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Cookbook Giveaway – Cake Ladies and Vegan Red Velvet Cupcakes

Almost every small town in the South has at least a few cake ladies. Everyone loves cake, but it seems southerners especially love cakes, cakes with amazing flavors like the red velvet cupcakes featured above. These cake ladies are the women we depend on to bring tasty homemade cakes to all sorts of events. Cake Ladies: Celebrating a Southern Tradition is a new cookbook which chronicles the lives of 17 diverse southern cake ladies, and features their best cake recipes. It’s more than just a great cookbook. The author, Jodi Rhoden, takes the reader into each cake lady’s life. The book is full of gorgeous photos and delicious recipes.

Jodi is the owner of Short Street Cakes, a popular bakery in North Carolina specializing in natural, from scratch, traditional Southern cakes. She is also a food activist and member of The Southern Foodways Alliance as well as a board member of the Bountiful Cities Project. You can follow Jodi on her blog, My Life in Cake.

 

For a chance to win a copy of Cake Ladies: Celebrating a Southern Tradition, just leave a comment below.

For additional entries:

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Giveaway ends 10/27/11. Giveaway closed, congrats to Susan

Vegan Red Velvet Cupcakes

This vegan, low-fat variation of the classic Southern recipe gets its beautiful color from beets rather than red food coloring. The Cupcake Fairies are interested in offering healthier food to their community, and vegan baking is naturally low in cholesterol and saturated fats.

PREP TIME: 20 minutes (includes peeling, grating, and pureeing beets)

BAKING TIME: 25 minutes

COOLING TIME: 20 minutes

DECORATING TIME: 15 minutes

Ingredients

For the Cake:

2 cups soy milk
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
2½ cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
¼ cup natural cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
2 large red beets, about 12 ounces, peeled, shredded, and pureed (you should have about 2 cups of beet puree)

For the Icing:
1 cup vegan margarine (a nonhydrogenated brand is best), at room temperature
1 cup vegan cream cheese, at room temperature
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
8 cups powdered sugar
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with paper cupcake liners.

Instructions

MIX THE BATTER

Combine the soy milk and the vinegar in a large mixing bowl, and set aside to curdle. In a separate bowl, sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. After the soy milk mixture has curdled, add the vegetable oil, vanilla, and applesauce to it, and stir. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and mix with a hand mixer until no lumps remain. Fold the pureed beets into the batter by hand with a rubber spatula until just combined.

BAKE THE CUPCAKES

Fill the lined muffin pans until each cup is three-fourths full of batter. Depending on the size of your cupcake pans, this recipe should make 2 to 2½ dozen cupcakes. Bake cupcakes for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Set aside to cool. Once cool enough to handle, transfer the cupcakes to a rack, line six compartments of one of the pans with paper liners, fill, and bake the remaining batter.

MAKE THE ICING

Combine the vegan margarine and vegan cream cheese and beat until thoroughly mixed and creamy. Add vanilla and beat until combined. Add the powdered sugar, 2 cups at a time, and incorporate into the creamed mixture. Once all the sugar has been added, scrape down the bowl and beat for 2 minutes at medium speed.

ICE THE CUPCAKES

Place the cooled cupcakes on a serving tray.

METHOD I:

Using a spatula or a butter knife, spread 2 rounded tablespoons of icing onto the top of each cooled cupcake, swirling to cover the surface of the cupcake.

METHOD II:

Place an icing tip inside a pastry bag. Fill the pastry bag half full of icing. Squeezing from the top of the bag, force the icing through the tip onto the top of the cupcakes, swirling the icing around the top of each cupcake.
Serve at room temperature, and refrigerate any leftovers. Vegan Red Velvet Cupcakes will keep for up to four days, refrigerated.

Vegan Baking
A vegan diet includes no animal products, such as meat, dairy, eggs, or even honey. Some people are vegan because of health concerns, while others adopt a vegan lifestyle out of a concern for animals. Still others are vegan due to the reduced environmental impact of a plant-based diet. Many resources exist for vegan baking, most notably the excellent book Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero.

Reprinted with permission from Cake Ladies: Celebrating a Southern Tradition © 2011 by Jodi Rhoden, Lark Crafts, an imprint of Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.

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