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 Post subject: Cupcake frosting question - VCTOTW
PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2016 6:50 am 
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Writes Vegan Haiku
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I recently acquired Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World and have made the vanilla cupcakes several times as well as the s'mores cupcakes. Both recipes were wonderful, but I can't get the buttercream frosting right. I'm using half Earth Balance, but I don't know what to use for the "non-hydrogenated shortening" recommended for the other half. I've tried coconut oil but had people complain about the taste, and it was hard to get the texture right. I've tried using all Earth Balance but maybe it was a bit too buttery.

What do you use for the "non-hydrogenated shortening"?


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 Post subject: Re: Cupcake frosting question - VCTOTW
PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2016 6:57 am 
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Are you in the US? Spectrum is the most common brand for non-hydrogenated shortening. I think Earth Balance also makes shortening sticks (those are sold refrigerated).


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 Post subject: Re: Cupcake frosting question - VCTOTW
PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2016 6:59 am 
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I am in the US - can you find both of those at a regular grocery? We also have Trader Joe's and Whole Foods...


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 Post subject: Re: Cupcake frosting question - VCTOTW
PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2016 7:25 am 
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Try refined coconut oil - it doesn't have the coconutty taste. I can't stand the taste of Earth Balance so I usually use half coconut oil and half shortening.


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 Post subject: Re: Cupcake frosting question - VCTOTW
PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2016 8:53 am 
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I find tgat coconut oil has the wrong texture for frosting. It goes from hard to melted with no stop at soft in between.

You should be able to find spectrum at whole foods. I also find that nucoa brand margarine works great in frosting. All earth balance can wirk, but it melts easily, so on a warm day your frosting might have trouble.


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 Post subject: Re: Cupcake frosting question - VCTOTW
PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2016 11:01 am 
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You don't have to use non-hydrogenated. You can use Crisco.

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 Post subject: Re: Cupcake frosting question - VCTOTW
PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2016 11:55 am 
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So Crisco works? Is Spectrum slightly healthier? I thought Crisco was supposed to be pretty bad for you...

DEG, I keep having the same problem with coconut oil that it's either completely melted or in chunks in the icing when I try to firm it up enough to work with it. It's always over 78 degrees in Florida...


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 Post subject: Re: Cupcake frosting question - VCTOTW
PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2016 11:59 am 
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Yes, crisco works. I think spectrum may be vaguely better for you in some way, but honestly, frosting is just a fat and sugar bomb. I manage the health aspect by not eating too much of it rather than trying to make the frosting itself healthier. Obviously you have to make your own choice, but I would rather have super delicious frosting that is terrible for me than moderately healthier frosting that isn't as good.


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 Post subject: Re: Cupcake frosting question - VCTOTW
PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2016 12:05 pm 
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Haha, good points. I'm not making cupcakes for health reasons, obviously.


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 Post subject: Re: Cupcake frosting question - VCTOTW
PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2016 12:27 pm 
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just use crisco

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 Post subject: Re: Cupcake frosting question - VCTOTW
PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2016 12:36 pm 
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I feel like Crisco has a slightly oilier mouthfeel than the Spectrum, but it definitely gives better results than coconut oil.


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 Post subject: Re: Cupcake frosting question - VCTOTW
PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2016 6:21 pm 
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DEG wrote:
Yes, crisco works. I think spectrum may be vaguely better for you in some way, but honestly, frosting is just a fat and sugar bomb. I manage the health aspect by not eating too much of it rather than trying to make the frosting itself healthier. Obviously you have to make your own choice, but I would rather have super delicious frosting that is terrible for me than moderately healthier frosting that isn't as good.


Hear, hear! Huzzah!


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 Post subject: Re: Cupcake frosting question - VCTOTW
PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2016 10:09 pm 
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You can make biscuits with the extra Crisco.

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 Post subject: Re: Cupcake frosting question - VCTOTW
PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2016 11:34 pm 
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Crisco got rid of the partially hydrogenated oil, anyway. Fully hydrogenated oil isn't a transfat. So the "healthy" version isn't really healthier anymore.

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 Post subject: Re: Cupcake frosting question - VCTOTW
PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2016 10:42 am 
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OK, bought the Crisco. Will report back. What even is fully hydrogenated oil???


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 Post subject: Re: Cupcake frosting question - VCTOTW
PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2016 11:15 am 
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this is what google says. i believe it's just the technique they use to process it.

Hydrogenation is a chemical process that converts liquid vegetable oil into solid fat. Partially hydrogenated oils, such as shortening and soft margarine, are semi-soft. Oils that are fully hydrogenated are firmer, and don't contain any of the dangerous artery-inflaming trans fat found in partially hydrogenated oils.

i knew there was a law (?) passed to get rid of trans fat in food but i didnt realize it was already in motion.

either way none of hte options are that "healthy" but yay cupcakes!!!!

my only other tip if you havent made it yet is to whip the shiitake out of the frosting on high for a long time in the mixer. i had a lot of trial and error with vegan frosting and its still hit or miss for me i think that was one of the tips people gave me to have it come out frosting like and not soup like

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 Post subject: Re: Cupcake frosting question - VCTOTW
PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2016 11:28 am 
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Thanks for the info, that does make me feel better about Crisco's non partially hydrogenated goodness, I'll try the extensive whipping technique too. It's just so hot and humid that the Earth Balance always gets super melty... maybe with Crisco everything will be different.


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 Post subject: Re: Cupcake frosting question - VCTOTW
PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2016 11:34 am 
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VCTCOTW is my most used of Isa's cookbooks. I use Earth Balance shortening sticks for the shortening. They have a different texture than regular Earth Balance buttery sticks. The combination of both works great in the cupcakes and the frosting has always turned out well for me.

Get then and then make the Tiramisu cupcakes, because the amazingness of those, is, well, amazing!


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 Post subject: Re: Cupcake frosting question - VCTOTW
PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2016 11:44 am 
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rachelita wrote:
Thanks for the info, that does make me feel better about Crisco's non partially hydrogenated goodness, I'll try the extensive whipping technique too. It's just so hot and humid that the Earth Balance always gets super melty... maybe with Crisco everything will be different.


yeah the heat/humidity might make it a bit runny. that's tough. just make sure everything is cold. the good news is it will still taste amazing

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 Post subject: Re: Cupcake frosting question - VCTOTW
PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2016 8:44 pm 
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rachelita wrote:
Thanks for the info, that does make me feel better about Crisco's non partially hydrogenated goodness, I'll try the extensive whipping technique too. It's just so hot and humid that the Earth Balance always gets super melty... maybe with Crisco everything will be different.


Be careful about how long the EB sits outside the fridge also don't store the cupcakes on the counter. I put them in the fridge because otherwise my frosting melts.

Central FL solidarity!

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 Post subject: Re: Cupcake frosting question - VCTOTW
PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2016 9:15 pm 
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Thanks, Vantine! Same to you. It's been a tough week.


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 Post subject: Re: Cupcake frosting question - VCTOTW
PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2016 11:16 pm 
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It sounds like you're sorted on the shortening front. On the off chance that this is useful for anyone, I've seen the spectrum shortening at most of the regular grocery stores I've been to. (Not the tiny ones, but any store big enough to have a 'natural foods' section.)

Good luck with the cupcakes. And my sincerest hope that there aren't weeks this tough in this way ever again.


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 Post subject: Re: Cupcake frosting question - VCTOTW
PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2016 6:54 am 
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Thanks for the tips, everyone.

I made the mint frosting that was just with Crisco and the buttercream with half Crisco, half Earth Balance. Both went on the basic chocolate cupcakes. I had to add extra powdered sugar to get the Crisco one firm enough to pipe through a pastry bag. For the butter cream ones, I refrigerated the frosting for awhile and it went on fine but then lost its shape and got melty immediately, probably because it was 78 degrees in the room. I should have put them in the refrigerator but I was serving a group of hungry kids. No matter, the butter cream frosting was delicious. I liked the neutral taste of Crisco mixed with Earth Balance. I wasn't as crazy about the mint one. Tasted a little toothpaste-y.

I got a copy of Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World for a friend of mine and we're both baking through the recipes like mad, planning a cupcake exchange today.


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