So, today is the final day of Mardi Gras season. When you hear the term Mardi Gras, what do you think of? It conjures up a lot of thoughts and images, mostly of people partying, drinking a lot, beads, masks, and other celebrations. For most, however, it represents one day a year where people go crazy in the streets of New Orleans and other cities around the world. Maybe because in the U.S. we don’t celebrate it as much as other countries, but Mardi Gras season actually begins after Epiphany in January and ends the day before Ash Wednesday (tomorrow). The festival season varies from city to city, but it is usually comprised of parades, balls, costumes, and social events, which lead up to the final day, “Fat Tuesday”. In case some of you don’t know, Mardi Gras is French for Fat Tuesday so that’s where the term comes from. Fat Tuesday symbolizes the last day of indulgent eating before the fasting and religious obligations of the season of Lent.
Knowing that I have readers all over the world is an incredible feeling. This is a time when I would love to hear from everyone on what their Mardi Gras traditions are. Do you celebrate Fat Tuesday?
No matter where you are in the world, if you are looking for a little indulgence, check out the cupcakes below along with a few links to other delectables 🙂
Chocolate and Vanilla Marble Cupcakes
Can’t decide whether to make chocolate or vanilla? Why not do both? (adapted from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World)
makes 12 cupcakes
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 cup soy milk
1/2 cup vegan margarine (Earth Balance)
3/4 cup cane sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1 1/2 cups all purpose or whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp plus 1 tsp cocoa powder
1. Preheat oven to 350F and line a muffin pan with cupcake liners.
2. Combine the vinegar and soy milk in a small bowl and set aside to curdle.
3. combine flour, baking powder, and salt into a separate bowl.
4. In another bowl, cream the margarine for a minute or so. Add the sugar and cream for 3-5 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and cornstarch and mix to combine. Alternately add some of the milk mixture, then some flour mixture, and mix with a hand blender for about 15 seconds after each addition. Mix until the batter is smooth.
5. Add the cocoa powder to a medium bowl. Heat a 1/2 cup of water until boiling. Add 3-4 Tbsp of the boiling water to the cocoa powder and whisk until smooth. Take 1 cup of the batter and it to the cocoa. Mix together until the batter is nice and chocolatey.
6. Now you can do this next part in a couple of different ways. You could put each batch of batter into separate measuring cups and gradually pour them at the same time into each cupcake liner, creating a swirl. I decided to take things into my own hands and spoon the vanilla and chocolate into layers. It may not be necessarily marbled, but layered works, and tastes, just the same 🙂
7. Bake in the preheated oven for 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted through the center comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack and frost when cooled completely.
Cream Cheese Frosting
1/4 cup Tofutti cream cheese
1/4 cup Earth Balance
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar
Cream the margarine and cream cheese together until combined. Gradually add the powdered sugar and mix well. Add in the vanilla, mix until smooth and creamy and desired consistency. Spread over top of cupcakes and enjoy!
Here are some other indulgent treats you might enjoy:
Not Your Hostess Cupcakes
Decadent Cinnamon Rolls
Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
Happy Mardi Gras everyone 😀