The best day of the year…

Hello everyone!  Did you guess what today is?  My birthday of course!  I am turning 26 today.  Yikes, that is my late 20’s practically!  I know a lot of people–people my age too I should state– who hate birthdays, hate getting a year older but I am the opposite, I don’t mind getting older and obviously much, much wiser.  Talk to me again when I’m turning thirty though.

While I love birthdays, I also am not the person that needs a ton of attention on my birthday, or for the day to revolve around me.   I think every day should revolve around me!  Kidding kidding.

Growing up, birthdays were a ton of fun, don’t get me wrong there!  I had a lot of really fun and extravagant birthday parties and birthdays were definitely a big deal, but once I got to a certain age, they stopped being as exciting.  Sure, I still got plenty of presents but they weren’t the huge deal that they had once been.  I think I take the cue from my parents who never requested much for their birthdays or even made a big deal about them, they mostly just wanted to enjoy spending quality time with family and have a great meal.  We could always request the dinner that we wanted on our birthdays.  I remember requesting porkchops one year (not exactly sure what was wrong with me that year??),  for awhile I was on a restaurant kick and when I see my parents on/around my birthday nowadays, I usually request seafood.  Isn’t that the best part of birthdays anyways?  A delicious meal? Spending time with loved ones?

Oh, and cake…duh.

As I may have mentioned previously, my mom is not a huge baker.  Which is a huge understatement.  While she is a beyond awesome cook, I usually got store bought cakes growing up and okay, they were good, but isn’t a homemade cake so much better?

One time I made the mistake of complaining to my extended family that I had made my own birthday cake that year, and I have been getting made fun of for it ever since.  So I was not exactly a deprived child, I can still complain about slaving over my own cake. C’mon, you guys feel a little bit bad for me don’t you?

This year since I knew I wouldn’t be receiving a cake, and I knew I couldn’t very well eat a store bought one since I still can’t eat gluten, soy, wheat or dairy, so I set out to make my own!  This year I also won’t complain about it…promise.

Once you try these cupcakes, you will know why I’m not doing any complaining over here.   They are vegan, gluten free, wheat free and soy free and still 100% delicious.  I may or may not be patting myself on the back right now.

Gluten free vegan Banana Cupcakes with Nutella Glaze

3 medium-large bananas, mashed

½ cup applesauce

1/3 cup coconut oil

½ T vanilla

1/2 cup honey

2 cups flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Blend)

Pinch or 2 of Xantham Gum

1 t baking soda

1 t baking powder

2 t cinammon

¼ t salt

2 flax eggs

1/2 cup powdered sugar

2 T Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Butter

1-2 T almond milk

Combine the wet ingredients: mashed bananers, applesauce, coconut oil, vanilla, honey.  In a separate bowl combine dry ingredients flour, soda, powder, cinammon, salt, xantham gum.  Add wet ingredients into dry and last but not least, add the flax eggs (flax + water).  Mix mix mix until all combined and then pour into a greased cupcake tin or into a cake pan (probably this would make enough for 2 8X8’s).   Bake for 20-25 minutes.

In the meantime, make hazelnut glaze by combining powdered sugar,  Justin’s chocolate hazelnut butter and warm almond milk.   You can add more or less milk to get the consistency that you want.  Same goes for the powdered sugar for sweetness.   Try not to eat the whole bowl of glaze while you are waiting for the cupcakes.  I actually made this two ways.  The first time, I added quite a bit of milk and it was definitely a thin glaze.  The second try, I wanted to make more of a frosting, so I added a lot less milk (almost none–probably a tablespoon).   I really liked both, just depends what you prefer.

When the cupcakes are done, let them cool and then drizzle glaze on top.  If you are too impatient to let them cool, it won’t be the end of the world.  I waited probably 2 minutes and they still turned out great!

While the ‘cupcake’ portion tastes pretty similar to a banana muffin, the addition of glaze/frosting definitely makes sure they can be classified as a cupcake.  They were delicious and relatively healthy to boot!  I also thought I wasn’t going to like them when I first took them out of the oven (and immediately tried one…obviously).  But, they got a lot better after they cooled for whatever reason and even tasted much better the next day too.  I think the use of multiple bananas helps give them the gooey cupcake taste without the use of dairy.

 

Notes on recipe:  If you don’t want to make these vegan, gluten free, dairy free, feel free to substitute any ingredients out—for example using all purpose flour instead of gf free mix, using eggs instead of flax or using milk instead of almond milk.  You also can use nutella in place of the Justin’s–I just couldn’t end up using it because it contains soy which I wasn’t very happy about.  Totally up to you!  If you do try any of these substitutions, please let me know how it turns out!

Another note:  I went to Dominick’s to buy flour and nutella and ended up paying 10 dollars for Justin’s since I couldn’t buy nutella.  It hurt my heart a little but I still did it.  I later went to Whole Foods to buy flour (I bought the wrong kind), and Justin’s was 4 DOLLARS there.  I know WF gets a lot of flack for being pricey but I think almost anything that you would find in the ‘health food’ section at a normal grocery store would actually be much cheaper at Whole Foods.  Just sayin.

See you tomorrow for Father’s Day!

Katie

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