Maple Cupcakes with Almond Chai Filling

I’m one of those crazy people who sleeps a maximum of 5 hours a night. I have to admit, I don’t really find it crazy because I have functioned this way for so long, but others tell me on a regular basis that they find it crazy. My career is in retail and I work a funky descending schedule, where on my Monday, I work 5pm to 3am and work different shifts until I my Friday where I work 5am – 3pm. For this type of schedule to work, there are only 9 hours between my shifts which on its own keeps me from being able to get a full 8 hours sleep.

During my work week I also help with homeschooling the little vegan and attempt to have somewhat of a family life, so sleep doesn’t really fit in. When I actually do find time to sleep, I lay in bed and wonder what I am missing or what I could be doing, which is completely counter productive. It’s okay, coffee is my best friend.

What does this have to do with anything and why should anyone care? Well, I would like to apologize for not having been more productive on the blog lately. I really wanted to learn how to decorate cakes so I took on a weekly class that will last for three months. I have not been in the kitchen to create since I started a cake decorating class three weeks ago. Not quite sure what I was thinking when taking this on, but I am glad I did. However, it may keep me from sharing recipes as often, but please know I have not given up on the blog!

For my second week of the class I was so strapped on time, that for the first time ever I made a boxed cake. This week I needed cupcakes, which are not something I really make, so I went to the experts, Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero, and their book, Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, which I have as an app on my phone.

I used their Golden Vanilla recipe, but changed a few things. I replaced sugar with maple sugar, vanilla with maple syrup, canola oil with sunflower oil, and soy milk with vanilla almond milk. They came out delicious.

For class, I needed a filling so I used the following:

3/4 cup almonds
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp sugar
3/4 cup chai tea
1 tsp agar powder

I put everything in the blender and pulverized on high until it was liquid. Then I heated in a small pot over low heat for 15 minutes until it began to thicken. I put it in the fridge for an hour. It did not get as thick as I wanted, but it worked splendidly for filling the cupcake.

To fill cupcakes use a piping bag and a 230 tip. Stick tip in center of cupcake and squeeze as you pull out.

For the icing in class I used the decorator “butter” cream icing. I am not a fan of this icing so for the extra cupcakes at home I made a really simple spread that tasted great. If I had almond butter, I would have used it instead of the peanut butter.

1/3 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup vegan cream cheese
1 tsp maple syrup
1 cup powdered sugar

Blend peanut butter, cream cheese, and syrup together with electric mixer until smooth. Slowly add in powdered sugar. Mix on medium until smooth. Ice the cupcakes. I had leftover icing from class to make the flowers and I added a white chocolate chip.

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