By Claire Gallo
I am so excited to share this recipe with everyone. I mean really excited. I have wanted to bake a vegan cupcake for a long time but I could never get the recipe quite right. After many failed attempts and taste tests, I finally succeeded. These cupcakes are delicious and light. If you don’t believe me you can ask anyone who attended The Positivity Charge health retreat. A few months ago, this amazing event happened right here in my hometown, Detroit. I have never been to a health retreat before. I have been to yoga classes and listened to guest speakers but never have I spent an entire day thinking about my potential and the different ways to add positivity to my life. The Positivity Charge happened on a beautiful summer day in an amazing open space downtown. The itinerary included meditation, yoga, guest speakers, breakout sessions, and a speaker panel with some pretty amazing women.
I swapped in whole wheat flour, extra carrot, and just a dollop of vegan frosting. Instead of sprinkles, I used a carrot ribbon. Instead of eggs, I used unsweetened applesauce. If you are looking to swap eggs for applesauce, you have to follow a certain ratio. For every egg a recipe calls for replace with 1/3 cup of unsweetened applesauce or one individual applesauce cup. You also have to add 1 tsp of baking powder. This will ensure that your cupcake will be light and rise. I also used carrot ribbons to top the cupcakes. If you have any ribbon leftovers, they are delicious on a salad…just saying.
Prep: 20 Minutes
Total Time: 1 ½ Hours
Makes 30 cupcakes
1 ¾ cup sugar
1 1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup applesauce
2 cups whole wheat flour
3 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. baking soda
1 ½ tsp salt
3 cups grated carrots
1 container vegan frosting ( Wholesome Organic Vanilla Frosting)
2 medium carrots
2/3 cup of sugar
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Beat sugar, oil, vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Gradually add applesauce and mix for 2 minutes. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture, alternating with shredded carrots. You should end on the flour mixture.
Line cupcake pan with liners and scoop batter into pan until each is 2/3 filled. Bake for 28 to 30 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool on rack.
While cupcakes are cooling, make the carrot ribbons. Decrease oven heat to 250 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Using a vegetable peeler, peel long ribbon like strands from the carrot. Bring 2/3 cup of sugar and 2/3 cup water to a boil in a small sauce pan. Turn down to a simmer and add carrots. Simmer for 10 to 12 minutes. Using a fork, remove carrots from pan and drop onto parchment lined cookie sheet. Arrange the ribbons into different shapes (waves, circles, etc.) Bake for 20 minutes, remove from oven, and cool completely. Carrot ribbons will begin to harden.
Once cupcakes and carrot ribbons are cooled, top cupcakes with your favorite vegan frosting and top with a carrot ribbon. Refrigerate in an air tight container up to 4 days
But before any business was conducted, there had to first be coffee, provided by local business Common Grace Coffee Company, and there had to be cupcakes. The Positivity Charge was not only my first health retreat. It was my first big event with my cupcakes. I made 3 different kinds Peach Bellini, Gluten Free Chocolate Chocolate Chip, and Vegan Carrot Cake. At the end of event, there was a clear winner on what cupcake was the crowd favorite; the Vegan Carrot Cake. These cupcakes were the product of a lot of trial and I’m sorry to say error. I have to tell you, if I am not 100% satisfied with my cooking it does not leave the kitchen. This was my first event and I wanted them to be perfect and healthy. I swapped in whole wheat flour, extra carrot, and just a dollop of vegan frosting. Instead of sprinkles, I used a carrot ribbon. Instead of eggs, I used unsweetened applesauce. If you are looking to swap eggs for applesauce, you have to follow a certain ratio. For every egg a recipe calls for replace with 1/3 cup of unsweetened applesauce or one individual applesauce cup. You also have to add 1 tsp of baking powder. This will ensure that your cupcake will be light and rise. I also used carrot ribbons to top the cupcakes. If you have any ribbon leftovers, they are delicious on a salad…just saying.
Looking back, it’s difficult to pick out what my favorite part of the event was. I loved the yoga session in the beginning by Anjali Romaniuk. It was relaxing yet challenging and it set the mood for the whole health retreat. I also enjoyed our lovely guest speaker, Nitika Chopra. She is a person who is beautiful inside and out. Her message was so relatable, self-love and how to be your own biggest fan. This made me stop and take a look at myself and the person I want to be and how I’m going to get there. I also loved meeting all the attendees. You guys rock! We all came from different backgrounds but we were dedicated to learning and living a positive lifestyle. Thank you for all the kind words and posts about the event and my cupcakes. I am constantly taking pictures of my food but I was not prepared to see others taking their own pictures. Everyone who posted or told me how delicious they were, thank you so much. You made my day. Our Positivity Charge Founders, Dr. Rubina Thir and Parisha Smith, say, “your vibe attracts your tribe.” This is an amazing tribe to be a part of. These women are on a mission and I am so happy to be part of the journey. Thank you everyone who attended the Health retreat and enjoy the recipe, friends.