I’m sharing my vegan chocolate cherry cupcakes recipe today on the blog, in celebration of Fix Me a Little Lunch’s one year anniversary! It’s hard for me to believe I’ve been doing this for a full year now – it seems like just yesterday that I was setting everything up and stumbling around in WordPress.
As I was preparing to write this post, I went back in to see when I actually posted my first recipe. As it turns out, my first recipe was posted on December 9, 2015 and it was a pasta and kale pesto recipe – no surprise there. I love kale pesto this time of year and never say no to pasta as a comfort lunch food. So much has happened in the past year since I started regularly blogging: I changed jobs, moving from a small rural Southern Oregon town to the growing metropolitan area of Portland, Oregon; we downsized a significant amount of our stuff to make moving easier, since I’m on a short-term contract right now and anticipate moving again in the near future; some other things happened in 2015 that were emotionally exhausting. The blog has been a saving outlet for me – a creative safe space to explore food and food photography, and an opportunity to work with a community of bloggers I didn’t even know existed when I started. There have certainly been challenges: as we were moving, I had to stop blogging for a bit as I simply didn’t have the time to cook. I’ve figured out a lot of things the hard way (who knew you could easily resize photos in WordPress? I didn’t until about a month ago). I posted a recipe to a Food 52 contest and left out a key ingredient. I’ve also delved into social media, starting an Instagram feed, which is so much fun, and learning the basics of Twitter.
Some really great things have happened, too: one of my all time favorite bloggers, Toni at Boulder Locavore started following my Instagram feed. One of my photos was (finally) accepted on Food Gawker. I posted quite a few recipes to several of my favorite bloggy linkups, including Cook the Books, Food ‘n’ Flix, Cook Once and Eat Twice, and Novel Foods. I realized I especially love blog challenges that combine my two loves: cooking and reading, so you’ll be seeing a lot more recipes inspired by the book selections for Cook the Books this upcoming year. I’ve had a chance to get to know one of the bloggers, Becca, from the Facebook group The Blog Passion Project better via the holiday mug exchange. If you get a chance, check out Becca’s blog: The Fit Foodnista. All and all, it’s been a great year.
I’m definitely looking forward to a new year of blogging. I’ve started up a real editorial calendar, as I’m finding it helps me stay on track and post regularly. I anticipate that I’ll have a newsletter up and running some time in the New Year and I’m going to start working on an e-book. I’ll keep sharing recipes for lunches, of course, but will also be posting recipes for freezer meals, for cocktails, for things I’ve baked. I’ll also keep being seasonal, as it’s pretty much the way Clay and I eat all the time. I’m sure I’ll be traveling in the New Year, so expect more Travel Thursday posts. Wherever I land for a job, know that I’ll be exploring the food there and posting about it.
In the meantime, my little blog has turned 1 and in celebration of this first blogiversary, I made some vegan chocolate cherry cupcakes. Fix Me a Little Lunch is a holiday blog-baby, so I thought I would cook something that would look and taste equally good on a holiday dessert buffet. Thank you for taking the time to read my blog this year and I’m looking forward to many years of food to come.
- 1 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup baking cocoa
- 1/3 cup coconut oil
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 3/4 cup soy milk or almond milk (unflavored or vanilla flavored)
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 12 dried Bing cherries
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon almond milk or soy milk
- Seeds scraped from one vanilla pod
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
- Combine all the dry ingredients (from the flour to the baking cocoa) in a medium sized bowl. Stir to combine. Add the wet ingredients (from the coconut oil to the vanilla extract) and stir until most of the lumps are out. The batter will be a little lumpy, which is fine. Grease or use muffin cup liners for either a 24 cup mini-muffin pan or for 12 cups of regular sized muffin pans. If you are doing mini-muffins, cut the dried Bing cherries in half and place one at the bottom of each muffin pan cup. If you are using regular sized muffin pans, put one dried Bing cherry at the bottom of each.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes for mini-cupcakes (check after 15 minutes).
- Bake for 20-30 minutes for regular sized cupcakes (check after 20 minutes).
- Cupcakes are done when a toothpick or knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- While the cupcakes are baking, prepare the frosting. Combine the powdered sugar, soy or almond milk, and vanilla pod seeds in a small bowl and mix until they are combined. Add more powdered sugar or soy/almond milk if you desire a different consistency. Enjoy!