Cakes, Cupcakes and Birthdays

Sometimes raising vegan kids can be a challenge… for example, like when we’re going to a birthday party.  I never felt comfortable bringing my kids their own piece of vegan cake to eat (the last thing I want is for them to feel alienated) nor did I want to tell them they “can’t” have any cake or ice cream that everyone else is eating.  (In fact, I once allowed my children to have a cupcake at a friend’s birthday party before that contained real butter in the frosting – and they didnt die! hahaha) But seriously, my family is vegan for a reason (or several), and naturally I also want my children to feel part of the group and not feel like some kind of vegan weirdo.  My older child, who is almost 4, loves animals and understands why we don’t eat meat or dairy, nor does she want to (at this time).  Hopefully she will continue on the vegan (or at least vegetarian) path on her own as she grows up.  My little man is almost 2 so we haven’t had “the vegan talk” yet!  He basically eats anything he’s given (when I’m lucky).
So… anyway, my solution to this birthday cake dilemma is to bring an entire batch of vegan cupcakes along for anyone who wants one.  I must say, this has always gone over smashingly well. This also introduces others to how delicious vegan food can be!
The last party I went to (which was about 2 weeks ago), I had to grab aside my kids 2 cupcakes because my vegan cupcakes were flying off the table before the other cake was even cut!  And honestly, I really enjoy bringing and baking cupcakes!  I usually use a recipe from my favorite cupcake cookbook (pictured below) called Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World by Isa Chandra Moskowitz.  There are SO many recipes I want to try!!!  In fact, I’ve made the cookies & cream cupcakes more than once because they are sooo good!

These are the cookies and cream cupcakes (an addition to the basic chocolate cupcake recipe). They contain smashed up Newman-Os in the batter and icing, and one on top.

For my daughter’s third birthday, I baked the “chocolate death cake” (recipe by The Grit, a “famous” Athens vegetarian restaurant) in the shape of Minnie Mouse for her party. 

Here is the baked cake, popped out of the pan and cooling...

 Making the cake was really easy!  The icing part was trickier, but it wasn’t too hard & I thought it was lots of fun piping the icing.  This was the first character cake I ever made and I have to say I think I totally rocked it! I made my own icing and used a piece of an Airhead candy for Minnie’s bow & tongue.  Do I even have to say how much everyone loved it?!  I impressed myself!

All finished! What a beauty!

I also made my son had a Pluto cake for his first birthday.  I found the pan on Amazon online and it was perfect because it was small, so it was his own personal cake.  It’s more of the older version of Pluto than the newer one, and I think it turned out really cute!
I also made other dog-related “treats” (no pun intended) to go along with it, and hearts too, because my son’s birthday happens to be on Valentine’s Day 🙂

Here are the other sweets I made to accompany the Pluto cake... vegan rice krispy treats, chocolate heart cupcakes and sugar cookie hearts & bones, plus vegan truffles & chocolate covered banana chips (thank you EarthFare for the last 2)!!

As you can probably tell, I love baking sweets & character cakes are my more recent challenge… and they can all easily be made vegan!  Don’t let anyone make you think otherwise!  I highly recommend that cupcake cookbook I mentioned above.  I use the basic vanilla & chocolate cupcake recipes a lot & there are tons of awesome frosting recipes in there too!  It is a vegan must-have!

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