I googled the most common birthday date before writing this post and was surprised to find that it is some day in October.  As well, I’m surprised that someone (besides myself of course) undertook some time to research this topic.  In my part of the world birthdays abound during May and June.  Between my own, my daughters and close family we celebrate a birth almost every weekend starting May 1st though mid June.  Throw in an anniversary, Mother’s day and Father’s day and you can see why my son said to me last night… “Mommy are we having a party today? I want to have another party.”

Come to think of it, my brother was born in late September and his wife is an October baby.  I have a niece with a bday that time of the year as well — maybe there is something to this October thing?

Needless to say, I’ve done a bunch of baking and I plan to share a number of my recipes over the next few weeks. Let me apologies first to anyone coming by for a visit for something green.  There will be more healthy recipes, but sometimes life is sweet, sweet, and more sweet….

Baking feeds my soul in so many ways.  There is the pleasure of turning out something that is both beautiful – cute, artistic – and indulgence.  Satisfaction in the “Oh my gawd! this is so gooood”…..  the smiles of the kids when they see something that looks just too much like they dreamed.

This recipe falls into the later category.  A sweet orange flavoured cupcake that happens to be vegan.  This is a sweet and moist cake. Full of orange flavour and surprisingly orange from the juice and zest. The frosting of choice is not vegan — if I could find a suitable vegan substitute I would be thrilled.  In the meantime, I like this one as it is almost fat-free.  So I often make this egg white based frosting.  And it is one of my daughter’s favourites.  It is soft, billowy and sticky.  Perfect for a little girls party. Tinted pink, it reminds me of a princess dress…..

orange cupcake with pink marshmallow frosting - www.infinebalance.com
Orange cupcake with pink marshmallow frosting

Orange Cupcake (Vegan)

  • 1-1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 Tbsp grated orange zest
  • 1 Tbsp white or cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350.

Line cupcake or muffin tin with paper liners.

Whisk together the dry ingredients (flour through salt).

Add the remaining ingredients and stir until smooth.  Scoop batter into paper liners and bake until toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.  15-18 mins.  But be careful — you may want to check it after 12, depends on your oven. (For a cake – 8×8 pan, bake 30-35 mins.)

Allow to completely cool before icing. This cake is moist enough, you can make it the night before and store in the fridge for frosting and serving the next day.

Marshmallow Frosting

This is a oldfashioned 7-minute frosting, tinted pink.  (I’m not sure why they call this stuff 7 minute frosting — it takes at least 15!)
  •  5 Tbsp water
  • 1/4 cream of tartar
  • 1-1/3 cups sugar
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 Tbsp light corn syrup

You will need a stainless-steel bowl that fits over a pot of simmering water, for a double-boiler effect, a glass thermometer to monitor the temperature and a handheld mixer.

Whisk all ingredients in a bowl.  Set bowl over a wide, deep pot filled with 1 inch of simmering water.  Make sure the water level is at least as high as the depth of the egg whites in the bowl.

Using a handheld mixer, beat the whites on low-speed until the mixture reaches 140 F.  Do not stop beating while the bowl is on top of the water or you will end up with overcooked egg whites or scrambled eggs.  If you need to, remove the bowl from on-top of the simmering water to measure the temperature – or get a helper.

Once the egg whites have reached 140 F, beat on high-speed for exactly 5 mins.  Remove the bowl from the heat and add:

  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • food colouring paste of your choice.

Beat on high-speed for another 3 minutes to cool the frosting.

Use as soon as possible after it is made.  Note, this will melt into a sticky gooey mess if left in the heat.