooth natural peanut butter

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/8 teaspoon almond extract

Approximately 2 cups powdered sugar

Approximately 2 tablespoons coconut or soy creamer

Combine butter, shortening, cream cheese and peanut butter in the bowl of electric mixer and beat on high speed until fluffy.  Add extracts, 1 cup of powdered sugar, and 1 tablespoon creamer, and beat until creamy-fluffy.  Repeat with remaining powdered sugar and creamer, adjusting amounts, if necessary, to achieve desired consistency.


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Vegan Fresh Fig Cupcakes with Vegan Lemon-Brandy Buttercream Frosting


Yield: 1 dozen cupcakes

These may possibly be the moistest cupcakes you will ever put in your mouth!

A pint of fresh figs from a local farm market that needed used fairly quickly resulted in these beautiful confections.  The lemon in the buttercream frosting  provides a subtle but bright contrast to the cinnamon-scented fig cupcakes, while the brandy flavoring (use real brandy if you have it–my husband forbids me, jokingly–sort of–to use his)  accents their ripe, earthy fruitiness for the perfect summer wedding of flavors.

Vegan Fresh Fig Cupcakes

1 cup soymilk (unsweetened or plain)

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (I have used rice wine vinegar in a pinch and it works just fine)

1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour (this is what I keep on-hand, but unbleached all purpose is fine)

3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons natural sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/3 cup walnut oil or canola oil

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

18 to 20 small-medium fresh figs, stemmed, and pureed in a food processor

Vegan Lemon-Brandy Buttercream Frosting (recipe follows)

Garnish: 12 fresh fig halves

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.  In a small cup or bowl, whisk together soymilk and vinegar to make a vegan “buttermilk.”  When it curdles, whisk again and set the mixture aside.  In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the soymilk mixture, oil, and vanilla extract.  Stir just until all ingredients are well combined and no lumps remain.  Stir in the fig puree until completely combined.  Fill muffin cups no more than 3/4 full and bake for 20-22 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool completely on a wire rack, and then remove cupcakes from tin.  Place frosting in a pastry bag (mine came from the Dollar Tree!) fitted with a star-type tip, and pipe on top of cooled cupcakes in concentric circles, spiraling high.  Top with a fresh fig half just before serving.

Vegan Lemon-Brandy Buttercream Frosting

1/2 cup vegetable shortening

1/2 cup vegan butter

4 cups powdered sugar, divided

2 tablespoons soymilk (unsweetened or plain)

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon brandy flavoring

Zest of 1/2 large lemon

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together shortening and vegan butter.  With mixer on low, beat in half of powdered sugar and half of soymilk.  Repeat.  Beat in vanilla, brandy flavoring, and lemon zest, and then turn mixer to high and whip until creamy-fluffy.


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Blooming Platter Vegan Coca-Cola Cake with Fudgy Frosting

DSCN0758This Coca-Cola Cake with Fudgy Frosting is yet more evidence that I have been having powerful winter cravings for Southern comfort foods!

How fun that these obsessions have led to quite a few brand new vegan recipes that I am delighted to share with you.

But, if you are thinking, “Ick.  I would NEVER drink a Coca-Cola,” wait!  There are a number of organic brands with deeply spicy notes and complex flavor that would be a perfect upgrade to this southern staple.

Enjoy the latest, this addicting cake, complete with back story and organic cola recommendations, on the Go Dairy Free website, the definitive site for all things non-dairy.  Thanks to creator, Alisa Fleming!

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Go Dairy Free Re-Features My Vegan Savory Black Bean Cupcakes with Whipped Sweet Potato Frosting Just in Time for Halloween

If you’ve not visited Go Dairy Free in a while, I recommend you click on the link and head on over, as I think you’ll love the new format.  New look.  Same great information, ideas, recipes, and resources that is continually expanded.

In a recent email, GDF creator, Alisa, wrote “I’m slowly updating old recipes with our new format, so I just refeatured one of your recipes from last year!”

The recipe is for my Savory Black Bean Cupcakes with Whipped Sweet Potato Frosting.  Sound odd?  Well, they are pretty unique, I have to say.  Sort of like a bread, protein and starchy vegetable in one.  In a word: delish, if I do say so.  And so very pretty.

Please enjoy them with my wishes for a very Happy Halloween!

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Vegan Chocolate Wafer Cookies Filled with Fresh Raspberry-Champagne Buttercream Frosting

Yield: approximately 2 dozen 1 3/4-inch wafers

This Raspberry-Champagne Buttercream Frosting is about the best thing, well, since sliced cookies.  Seriously, it had omnivores requesting the recipe and laying the compliments on thick!

It is as delicious on vanilla cupcakes–heck, it’s delicious on the end of your finger!–and it is in these not-too-sweet chocolate wafers, with their perfect balance of crispness and tenderness.

Coincidentally, while looking for commercial chocolate wafers to encase this buttercream (remember “Famous” brand?), I noticed that Oreos now come filled with a berry cream.  If the combination is good enough for Oreos, it’s definitely good enough for me!  And by the way, this recipe for homemade wafers is very close to what I remember of the taste and texture of Famous wafers, though a tad thicker.

The Chocolate Wafer Cookies are adapted from Alice Medrich’s Pure Dessert by and veganized by me (just a matter of substituting vegan butter for butter and soymilk for whole milk).  The frosting is The Blooming Platter all the way!

1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour or white whole wheat flour (I always use the latter)
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
14 tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) vegan butter, slightly softened
3 tablespoons soymilk (plain or unsweetened)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 recipe Fresh Raspberry-Champagne Buttercream Frosing

Combine the flour, cocoa, sugar, salt, and baking soda in the bowl of food processor and pulse several times to mix thoroughly. Cut the butter into about 12 chunks and add them to the bowl. Pulse several times. Combine the soymilk and vanilla in a small cup. With the processor running, add the milk mixture and continue to process until the mixture clumps around the blade or the sides of the bowl. Transfer the dough to a large bowl or a cutting board and knead a few times to make sure it is evenly blended.

Form the dough into a log about 14 inches long and 1 3/4 inches in diameter. Wrap the log in wax paper or foil and refrigerate until firm, at least one hour, or until needed.

Position the racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Line the baking sheets with parchment paper. Cut the log of dough into slices a scant 1/4-inch thick, on a slight bias if you choose, and place them one inch apart on the lined sheets (cookies will spread just a little). Bake, rotating the baking sheet from top to bottom and back to front about halfway through baking, for a total of 12 to 15 minutes. The cookies will puff up and deflate; they are done about 1 1/2 minutes after they deflate.

Cool the cookies on the baking sheets on racks, or slide the parchment onto racks to cool completely. These cookies may be stored in an airtight container for up to two weeks or be frozen for up to two months.

Note: These cookies should crisp as they cool. If they don’t, you’re not baking them long enough, says Medrich — in which case, return them to the oven to reheat and bake a little longer, then cool again.

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Fresh Raspberry-Champagne Vegan Buttercream Frosting

Yield: enough to generously frost 12 regular cupcakes or a single-layer cake

School started on Monday with an in-service week for teachers, so I made these beauties for a few of my teacher friends to wish them a “sweet” start to a new school year.

What a hit they were!  One teacher wanted the recipe, one said they were “three minutes of uninterrupted heaven,” another sent me a text saying, “Awesome cupcake,” and still another said he was quite sure it was the best cupcake he had ever eaten!  And, by the way, all of these teachers are omnivores.

What makes them so special?  Well, the vanilla cupcakes from Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World are darn good.  But the cupcake-frosting combination is out of this world.  Truly, it was the frosting that sent everyone over the moon: fresh raspberries that I marinated in champagne!  Actually, they were from a sangria recipe I created with Prosecco (I was testing a recipe for a major project that, fingers crossed, will come to fruition).  But, for the purpose of recreating the frosting without having to make sangria first, I figured out the correct proportion of Prosecco and sugar.  The flavor is bursting with berry freshness and a little tangy zip, but there is a subtle depth and complexity about it too.

These cupcakes are pretty enough for a wedding, but it would be a shame to save them for such rare occasions.  Bake up a batch and make any day special!

1/2 cup sparkling wine (I use Prosecco, but champagne would be lovely too)

3 tablespoons natural sugar

1 cup fresh raspberries

2 tablespoons vegan butter

2 tablespoons vegetable shortening

2 tablespoons vegan cream cheese

5 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

The day before you plan to make the frosting, marinate the berries: in a small bowl, dissolve sugar in the sparkling wine, add berries, stir well, cover, and refrigerate for 24 hours.  To make frosting, cream butter, shortening, and cream cheese with an electric mixer until fluffy.  Add the powdered sugar, a cup at a time, starting the mixer on slow and gradually increasing the speed so that you don’t coat yourself in sugar.  After you’ve added about 2 cups of the sugar, drain berries and add all of them with another cup of sugar, beating well.  Don’t be alarmed if mixture looks curdled; it will smooth out as the remaining sugar is added.  Continue beating and adding remaining sugar and vanilla until the frosting is thick and creamy.  You may find that you need more or less of the sugar in the marinade, as well as in the frosting, depending on how sweet and moist the berries are, respectively.  So adjust as you see fit.  Use the frosting immediately or refrigerate until ready to use.  I like to pipe swirls of frosting on top of the cupcakes using a pastry bag before garnishing with white nonpareil pearls for a very feminine look (I purchase the pearls at our local Kroger).  However, a fresh raspberry perched on top , perhaps with a mint leaf, would also be lovely.

Note: I recently saw some Oreos (they’re vegan in the U.S.!) with a berry filling!  So pretty in pink.  I’m thinking that the frosting would be absolutely scrumptious between two chocolate wafer cookies, no?

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