My crazy Family Living in Japan

Military Family Living Abroad

Gone Bananas!! July 23, 2010

I know I know, I am already completely bananas! But. . .Cupcakes are so intriguing. They are small, fun, portable morsels of yumminess. Who doesn’t love a cupcake?? I personally, could eat them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!! They are not only fun to make, but they are fun to eat. I have been on an extreme cupcake kick lately, and am making them ALL the time! I can usually come up with SOME reason as to why “I HAVE” to make cupcakes. Today’s was completely legit .. . . I had some SUPER ripe bananas on their way into the garbage if they weren’t used like today! I hate wasting food, so  .. .  It was time for some cupcakes!!

A while back my daughter Kiwi bought her Mom (that’s me) a cookbook ALL on her own (yes, she picked it out and all). This book was AWESOME! It is called “Crazy about cupcakes” by Krystina Castella. She has a website as well  here. This book is AWESOME! of course, I had to veganize the recipes . . . but there are 2 cake and 2 frosting recipes in the book that are in fact vegan already.  While thumbing through this cookbook, I cam across banana cupcakes.  ..  PERFECT! That is what I was going to make! Then  . .I needed a frosting, what sounds better with Banana cupcakes then peanut butter frosting with chocolate chunks on top?? NOTHING!! These were AMAZING!!  I have posted the original recipes here, and then added my vegan adaptations of them at the end. You really should go get this book if you like cupcakes!

Banana Cupcakes w/Peanut Butter Icing


When you look at Yummy cupcakes, don’t they make you just want to smile?

Go forth and make yummy cupcakes,

putting a smile one the world one cupcake stuffed face at a time!



(This recipe is from the book “Crazy about cupcakes” by Krystina Castella)

Banana Cupcakes

You will need:

1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter,
at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup mashed ripe bananas
1 3/4 all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line cupcake pans with liners.

2. With an electric mixer on medium speed cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Add the eggs to creamed mixture, and beat well. Add the bananas creamed mixture and mix well.

3. In a separate bowl sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt.

4. Add all the dry ingredients to creamed mixture at once. Mix until the dry ingredients are completely integrated.

5. Add the milk and vanilla. Mix batter for 1 minute on medium speed.

6. Fill cupcake liners one-half to three-quarters full with batter. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcakes comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in the pan.


My vegan adaptations were as follows:

1/2 pound (2 Sticks) unsalted butter = 1 cup earth balance organic

2 Large eggs = 2 egg equivalent of EnerG egg replacer

5 Tablespoons milk = 5 Tablespoons Rice milk


Peanut Butter Frosting (This recipe is from the book “Crazy about cupcakes” by Krystina Castella)

You will need:

12 Tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 cups firmly packed brown sugar

4 Tablespoons water

1 1/3 Cups smooth or crunchy peanut butter

2 Tablespoons vanilla extract

1. In a saucepan over high heat bring the butter, brown sugar, and water to a boil and continue to boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

2. Stir in the peanut butter and vanilla and beat until smooth.  Put hot frosting on the cupcakes while the cupcakes are still hot.  Frosting will thicken as it cools.


My vegan adaptations were as follows:

12 Tablespoons unsalted butter = 12 Tablespoons Earth balance organic

A note about this “frosting” – It may have been my vegan adaptations, but it turned out more like an icing or glaze than a frosting. I actually “dipped” my cupcakes into the frosting, and this was JUST the right amount for them!


Mondays Muffin mayhem July 19, 2010

Filed under: recipes,Vegan Recipes — Annastasia @ 17:30
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

As any of you know who have read my blog. . .I always seem to make muffins on Mondays! I am not sure why this is, but Mondays are always great days to bake! Today I actually had somewhere to take my muffins. Tonight is our cluster meeting for PC (pampered chef), and our team was to bring snack & refreshments. Well, I started the day thinking .. . . Muffins would be great. Perfect amount of sweetness, rich, moist, goodiness that needs no frosting. Easy right? Not in my kitchen .. .

As I thought of what kind of muffins to make I came up with 2 choices. . . banana chocolate chip OR pumpkin chocolate chip (I am seeing a pattern here. . .. ).  After much deliberation, and a facebook vote. . .  I settled on the pumpkin chocolate chip. These are one of my fave muffins (sans frosting).  Since I was clean out of canned pumpkin, I’d need to stop at the store during my morning errands to pick up a can.  No biggie. . . . (Ha, Ha, Ha)

I get to the commissary, and low and behold. . . they are also clean out of canned pumpkin (OF COURSE!), so I grab the pumpkin pie canned suff and see a recipe for  “Crumbled top pumpkin muffins” so I changed my MoJo to these crumbled top muffins. .. .minus the chocolate. I am always up for trying new things!

Well, I made the muffins. .  fairly easy, and cooked well .. . . . but, they were kind of  .. . . PLAIN.  So, I decided they would be better with frosting or a ganache.  After much (MUCH) thought,  I decided to go with a brown sugar frosting that I found @ The Cupcake Project. Of course, I’d have to “veganize” it. . . but no biggie.

These Babies turned out SO GOOD!!! They are like mouth watering yummo pumpkiny brown sugary good!! They turned out Delishioso!!! Oishi!! Damn good!! So. . . . I thought I would share the recipe with you all. . . . Please try them out, they are super good!


Crumble Top Pumpkin Muffins (From the inside label of a can of Libby’s Easy Pumpkin pie mix)

4 C  all-purpose baking mix

1 C raisins (optional)

2/3 C quick or old fashioned oats

2/3 C granulated sugar

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 can (30oz) Libbys easy pumkin pie mix

2 large eggs

Streusel Topping (Recipe follows)

Preaheat oven to 400F. Paper-line or grease 24 muffin cups.

Combine baking mix, raisins, oats, sugar and cinnamon in large bowl. Combine pumpkin pie mix and eggs in medium bowl; mix well. Stir into oat mixture just until moistened. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling 3/4 full. Sprinkle with streusel topping.

Bake for 14-16 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from pans to wire rack; cool slightly.  Serve warm.

For Streusel Topping:

Combine 3 Tblsp all-purpose flour, 3 Tblsp granulated sugar and 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon in small bowl. Cut in 2 Tblsp butter with pastry blender or two knives until mixture is crumbly.


Now obviously I veganized this. I used egg replacer, and I also left out the raisins.  These turned out good on their own, but I felt they were lacking something. So I added the brown sugar frosting found here. I also veganized this recipe by subbing organic soy milk for the milk called for in the recipe. Once that frosting was added, these muffins were out of this world!!  Getting this frosting ON the muffins was a fiasco in itself!

First, I tried using a pastry bag with a tip on it (to make them prettier) and I got the frosting in the bag, and went to put it on the muffins . . . the entire seam ripped and it gushed out all into my hand! (Thank goodness it missed the muffins!) once I salvaged all I could (scraping my hand and the pastry bag) I decided to forget about “prettiness” and went solely for flavor. . . . I applied the frosting with a . .  . butter knife! So. . . . they don’t look crazy. . . but they tasted GREAT!!


Todays (lived & learned) piece of advice. . .. . Invest in a sifter and a GOOD pastry bag.