Long weekends mean baking for me. I’ve had the desire to bake a ton of stuff for a while now, but I haven’t had the time. My weekends have been so full lately that the only time I spend in my apartment is to sleep.
So with the Fourth of July approaching, I started thinking about what I could bake. My husband’s aunt and uncle invited me, my husband, my sister-in-law and her boyfriend over to their house in New Jersey for a little barbecue, so I knew I had to bake something.
I settled on two things; an apple pie and vegan cupcakes.
The apple pie would be easy enough to make. I’ve made several of them throughout my baking career. But I didn’t want it to be the same old, same old pie, so I started looking through various recipes to find something that was a little different.
The winning idea came from “Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook”. In it, she features a blueberry pie with a top crust made up of stars cut out of pie dough. I was really craving an apple pie, so I decided to use Martha’s apple pie recipe and put it in the star pie crust.
I followed the pie recipe pretty closely, although I added ginger and cloves to Martha’s somewhat paltry cinnamon and nutmeg spiciness. The pie turned out great.
The stars were a big hit.
In addition to the pie, I wanted to make something that my sister-in-law could eat. I was surfing around on the Internet, looking for cupcake inspiration, when I stumbled on Tidy Mom’s Red, White and Blue cupcakes. I loved the marbled insides, so I set out to recreate it.
That meant I got to buy new toys! I stopped off at Michaels armed with a 40% off coupon and picked up a 12-pack of Wilton food coloring gels, a bottle of white food coloring and some star fondant cutters. The white coloring is insane. It works, but I’m not entirely sure how. And when it gets on your hands, it’s strangely reminiscent of white paint.
Anyway, I whipped up the basic vanilla cupcakes from “Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World”. I divided the batter into three parts and tinted one red, one blue and one white. I then proceeded to drop a little of each colored batter into my cupcake tins.
The batter was a little thinner than non-vegan batter, so it was difficult to get the batter dolloped in the way Tidy Mom did. For the most part, whatever went on the bottom spread and covered the whole bottom of the cup, so I ended up with more of a layered effect than marbled.
They baked up pretty cool, most of them with an ‘olive’ of coloring that popped up.
I then whipped up some vegan buttercream frosting and lined a piping bag with a smear of blue food coloring on one side and red food coloring on the other. I added a few drops of white coloring to the frosting and loaded up the piping bag. I was terrified that the frosting would come out purple, but it actually worked!
Then came the fun part; marzipan! I tinted three balls of marzipan with the red, blue and white food coloring and started cutting out stars. Then I attempted a flag. They all came out pretty nice. I had some leftover marzipan, so I marbled the marzipan together and made some stars out of that too.
The best part was biting into the cupcakes and seeing how they turned out!
My sister-in-law said these were even better than the Gingerbread Cupcakes I made a couple of weeks ago. Yay!