Hey vegan cupcake lovers…oh, you know who you are! As I shared yesterday, Food Network aired a vegan bake-off on last night’s new episode of Cupcake Wars. Huzzah!
Cupcake Wars has had 3 fabulous vegan contestants before: Chloe Coscarelli, Kim Garr of C’est La V, and Doron Petersan of Sticky Fingers Bakery. But they’ve never had an all-vegan episode…until Sunday night!
So who were these cruelty-free contestants?? The four vegan bakers were:
- Leila Elliott of New Cascadia Traditional, a gluten-free and vegan bakery in Portland, Oregon
- Stephanie Sparkles of Bliss Cakes, a catering service for organic, vegan mini-cupcakes in Venice Beach, California…and btw, she wore sparkly eyeshadow to match her name!
- Michelle Della Penna of Michy’s, a gourmet vegan foods company in Los Angeles, California
- Nycole Primm of Two Birds Baking Company, a vegan baking company in Huntington Beach, California
“We are cupcake warriors and we are ready for battle.”
Cupcake warriors…love it!
If you’ve never seen Cupcake Wars, it consists of 3 rounds: the Taste Round, where they choose from 3 locally grown ingredients, the Taste & Presentation Round, and the Display Presentation Round where the bakers bake 1,000 cupcakes (!!!) and design displays. In this Vegan Bake-Off episode, the winner not only won $10,000 but also had their confections showcased at the opening night of LA’s Green Festival. In addition to regular judges Florian Bellanger and Candace Nelson, Leslie Sarna, a vegetarian chef, food blogger and Master of Ceremonies for the Green Festival, served as the guest judge.
So the moment you’ve been waiting for…want to know the flavors? (I know you do!) Here are the scrumptious sounding vegan cupcake flavors:
- Thai Lemongrass Soup Cupcake – a Chocolate Cupcake with a Sweet Pepper/Lemongrass/Coconut Filling and an Avocado Icing and Ganache
- Sweet Red Pepper Corncake with a Creamy Sage & Parsley Frosting (sweetened with Coconut & Vanilla)
- Clementine Fennel Cupcake with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting and Balsamic Glazed Figs
- Fennel Cupcake with Clementine Buttercream Frosting and Sage Garnish
- Chocolate Orange Hazelnut Cupcake with Chocolate Orange icing and Hazelnut Ganache
- Molasses Spiced Cupcake with Apple Butter Filling and Cinnamon Molasses Icing
- Zucchini Raisin Cupcake with Nutmeg Ginger Cream Cheese Frosting
- Caramel Apple Cupcake – an Apple Cinnamon Cupcake with Cinnamon Buttercream, Caramel and Peanuts
- Gingerbread Cupcake with Cream Cheese Frosting
- S’Mores Cupcake with a Vegan Marshmallow Center and Chocolate Ganache Topping
- Vanilla Matcha Green Tea Raspberry Cupcake with Matcha Green Tea Frosting
- Mayan Chocolate Spice Cupcake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
- Tangerine Poppy Seed Cupcake with a Coconut Cream Filling and Lavender Frosting
Omg, some of these cupcakes sound intriguing and sinfully decadent…simply amazeballs! Don’t they??
Want to know the winner?? If you haven’t watched the episode yet and have it Tivo’ed or want to wait to see it on Hulu, look away! But if you didn’t see it and can’t stand the suspense… SPOILER ALERT!!! -> Congratulations to Stephanie Sparkles!! <- END SPOILER
For all you vegans (and some of you non-vegans), you already know this but vegan baking can be every bit as sinfully delicious as dairy-laden desserts. There’s a pervasive myth that when you become vegan, you sacrifice luscious taste. But nothing could be further from the truth. Some of the best desserts I’ve ever eaten EVER are dairy-free and honey-free.
Sadly, we as vegans rarely get to see vegan desserts or entrees on TV. No vegan cooking show exists on the Food Network or its sister channel the Cooking Channel. While Giada DeLaurentiis, Aarti Sequeira and Rachel Ray have had vegetarian-themed episodes on their shows (and many of Giada’s and Aarti’s dishes are veganizeable), none (as far as I know) have featured vegan recipes. Bravo’s Top Chef has featured vegetarian/vegan challenges on two episodes with the chefs preparing vegan entrees for former vegan celebs Natalie Portman and Zooey Deschanel. That’s why I’m delighted Cupcake Wars highlights vegan baking.
Now I hope Food Network gets the message and realizes that vegans need a cooking show too, damnit! We need to see more vegans and vegan food represented in mainstream media…for us vegans to see our lifestyle represented and for non-vegans to see just how kick-ass vegan food can be.