Cupcakes and a Contest


Good Monday Morning! This post is going to be short and sweet, but full of goodness. I recently received a copy of Vegan Bake Sale by Carla Kelly. Having seen it prerelease, I knew some of what to expect. But in it’s entirety, it’s a beauty!

The front end of the book is packed with techniques, tips and tricks to be sure your baking is a success. Vegan bake sales do wonders in raising funds for much needed world tragedies (among other things), and Carla gives a great how-to. Following this, the book is broken into chapters by types of baked goods. Besides the wonderful standby recipes one hopes to find in a baking book, this book includes some unique international treats, such as Jaffa and Nanaimo Bars. I’m looking forward to diving into the Savory section as I’ve heard great things from some of the testers. Just the idea that savory foods are included is a big bonus!

Yesterday I made a batch of the Vanilla Bean Cupcakes with Ganache-Style Frosting. That’s what you see up top. With a lovely depth to the vanilla flavor (do the vanilla sugar!) and the ever-awesome topping, these are a big hit. Yes, I am a huge vanilla fan and always try vanilla things first.

Now it’s your turn: What is the first thing you tend to make in a baking book? Bars, scones, cupcakes, cookies, muffins, pies, or something yeasted? Be as specific as you’d like. Comment below for a chance to win a copy of this book, thanks to the Experiment. International entries are welcome. Good luck!

4/19 Update: the contest is closed. Thank you, everyone!

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71 Comments

  1. Posted April 11, 2011 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    I always go straight to the cookies and bars. I can’t wait to get this book since I hear there is a recipe for Nanaimo Bars and they are a favourite of mine. I love how supportive you always are towards other vegan authors too!

  2. Posted April 11, 2011 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    I would go for a cake or scone recipe first. I’ve never had a Nanaimo Bar or Jaffa Bar but I’d love me some international baked goods!

  3. Posted April 11, 2011 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    I go for muffins first. I always keep a supply in the freezer so that we can just pop them in the toaster oven and enjoy warm muffins!

  4. Posted April 11, 2011 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    I always head straight for the cookies, it’s so easy to whip up a batch & they’re my favourite baked good especially if they have nuts.

  5. Posted April 11, 2011 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    I always start with cookies — usually chocolate chip. If you can’t get a chocolate chip cookie right … heh.

  6. Posted April 11, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    I usually make muffins and sweetbreads first. I like the texture and infinite variations! They also bake up pretty quickly so I can enjoy them in no time :)

  7. Posted April 11, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    Nanaimo bars! I’ve never made or eaten them but they always look amazing.

  8. Posted April 11, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    The most interesting and unusual recipe that I ‘ll find!

  9. Posted April 11, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    Definitely cupcakes!!

  10. Posted April 11, 2011 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    Usually muffins! I have one for breakfast every day, so for variety’s sake, I try new ones when they look good.

  11. Posted April 11, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    I go straight to cookies usually. But cupcakes are a close second.

  12. Posted April 11, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    I want to try these famous Nanaimo Bars.

  13. Posted April 11, 2011 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    I usually start with bars first, then cookies.

  14. Posted April 11, 2011 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    I definitely try a cookie first – if a book has a great chocolate chip cookie recipe it completely proves itself to me! But lately I’ve been dying to bake some great vegan cupcakes! Thanks for the great contest and book suggestion!

  15. Posted April 11, 2011 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    Cookies. I make some cookies first.

  16. Posted April 11, 2011 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    I love muffins for breakfast, so muffin recipes are one of the first things I go for when I get a new cookbook.

  17. Posted April 11, 2011 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    I usually go straight to the cookies!

  18. Posted April 11, 2011 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    I ALWAYS have to make brownies. ALWAYS. They’re my “you have to get this right” recipe judgment 😀

  19. Posted April 11, 2011 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    Scones! I haven’t made scones in a while and have been wanting some!

  20. Posted April 11, 2011 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

    I definitely go for anything with peanuts or peanut butter first. I can’t help it! Whether its a cookie, bar, cupcake, cheesecake.. if it’s got PB in the name or ingredient list, I’m making it!

  21. Posted April 11, 2011 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

    If there are pictures in the book I usually find something that looks the best and try that first. If there are no pictures I go for the brownies or cake type recipes. In this book there are too many beautiful pictures to choose from. Nanaimo Bar would be probably the first thing I would make in this case.
    czech.vegan (at) yahoo.com

  22. Posted April 11, 2011 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    If there are quick breads that are new to me I try them first. If not muffins!

  23. Posted April 11, 2011 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

    Definitely the scones; they are my favorite.

  24. Posted April 11, 2011 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

    I am a cookie person… so I always make cookies first! Cookies cookies cookies!

  25. Posted April 11, 2011 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

    I tend to go straight to the cookie or bars because i can usually make those quickly when i want something sweet and i love to try out recipes in a book as soon as i get them so i usually go for the quick things first.

  26. Posted April 11, 2011 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

    Cupcakes of course :)

  27. Posted April 11, 2011 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

    I go straight for the tea cakes. Unless my four-year old is in the room, then I must make cupcakes!

  28. Posted April 11, 2011 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

    I have a tendancy to go for cookie recipes…they are so easy. I am dying to make some cupcakes though.

  29. Posted April 11, 2011 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

    Anything with peanut butter

  30. Posted April 11, 2011 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

    I usually go to the cookies and cakes section. I just made some Nanaimo bars and talk about fabulous!! I am a big fan of cupcakes…good icing to cake ratio.

  31. Posted April 11, 2011 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

    Brownies! I haven’t found a favorite brownie recipe yet, so I keep trying. Muffins are a close second.

  32. Posted April 11, 2011 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

    Those cupcakes sound yummy! I tend to gravitate toward cakes first….cupcakes or layer cakes, either way. I’m all about cake!

  33. Posted April 11, 2011 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

    I know that most people would test out the staples, such as chocolate chip cookies, first to see how they stand up to others. For me it always about the chocolatiest thing in the entire book! Although this isn’t the best way to test out how good the recipes are (chocolate can cover up an awful lot of mistakes), I just can’t help myself!

  34. Posted April 11, 2011 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

    I tend to head for the cookies…mostly because I’m not very good at baking and cookies usually work out well for me. Plus they’re easy!

    I like chocolate chip, or peanut butter. Or better yet, chocolate chip peanut butter!

  35. Posted April 11, 2011 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

    Cupcakes!

  36. Posted April 11, 2011 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

    I usually go for cookies first. Thank you for the giveaway!

  37. Posted April 11, 2011 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

    Brownies, definitely! Melissab

  38. Posted April 11, 2011 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

    I usually go right to the cookie section, since they’re so easy and they’re always such a crowd pleaser! I also LOVE peanut butter baked goods, so I usually try those out first.

  39. Posted April 11, 2011 at 11:51 pm | Permalink

    If there is a Carrot Cake, that comes first.
    Still looking to make the amazing carrot cake I have in Portland at Old Wives’ Tales. (An awesome place, BTW)
    After that, it’s on to the muffins.

  40. Posted April 12, 2011 at 12:01 am | Permalink

    Cookies.. the more chocolate, the better!

  41. Posted April 12, 2011 at 12:55 am | Permalink

    So pleasing to the eyes and definitely pleasing to taste. Love it!

  42. Posted April 12, 2011 at 1:13 am | Permalink

    I’m boring, but I like to start with a batch of cookies!

    If I got this book, though, I’d be all over the Jaffa cakes!

  43. Posted April 12, 2011 at 1:37 am | Permalink

    I make a batch of cookies and a cake every weekend for my husband’s lunches during the week, so I would love to dive straight into some new cookie recipes : )

  44. Sarah W.
    Posted April 12, 2011 at 1:47 am | Permalink

    Cookies are a good litmus test. I have a couple cookbooks I haven’t used for anything but cookies….

  45. Posted April 12, 2011 at 2:17 am | Permalink

    I always tend to make cookies first. My husband loves them, and I’m always on the lookout for something new!

    -Emily H.

  46. Posted April 12, 2011 at 2:46 am | Permalink

    Easy – I always always go for chocolate cake! Followed by chocolate chip cookies:)

  47. Posted April 12, 2011 at 2:56 am | Permalink

    I tend to favor cake or cupcake recipes.

  48. Posted April 12, 2011 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    I almost always tend to look at the cookies first – usually chocolate ones. I like having lots of sweet recipes on hand when I am in dire need of some chocolatly goodness!

  49. Posted April 12, 2011 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    I tend to go with scones or muffins first because done well, they make a great breakfast item or less-sweet dessert.

  50. Posted April 12, 2011 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

    I generally go for the muffins and quick breads section. I like any kind of muffins and am always looking for great recipe variations for banana, carrot, or zucchini bread. I like making that type of thing for breakfast for my sons.

  51. maggie
    Posted April 12, 2011 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

    anything involving chocolate and peanit butte. i’m not picky..!

  52. Posted April 12, 2011 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

    Cookies, muffins, and/or whatever I might have in the house that will allow me to complete a recipe without having to run out to the store for supplies :-)

  53. Posted April 12, 2011 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

    usually cookies! and usually the easiest cookie recipe! :)

  54. Posted April 12, 2011 at 11:24 pm | Permalink

    Very tough question cuz I like making all of those things but I think I’ll have to go with muffins. I love to make extra grab-n-go muffins for the morning, so I’m always looking for new recipes that are yummy AND healthy!

  55. Posted April 13, 2011 at 2:52 am | Permalink

    Cobbler and pies.. Fresh fruit baby!!!

  56. Posted April 13, 2011 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    I’m not that skilled of a baker (i.e. scaredy cat), so I go for muffins, bars, or cookies usually.

  57. Anonymous
    Posted April 13, 2011 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    I usually make cookies first since I tend to have the ingredients on hand.

    Jessica S.

  58. Posted April 13, 2011 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

    I usually make cookies first especially if they involve chocolate

  59. Posted April 13, 2011 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

    Muffins are usually first because their usually quick and easy

  60. Posted April 13, 2011 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

    Something with peanut butter because that is my husband’s favorite!

  61. Posted April 14, 2011 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    So pleasing to the eyes and definitely pleasing to taste. Love it!

  62. Posted April 14, 2011 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

    I usually head straight to the cookies. Nice nearly-instant gratification. I have on a few recent occasions found myself distracted enough by particularly appealing cupcake recipes to start there though. :)

  63. Posted April 14, 2011 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

    I love to make brownies or cookies first

  64. Posted April 14, 2011 at 11:11 pm | Permalink

    I guess I am a little weird, I like the quick breads first.

  65. Posted April 15, 2011 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    Usually I end up making a muffin first because that’s what I take to work once a week to share with coworkers.

  66. Posted April 15, 2011 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    Cookies! If the book has a gingery, molasses cookie I’m a goner! Lemon Bars, Coconut Pie. OK I just outed myself if I can make it GF and it’s sweet I’ll eat it – truth.

  67. Posted April 15, 2011 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

    I would make a cake

  68. Posted April 15, 2011 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    cookies

  69. Val
    Posted April 16, 2011 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    I usually start with whatever I have the ingredients for, so usually that ends up being a cookie or cupcake recipe. Those vanilla cupcakes look amazing by the way!

  70. Posted April 16, 2011 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

    Anything I can get away with eating for breakfast. In other words- the fruity stuff :)
    Also, I can’t believe I just found your blog. I’ve been reading through your archives!

  71. Paula
    Posted April 17, 2011 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

    Cookies! They’re easy, and I usually have all of the ingredients.

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