Just Because Cake

I made this cake just because. Just because I almost always have the ingredients for a vegan cupcake recipe on hand. Just because it was a Wednesday and I was lonely. Just because I had a bunch of icing remnants in my fridge that I wanted to use up (spoiler alert: I used up none of them entirely). Just because the activities of reading, writing, watching more TV and going outside did not seem appealing that night.

So I made a cake. Just because! And it was delicious. Those Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World recipes are foolproof – they always come out so moist (…) and yummy. I made a chocolate cake and frosted with leftover Betty Crocker and homemade icing that I dyed pink. I tried to do a striped pattern on the top – just because – but it didn’t turn out so I just smoothed it all together to become PINK!

Thus far, the cake has been eaten by me and my best friend while watching Lola Versus (great movie, in our opinion – Greta Gerwig is so funny) on my bed. It was supposed to be taken to a dinner or two, but I keep forgetting it at home. I’ll bring it to the next one though, because it’s just wallowing in my kitchen.

I guess this qualifies as stress baking. I’m okay with that, since I didn’t just eat the whole thing to cope with my stress. Actually, it’s the act of baking that relieves my stress! Often by the time I’m done baking, I’m not really interested in eating the products. This is good news.

I used this recipe for basic chocolate cupcakes – one batch makes an 8-inch, 1 layer cake.

Gosh, I love my hobbies sometimes. Cakes make friends! Happy baking.

How to Pipe Icing Roses

As you may know, I love to make cupcakes. I have my trusty vegan cupcake cookbook, which honestly contains the tastiest recipes I’ve encountered. They are so good, and I’ve never come across someone who wasn’t flabbergasted to hear that they were vegan. You would never know it by eating them! They are delicious, moist, and the book is full of flavour combos that I love.

Prior to this year, my cupcakes were topped with a big smudge of icing, and maybe sprinkled with some pretty sprinkles if they were lucky. I didn’t have a piping bag, and I definitely didn’t know how to use one. But then, for some reason, I caught the “domestic goddess bug” (I blame this blog) and promptly stumbled on to the idea of piping bags, pretty piles of icing and food colouring. I’m still getting the hang of it.

One method that always left me in awe was icing roses. Golly gee, let me tell you – pictures of that technique blew me away. It looked like the most complicated thing on the planet, but boy were they pretty. Then I learned something amazing! The whole process hinged on just one jumbo icing tip!! Aha! Suddenly the complications seemed to fall away, and icing roses were in my grasp.

Little did I know how difficult it would be to find a Wilton 1M tip with which to pipe. Granted, I could have bought it online, but I decided to check every cooking shop in the surrounding area first. Finally I located one at the local Bulk Barn when I was home for the holidays. (Montreal doesn’t have Bulk Barns, and it pains me greatly.) That night, I whipped up a batch of plain vanilla cupcakes and buttercream icing, and my Mom and I learned how to pipe icing roses like pros!

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Black & White Marble Cupcakes

Did I stress bake again? This is getting out of hand. Let’s pretend it’s NOT stress baking. Instead, this is celebration baking. 

What am I celebrating today?

  • Today, November 30th, is the day I finish my first novel! 1320 words to go!
  • After today, I will have only 17 days until I get to go home for the holidays!
  • Tomorrow is December 1st, the start of the most wonderful month of the year!
  • The pain in my teeth has finally started to subside, and the antibiotics will start kicking in soon – yay!
  • I’m nearly done the paper that has been causing me grief for a while
  • I’ve got all sorts of exciting ideas for hand-made Christmas gifts planned!
What are you celebrating today?
Yesterday, on a brief hiatus from the editing/re-writing of that darned paper, I took a moment to indulge my Top Chef: Just Desserts side (a show that I discovered a few days ago, to great delight!!). This is also little bit of a tribute to my experience at NaNoWriMo. The black-and-white swirls and stripes is in honour of The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, because I found out this month that she wrote it during NaNoWriMo a few years ago! That inspiring tidbit has been getting me through my month. I was so impressed that such a wonderful novel could come out of that speed-writing experience.

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