Well hello there, blog! I’ve missed you. Between homeschooling and Cuppa Love, this mama has been b.u.s.y. But I just had to squeeze a little time for a blog post today, because I created a new recipe last night and it was so delicious, I can’t bear to forget it!
Last month I was honored to participate with several other vendors in a benefit to push the Clean Water Fundraiser over the top – and we DID IT! Yeah! It was such a delightful time, and I got to meet so many beautiful ladies who all share a heart for this cause. One of these sweet gals ordered cupcakes for her baby’s first birthday – with one special dietary restriction – no eggs. I’ve never made egg-free cupcakes before but I promised her I could pull it off! We tossed flavor ideas back and forth, and finally landed on pumpkin because it would pair well with whipped white chocolate ganache (since my buttercream has eggs). Then I thought – hey – chocolate chips wouldn’t hurt, would they? So we decided to do half with mini chocolate chips and half without.
I found a recipe for egg-free sponge cake on Pinterest, and then played around with it to make this:
Pumpkin. Chocolate Chip. Cupcake. EAT ME!
I was worried being egg-free would make my cupcakes too flat/dense/muffin-y. But this was definitely not the case. The recipe is very specific on when and how to mix the ingredients, which I suspect is the key to success. To pumpkin-ify them, I withheld a bit of the yogurt and subbed solid pack pumpkin. I didn’t want to mess with it too much, so I only used 1/3 cup. Next time I’m going to try boosting it to 1/2 cup and test the results.
They were light, moist, with an ever-so-slight-nutty pumpkin taste. The mini chocolate chips really took the cake (har har), though! Why have I never used these before? They are perfect for a mini cupcake – not overwhelming, and they disperse more evenly into the batter. The whipped ganache on top complimented the flavors beautifully. You could also do a whipped dark chocolate ganache, but I liked the white.
This is what the cupcakes turned out to be – Hungry Caterpillar! The last time I made a Hungry Caterpillar cake was for Roo’s first birthday…2 and a half years ago! Molding all these little food shapes in the wee hours of the morning took me right back to the labor of love that was my baby’s cake. *Snif snif*
Recipe time! Hope you enjoy~
1.5 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup plain yogurt (original recipe suggests room temperature but mine was cold and worked fine)
1/3 cup pumpkin
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 and 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup neutral oil (I used canola)
1 tsp of vanilla extract
2/3 c. mini chocolate chips (optional)
Preheat oven to 350F. Place cupcake liners in cupcake pan (this recipe, half with chocolate chips and half without, made 27 mini cupcakes. It would probably make 24 without chocolate chips, and maybe 30 with all chocolate chips).
Whisk the yogurt and pumpkin well, removing any lumps, and add sugar. Beat well and add the baking powder, baking soda and salt. Beat again and set aside for 5 mins until you see small bubbles on the surface of the mixture. Add vanilla extract and oil. Mix well until the ingredients are combined. Sift in the flour. Gently fold the mixture using a whisk until you see no more streaks of flour. Gently fold in chocolate chips. Drop by scoop into the prepared pan (I used a medium size scoop, full but not overflowing). Tap it firmly on the counter top a couple times to get rid of the air bubbles. Bake 12-13 mins until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting and serving.
THE GANACHE: Inspired by Michelle gives a great tutorial for making ganache.
1 cup heavy whipping cream
3 cups white chocolate chips
Pour cream and chocolate into large microwave safe bowl. Follow Michelle’s directions – heat at half power for several minutes, stopping at 30 second intervals to stir and incorporate the mixture. Once it is completely melted, beat with a whisk until totally smooth. Cover tightly with plastic wrap (wrap right up against the ganache, not just over the top of the bowl) and allow to cool. Once it is cool and a peanut-butter consistency, beat with the whip on your stand mixer until bright white and fluffy. Place in a piping bag and frost away!
The Hungry Caterpillar decorations are entirely made of modeling chocolate. I’m not going to go into directions for modeling chocolate on this post, but let me know if you’d like a tutorial for that!