Guest Blogger: Jessivore

14 Oct

I went to high school with Jessica and oddly enough we were in the same college program, just one year apart. I was so glad to find her on Facebook and see we were both vegan. Jessica is a lovely person who seems somewhat shy, yet can pin you down in a wrestling move in a flash. Recently married, she is beaming and with her amazing diet and work out regime I can’t blame her. In her own words, “I am a holistic nutritionist, and studying to become a Shiatsu therapist and an acupuncturist.” Pretty neat. Please welcome Jessica!

Pumpkin spice mini cakes

Although I have vigorous enthusiasm for fall, I am not really a Holiday Person. We all know Holiday People – at the first hint of fall colours and cooler temperatures, they pull a series of boxes out of storage and proceed to deck their houses with dried corn, pumpkins, gourds, and various types of straw and grasses. Even though Hallowe’en is a few weeks away, they probably have some cobwebs and skeletons hanging off their windows already. Me? I am still working on a list for last year’s Christmas cards. Oops.

In spite of my holiday shortcomings, I am a gleeful festive baker. Give me an occasion, and I will happily bake something for it, likely in miniature size. Because a mini cake or a cupcake is so much better than agonizing over what sized slice is too large from a regular-sized cake!

Pumpkin spice mini cakes combine the best holiday flavours, and give you a hit of beta carotene to keep your skin glowy. And really, pumpkin and spice – do you need any more convincing?

Pumpkin spice mini cakes

I am blessed with a pumpkin-shaped cupcake tray that is really only appropriate for a short time every year, so that’s what I use for these. However, they are equally tasty in regular cupcake form. And don’t let their cute little shape trick you into thinking that they’re difficult to make – once you have the ingredients together, just mix in two bowls, then pour into one bowl, then bake.

Here’s what you need:

  • Cupcake pan or mini cake pan – this recipe will make 6 cups of batter, so you will end up with about 12 mini cakes or 24 cupcakes
  • 2 1/2 cups unbleached flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp allspice
  • 1/8 tsp cloves
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup melted butter OR vegan margarine
  • 15 oz canned pumpkin (not pie filling!)
Here’s what you do:
  • Preheat your oven to 350F and grease your trays with butter. Some people are cool with baking two trays together and rotating halfway through – but I’m not completely sure my oven understands this principle, so I always bake in shifts. It’s your call what you want to do here. Prep both trays at the same time no matter what you choose, to save you time later.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, salt and spices. In a large bowl, whisk applesauce, sugar, butter and pumpkin puree until combined. Add dry ingredients to wet and mix gently until smooth.
  • Pour the batter into your pan and smooth out the top. Bake until it passes the toothpick test (about 40 minutes for the mini cakes, and 25-30 for cupcakes), then remove from oven and let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Turn out onto a rack to cool completely.
Now, go make these and be thankful with the people you love!
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