Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sustainable cupcakes: Trial 1 and 2

I apologize in advance for how terrible the formatting is toward the end, I don't know what happened

For my science class, my peers and I were challenged to make sustainable foods, I of course decided on cupcakes. To be sustainable, everything must be local and organic, this posed a problem because of sugar.

I found out that maple syrup could be substituted for sugar, so I geared my recipe towards that.

Here is my recipe:

1/3 cup butter
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup unsweetened yogurt
1 1/2 cup granola
2 cups flour
3 eggs
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
(to make the cupcakes more moist add 1/3 cup milk)
1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon  - I couldn't figure out a way to cut out spices without making horribly bland cupcakes.

Now, as it turns out, organic, sustainable ingredients are quite pricey, so my cupcakes are less sustainable and more representative of a future sustainable recipe. I used, imitation maple syrup (Lumber Jack Syrup to be precise), Tillamook butter, Tillamook vanilla yogurt, french vanilla granola, red mill locally ground flour, locally produced eggs, and the rest of the ingredients I had on hand.

  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F
  2. You'll want to blend the granola using chop, or your favorite blender setting, until it is finely ground
  3. In a large bowl beat together melted butter, maple syrup, vanilla, and egg yolks
  4. Add the flour, blended granola, cinnamon, baking soda, and baking powder then mix well
  5. Add in the yogurt (and milk if using) and continue mixing
  6. In a separate bowl beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form (or skip this step and just dump the rest of the egg whites into the mixture for a more dense muffin like result)
  7. Fill the cupcake tins 1/2 to 3/4 full and bake for 18 minutes
My cupcakes turned out very muffin like and dense, but quite tasty.
(I couldn't get my egg whites to cooperate)

For frosting I made whipped cream/cream cheese/maple syrup frosting which was really good.

3/4 cup whipping cream
1/8 cup cream cheese
1/8 cup maple syrup

Basically they way one would go about making it would be to just beat it all together on high until frosting appears.

I forced these cupcakes on my husband and his friend Julia, they both enjoyed them, but agreed that they were very muffin-y. In Trial 2 I'm going to add some milk and try a different frosting.

Here are some pictures to help explain the process:

This is how fine my granola was after blending

While baking they puff up quite nicely, which I didn't expect.
Julia thinks these in the oven pictures all look the same, perhaps I'll have to find another step to photograph.

And finally the finished product, I was really excited to try out my new pastry bags I got on black Friday at Michaels but the frosting is really light and fluffy, thus hard to frost with, so they look sort of sloppy. Perhaps the frosted is the most adventurous part of Little Frosted Adventures.

And here is a picture of me and my science partner icing the cupcakes from trial 2

 And here is how they turned out.


  1. These look so good, Jessica! Congrats on figuring out a sustainable recipe. ^_^


  2. They were very good....a little drier than the last ones....I really like the frostings you chose....they aren't as sweet as regular icing which is much better for us who shouldn't eat much sugar....

  3. Very delicious looking! And sustainable, local ingredients- that is no small feat. Kudos!