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Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes is the BIBLE of cupcakes. From experience I can say real bakeries actually refer to this book for recipes and decorating tips. Though it doesn’t have many vegan recipes, it has really great ideas and easy techniques for making a cute and easy cupcake. Cupcakes only became a competitive food art after this book was published… Not really. But take my enthusiasm for what it is. If you have a real interest in cupcake creation, you must must must own this cookbook.

Anyway, this is the book I used to get the recipe for Liz’s birthday cupcakes. I used buttermilk cake as base and swiss meringue for the icing. I took half of these and added cocoa and dark red dye to make an alternate choice of “red velvet” cupcakes. I also added brandy to 1/3 of the cupcakes, and gold sugar sprinkles to some others, and [I think] amaretto for the other 1/3 cupcakes. I’m shamefully making this post two months too late. Sorry.

Liz is one of my non-vegan friends, so this was the first time I had used eggs in a long time (locally raised eggs from the co-op). In fact, I still have two leftover eggs and I can’t fathom finding a use for them. Were I to make cookies in the near future (and I am), eggs just seem like an unnecessary, costly novelty item. So vegan cookies it is. The more I cook vegan, the easier it is to forget about those old-fashioned things like butter, eggs, and milk.

Check out Liz’s [better] original photo of my cupcakes at her photoblog http://365inohten.wordpress.com/2010/02/12/12-feb-2010/ for February 12, 2010. She has a new photo every day at simply http://365inohten.wordpress.com if you like what you see.

These are the two photos she took:

Photo by Liz Bloeser.

Photo by Liz Bloeser.

Here’s a wholistic view of how they all turned out (without) the fondant ladybugs I ran out of time to make:

Red Velvet Cupcakes