lenten cupcakes & smoothies

So I spent my Friday night baking cupcakes and watching Battleship. I can’t say I’m a huge fan of the movie, but…at least it was funny. We’re having a Lenten bake sale at church tomorrow, and I’d like to have at least four things to donate. So far I have peanut butter chocolate chip cookies, and these cupcakes:

My old cooking journal. As you can see, I’ve used this recipe a lot.

The basic half recipe is:

1 1/2 C flour
1 tsp baking soda
3 Tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 C sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp vinegar
1 Tbsp vanilla
1/2 C oil
1 C cold water

I usually use full fat canned coconut milk in place of both the water and the oil, making it oil free for fasting periods. It also makes the cake really moist and dense, and just wonderful.

The recipe is one I found in a Lenten cookbook years ago, I think it’s a depression-era recipe used when eggs and dairy were being rationed. The original is for chocolate cake, but this time I switched it up a little to make cocoa & spice cupcakes and vanilla coconut cupcakes with chocolate specks. I just like saying “specks”.

I did two half recipes so I could quickly make both kinds at once. For the spice cupcakes, I decreased the cocoa and added 1/4 tsp each of cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg, then decreased the sugar by 1/3 C and replaced it with 1/3 C molasses. For the coconut cupcakes, I omitted the cocoa, added an extra tsp of vanilla, added 1/2 C unsweetened coconut and chopped up a little bar of dark chocolate “with crunchy bits of cocoa nibs.”

I’ll frost the spice cupcakes with vanilla frosting and the coconut cupcakes with chocolate…unless I can come up with something more exciting.

Then this morning I decided to try out my PB2 for the first time, and make a peanut butter banana smoothie. I keep frozen chopped bananas in my freezer all summer because when it starts getting really hot, I can’t stand to eat anything but smoothies and popsicles. I hope there aren’t many days like that this year….

For those of you who don’t know, PB2 is powdered peanut butter. They roast the nuts and then press most of the oil out, so it has about 85% less fat than regular peanut butter. You can make it into a spread by adding water to it, but I don’t think it would taste very good that way. It seems to be good for baking, and perfect for smoothies! The package is really cute, but the design sucks. That whole part that says PB2 is sealed together, and you can’t pull it apart. You have to cut it very near to where the product is in the bag, and there’s no good way to close it up again. There was barely enough room for me to fold it over, but I was kind of able to and put a rubber band around it, then put it in a plastic bag. Maybe I’ll buy a canister to keep it in.

Anyway, the smoothie is just some frozen banana, 2 Tbsp PB2, a little agave and some grape juice. I forgot to buy a non dairy milk sub, but next time I’ll probably add almond or coconut milk.

If you don’t have PB2, just use regular peanut butter.