My brother's surprise birthday party is today, so I finally have an excuse to make hamburger cupcakes. The best part, he's vegan and so are the cupcakes. How's that for an oxymoron! I can't wait to see him bite into these tasty sliders.
(See below for recipes.)
To make hamburger cupcakes:
1. Bake a batch of vanilla cupcakes. Cut them in half to create the top and bottom "buns".
2. Bake a batch of chocolate cupcakes. Pour only a small amount into each cup so they are much smaller. Or, you can make brownies in a cupcake tin instead. This will be your "meat".
3. Color frosting green and pipe onto bottom "bun". This will be your "lettuce".
4. Place your "meat" on the bottom "bun" and use red and yellow decorating frosting to create "ketchup" and "mustard".
5. Place top "bun" on top. (optional: sprinkle real sesame seeds on "bun".)
6. Finish with an "olive" or "pickle". Hold in place with a toothpick.
7. Done! See how ridiculously easy that was. It takes some time to assemble but anyone can do it.
Vanilla Vegan Cupcakes recipe:
• 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar or distilled white vinegar
• 1 1/2 cups almond milk or soy milk (either vanilla or plain work well)
• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 cup white sugar
• 2 teaspoons baking powder
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 cup coconut oil, warmed until liquid, or grapeseed oil (grapeseed oil will look slightly green at first, but don't worry, it'll mix in and bake up like yellow cake)
• 1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract (almond extract works well, too)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 12 cup muffin pans. Do not line with baking cups as this will leave grooves in your "buns".
2. Measure the vinegar into a 2 cup measuring cup. Fill with almond (or soy) milk to make 1 1/2 cups. Let stand until curdled, about 5 minutes.
3. In a large bowl, Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk/vinegar mixture, coconut (or grapeseed) oil and vanilla.
5. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir just until blended. Spoon the batter into the muffin tin, each cup should be about 3/4 full, dividing evenly.
6. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes. You will know when the cakes are done when a toothpick is inserted and comes out clean, with no crumbs.
7. Cool in the pan set over a wire rack.
8. When cool, cut in half to create the top and bottom "buns".
Chocolate Vegan Cupcakes recipe:
• 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
• 3/4 cup white sugar
• 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
• 1 tablespoon white vinegar
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1 1/4 cups water
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 12 cup muffin pans. Do not line with baking cups as this will leave grooves in your "meat".
2. Whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.
3. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, in a separate bowl, mix together oil, vinegar, vanilla and water until well combined.
4. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and stir just until blended (note: batter will be thin). Spoon the batter into the muffin pans, each cup should be about 1/4 full, dividing evenly (note: you'll probably have left-over batter which you can make into full size cupcakes to snack on later).
5. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes. Rotate tin halfway through baking. You will know when the cakes are done when a toothpick is inserted and comes out clean, with no crumbs.
6. Cool in the pan set over a wire rack.
(This recipe is from the Martha Stewart Cupcakes book. You can find a version of it here as well.)
Because of how time-consuming these cupcakes are, I highly recommend buying pre-made frosting from the store. Surprisingly, store-bought decorating, tube, and can frosting tends to be dairy-free. Check labels carefully. Generally, this type of frosting is made with oil instead of butter or milk, unless you are buying buttercream frosting. They also come in a variety of colors perfect for creating lettuce, ketchup, mustard and any other condiment you can think of.
Olive and Pickle candies:
You can mold and shape olives and pickles out of marzipan that has been dyed with a few drops of red and green food coloring. Or you can follow this recipe for a sweeter version of this almond flavored treat.
• 1 tablespoon softened soy margarine
• 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
• 1/8 teaspoon almond extract (however, you can use any flavoring extract to suit your taste buds)
• 1 cup powdered sugar
• red food coloring
• green food coloring
1. With a fork, mix soy margarine, light corn syrup, salt and extract in a bowl.
2. Slowly add about 1/2 cup powdered sugar to the mix one spoonful at a time. Once the dough is thick enough, you can start kneading it with your hands, while continuing to add the other 1/2 cup of the powdered sugar.
3. Take about 1/4 of the dough, and set the other 3/4 aside. Color the smaller piece of dough red by kneading a few drops of food coloring into it. Continue adding as much food coloring as needed to reach the desired color (note: you may have to knead for a while to get a smooth, even color).
4. Wash hands. Repeat step 3 using the larger piece of the dough and the green food coloring.
5. At this point you should have a small piece of red dough and a larger piece of green dough.
6. Start rolling and molding the dough to create green pickles and olives, and small red pimentos to stick in the olives.