The BEST Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes/Cookies and Coconut Cream Frosting

So I tend to not be the best baker. I really suck at following other peoples' recipes (or listening to anyone about anything, ever) so when I decided to give cupcakes a try for a party I looked at a few things online but mostly improvised and made it up as I went along, and by some grace of the universe it is hands-down the best cupcake I have ever had- vegan or not! These little guys have just the right combination of cakey, rich chocolate and light, fluffy frosting. Not a normal indulgence for me but truly something special to share with others- give them a try and let me know what you think! 

Almost too good to frost...almost. 

Almost too good to frost...almost. 


Serves: 12 • Prep Time: 10 min • Cook Time: 20-22 min

Cupcakes:

  • 1 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk (I used flax milk)
  • 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar 
  • 3/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 ripe banana, mashed
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract/paste
  • 1 tbsp ground flax seed
  • 2 tsp instant coffee
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder 
  • 1 cup gluten free flour (I used this one)
  • 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips (optional)
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda 
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of pink salt

1. Preheat the over to 350° F and line your cupcake tin

2. Add apple cider vinegar to the almond milk, stir and set aside for a 5 minutes to let curdle slightly 

2. In a large bowl mash 1 banana until it reaches a near liquid state, then add in the sugar, flax and vanilla and whisk til well combined and bubbles form (about 1 minute)

3. Add the milk, flour, coco powder, coffee, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt to the banana and sugar mix 

4. Stir to combine, fold in chocolate chips, and fill your muffin tins 3/4 of the way to the top.

5. Bake in the over for 20-22 minutes

6. Allow to cool completely before frosting

 


Frosting:

  • 1 can full fat coconut milk, chilled 
  • 2 tsp maple syrup or other liquid sweetener 
  • 1 1/2 cup crushed cookies (I used these)

1. To make the frosting add maple syrup along with the solid part of your can of coconut milk to a cold bowl (set aside the water-y of the coconut milk part in a smoothie or something), whisk until the mixture is light and airy. 

2. Add the cookies to a plastic bag and crush them up as finely as you'd like and add to the coconut cream. You can reserve a bit to sprinkle on top as garnish. 

3. Let chill in the fridge till the cupcakes are completely cool, then frost away! 


Banana Chia Seed Pudding with (Leftover) Cranberry Sauce

Ah, leftovers. Perhaps the only reason for making big dinners at all is to indulge in them cold, in tupperware, for breakfast the next day - am I right?! Okay, I guess sometimes I can be troubled to heat them up but I love finding new ways to re-invent those traditional flavors once I have already eaten my fill. I made a killer cranberry sauce this year, we had so much left over that I knew if I didn't find something to do with it, I might just end up eating too much by the spoonful alone in my pajamas. So this is what I came up with - its creamy, sweet, tart and full of texture all at the same time. This layered meal-in-a-glass can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner, its healthy and satisfying. 

 

PLUS, this is almost too easy.

PREP TIME: 4-6 Hours | ASSEMBLY TIME: 5 Minutes


  • 1 Cup Leftover Cranberry Sauce (I'll wait to disclose the full recipe at a later date but it had ginger, rosemary and a few other unexpected goodies, but no refined sugar)
  • 1 Cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • 3-4 tbsp. of Black or White Chia Seeds (this depends on how thick you like your pudding)
  • 1-2 tbsp Grade B Maple Syrup
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp sSalt
  • 1 Banana, sliced thin (for layering)

  1. Combine the almond milk, cinnamon, maple syrup and salt in a container
  2. Add the chia seeds, cover and shake well to distribute the seeds. (Alternatively you could blend the chia seeds in your processor into a fine powder before mixing, providing a smooth texture to your pudding, this is GREAT for those who get turned off by the chia seed texture)
  3. Place mixture into the fridge for 4-6 hours or overnight until pudding-like 
  4. Assemble the dish by layering a spoonful of chia pudding, a few banana slices and a spoonful of cranberry sauce until the vessel is filled (I used 8oz mason jars). Top with cranberry sauce and banana and maybe a sprinkle of cinnamon or coconut flakes.  
  5. Serve ASAP but first you better snap a photo. 

Serves 2. 

10 Things About Me

Thats me in the middle, dancing to a band called 'Folk Y'all" at a good friend's wedding a few years ago.

Thats me in the middle, dancing to a band called 'Folk Y'all" at a good friend's wedding a few years ago.

1. I worked in the bridal industry for four years. I did it all - sold wedding dresses, handled social media accounts, tried my hand at creating unique headpieces, designed invitations, assisted on styled photoshoots  and represented a brand at NY Bridal Market, twice. I pushed myself, I failed, I succeeded, but most of all I learned SO MUCH about myself. I see clothing as a another language - a representation of our inner-world, so working in an industry helping others share their light was wonderful. I made some of my best friends while working in bridal, to boot. 

I even tried my hand at modeling maids dresses. Photo: Carla Ten Eyck, Styling: Beth Chapman

I even tried my hand at modeling maids dresses. Photo: Carla Ten Eyck, Styling: Beth Chapman

2. I graduated from Parsons School of Design in 2010 (of Project Runway fame). I consider myself artist before anything else. In my second year I joined a new major at the school called Integrated Design which allowed me to explore a range of mediums including but not limited to - fashion design and construction, sustainability, film making, illustration, graphic design and marketing. As mentioned before I love clothing and what it can represent for people so my focus was on clothing. There was an emphasis on thinking outside of the box, mind mapping, questioning societal norms and taking commerce into our own hands. My years at Parsons shaped my views on a lot of things but now feel like such a distant memory, it was not the "typical" college experience at all but that is what I loved most about it. Seeing so many of my classmates making BIG names for themselves is thrilling. Non-humble brag: Parsons was recently named the best art and design school in the country. Was it worth the $80,000 investment? Time will tell. 

For my senior thesis I designed a collection called 'At One Time, From All Directions' under the label name 'Spiral Arms'. Will share more from this soon.

For my senior thesis I designed a collection called 'At One Time, From All Directions' under the label name 'Spiral Arms'. Will share more from this soon.

3. I have never in my life consumed drugs or alcohol (no, not even a sip). Just personal choice. Maybe I'll tell you a bit about this sometime. 

4. I a plant-based vegan. That's right, your typical straight-edge vegan. Unlike #3, I am relatively new to veganism- I will share more on this soon. The dream for this blog is to have a ton of vegan recipes (I never use recipes when I cook so we will see how that goes) and tips for healthy/compassionate living. 

5. I live Los Angeles, but I don't really love it. The heat, packed freeways and unclear agendas just aren't really my vibe. I am from coastal New England and have also lived in New York City (see #2). I don't really love cities that much. BUT with that said, I am so happy we live here - California, at large, is magic and getting out here was only the beginning - I am so inspired to try many other places. Also, moving somewhere with very few family and friends really tests you in some freaky ways, grateful for the struggle. 

We live right outside Venice Beach. 

We live right outside Venice Beach. 

6. I am a Yoga practitioner and teacher. Taking a yoga teacher training was the best thing I have yet to do, hands down, it got my life started. Click here to learn more about my philosophy on yoga. 

Finally stuck a handstand after years of effort. 

Finally stuck a handstand after years of effort. 

7. Not sure why I'm sharing but I haven't thrown up in 15 years. Making me a favorite amongst people with a fear of throw up. Great!

Okay, this is a baby picture as I don't feel like either of us would benefit from my sharing a photo of me at 12 (scary). I totally barfed a few more times in my life after this pic was taken. Thats me in the middle, naked, sipping juice. 

Okay, this is a baby picture as I don't feel like either of us would benefit from my sharing a photo of me at 12 (scary). I totally barfed a few more times in my life after this pic was taken. Thats me in the middle, naked, sipping juice. 

8. I prefer the rain over the sun. Thats right, blame it on my fair skin, intolerance to heat or undeniably sharp canines. Sunshine just stresses me out. Rain lets me relax and feel balanced. I'm not a total bummer and I do enjoy the sunshine occasionally but I think, just not as much as the average bear. Anyone else out there agree?

Here I am in my element in 2009, photo by Lily Ferguson. 

Here I am in my element in 2009, photo by Lily Ferguson. 

9.I'm still obsessed with the TV show LOST and the first three lottery "numbers" happened to be the date of my birthday this past year. FUN FACT: The "numbers" add up to 108, a very metaphorically-dense figure in the a few different ancient belief systems.

10. My favorite band always has been and forever will be Bright Eyes. Conor Oberst is a lyrical and melodic genius and as far as I am concerned a true yogi (not sure if he practices but philosophically he is there, man.)

I've probably seen Conor in concert about 15 times in the last 10 years and never once does it feel like I have been closer than this. Doesn't matter to me, not that kind of fan.

I've probably seen Conor in concert about 15 times in the last 10 years and never once does it feel like I have been closer than this. Doesn't matter to me, not that kind of fan.

ADDITIONAL FACTS: I am left handed. I am a minimalist. I can be bossy. I have a brother and he is awesome. I tend to place myself in people's stories when I wasn't even there. I always see both sides of the story. I swear a lot. I talk too much in meetings. Im 27. I HATE wet napkins. 

Vegan Pumpkin Spice Hot Cocoa

Vegan and perfect for getting your #basicbitch on - natural ingredients, no added fat, and no refined sugar. 

This hot cocoa is so thick you nearly have to drink it with a spoon.  It has a hint of pumpkin flavor but not much, that addition just contributes to the texture which is decadent and  creamy. On top of the ingredients below I think ginger, cardamom and turmeric would make wonderfully belly-healing additions to this tasty little beverage. You could also whip up a coconut cream if you want to be real bad. 


  • 1 Cup Pumpkin Puree (I used canned)
  • 3-4 cups Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • 1/2 Cup High-Quality Cocoa Powder (or sub Cacao if you're nasty...not actually nasty, more like indulgent, you know what I mean, Ms. Jackson)
  • 12-20 Dates (Add more depending on how sweet you want it, you can also sub dates for coconut sugar, maple syrup or another sweetener to taste but I do think the date texture has something to do with the thickness of your end product)
  • 2 tbsp pumpkin spice (optional)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Maple Syrup to top

  1. Add the pitted dates and a few splashes of almond milk, pulse until smooth
  2. Add 2 cups almond milk, all of the pumpkin, coco power and spices to the blender and blend until smooth (you may have to scrape down the sides at least once)
  3. At this point, TASTE your little potion to determine if you want to add any additional chocolate, spices, sweetness, etc.
  4. Add the blender mix to a sauce pan (minus the blade) and add more almond milk til you reach your desired texture keeping in mind that the mixture will thicken slightly when cooking (I added about 1 cup)
  5. Heat on medium heat til your hot chocolate starts to bubble and thicken slightly, 5-10 minutes
  6. Ladle into mugs and top with maple syrup, coconut whipped cream, cacao nips or whatever else your cute little head dreams up.

Serves 4-6.