CAKESTAND

We are Jessie and Caitlin.
We love to bake and we also love good vibes!
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Recipes to veganize…

…once it cools down a bit. Here are two awesome-looking recipes that I pinned a while ago so I don’t forget about them come cooler temperatures.

Petite Pumpkin Spice Donuts, via Blue-Eyed Bakers

My friend Lisa gave me three (THREE!) different sized donut pans, and I found a little donut maker at a house we cleaned. I clean houses, if you didn’t know. Anyway, the people had moved out and forgotten about one cabinet in the kitchen…lucky me.

Rhubarb, Pomegranate, and Vanilla Cobbler, via Donna Hay

I’ve only baked with rhubarb once, and it was a little past it’s prime, so whatever it was that I made (I think it was a pie?) turned out a little bitter. If I can get my hands on some fresh rhubarb, I’ll definitely be making this cobbler. Cobblers are one of my favorite desserts.

In other news, Houston, Drew, and myself just signed a lease for a cute little duplex in East Austin. I’m so excited! We get the keys on Monday and can start moving stuff in Tuesday afternoon, if we want. I already have so many decorating ideas! If only I could find a table like this one..

(from my Pinterest, via The Midwest Aesthetic)

Speaking of the Midwest…THIS SHIRT! I found it the other day via A Cup of Jo.

Anyways, have a good weekend! Eat a popsicle, hang out.

-Caitlin

Put a beet on it.

This will be my next “experiment” to veganize. Chocolate beet cake. Isn’t that frosting just the prettiest color?!

I’d also like to try dyeing some fabric with beet juice…I believe I have some beets in my fridge right now that need to be used up. First, though, I need to buy film so that I can actually document these things…

(photo & recipe via Joy the Baker)

-Caitlin

As promised, some photos!

This is the only evidence of the cheesecake I made for Thanksgiving. I got the recipe from the PPK (always so many good recipes) and it was insanely good. You can definitely make it without the crunch topping if you wanted to have a plain pumpkin cheesecake. What’s nice about this recipe is that it doesn’t use vegan cream cheese, which can end up making one cheesecake really expensive. The creaminess comes from a mixture of silken tofu, cashews, and banana. For whatever reason, the banana was a really prominent flavor (at least for me). I might cut down the banana a little bit next time. I also realized that since this was a marbled cheesecake, the regular cheesecake parts that didn’t have pumpkin in them were probably the more banana-y tasting bites. There you go. Analysis.

Some vegan goodies at the farmer’s market downtown.

My smoky potato “sausage” breakfast taco. Yummmmm.

We went hiking at Mt. Bonnell, Austin’s highest point!

Merry Crimbus! (Thanks Jetski for taking this picture.) We are so excited to go home for Christmas. I love Austin but it’s been rough being away from friends and fam.

I’ve got some ‘za in the oven, and it smells heavenly. Have a good weekend.

Caitlin

All things pumpkin!!!

Cinnamon rolls are great. Pumpkin anything is great. So therefore, PUMPKIN CINNAMON ROLLS ARE DOUBLE GREAT! Am I right? My former boss at Eli’s sent me this recipe and it comes to us via Good Life Eats.

Roll Dough:
1/4 cup warm water (not hot, about 110 degrees)
1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
1/3 cup warm milk (I used almond milk) 
1 large egg, beaten (I used one flax egg: 1 tbsp flax whisked w/3 tbsp water)
3/4 cup pumpkin puree, either fresh or canned
1 tablespoon melted butter (I used Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Spread)
2 cups (approximately) All-Purpose Flour
1 1 /4 cup Whole Wheat Pastry  Flour (My main grocery store only carried Arrowhead Mills brand, and that worked great!)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

Filling:
1 stick butter (Earth Balance)
2/3 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon each of allspice and ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cloves

Cream Cheese Frosting:
4 ounces cream cheese (I used Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese Spread)
1 stick (4 ounces) butter, softened (Once again….Earth Balance)
1 teaspoon vanilla  extract
3/4 teaspoon lemon juice
2-3 cups powdered sugar

Directions:

Stir yeast into water to soften in a large bowl. Allow to rest for 5 minutes before stirring to combine. Stir in the milk, egg, pumpkin, butter, 1 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cardamom to yeast mixture. Beat vigorously for 2 minutes.

Slowly add the rest of the flour (all purpose), a bit at a time, until the dough is stiff enough to knead. Begin with 1 1/2 cups of flour and increase if necessary. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead, adding flour as necessary, until you have a smooth, elastic dough.

Place the dough into a greased bowl. Turn the dough in the bowl to coat the entire ball of dough with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and rise until doubled, approximately 1 hour.

Combine the white sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, nutmeg and cloves in a another bowl, set aside. Transfer the risen dough to a lightly greased work surface, and pat or roll it into a 16” x 12” rectangle. Spread softened butter over dough and then sprinkle with the sugar mixture.

Roll the dough into a log the long way; it’ll stretch to about 20” long as you roll. Using a very sharp knife, slice the log into 15 slices. In order to cut down on drag, it helps to rinse the blade in hot water, and wipe it off, between slices. Place slices in a greased 9x13 inch baking pan (or in two 8 or 9 inch round cake or pie pans). Cover with a towel and let rise until almost doubled, about 45 minutes.

Bake in a preheated 375°F oven. Bake the rolls till they’re brown around the edges and beginning to turn golden brown across the center, about 20-30 minutes.

While rolls bake, prepare the cream cheese frosting. Add the cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and lemon juice to a small food processor. Blend until smooth and combined. Add the powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time, blending in between, until well mixed and desired consistency is reached. (I used 2 cups powdered sugar)

Frost warm rolls with the cream cheese frosting and serve immediately.

For night before prep: Prepare the rolls up to the point where you roll and place in the pan. Then, cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, remove the pan from the fridge and proceed with the instructions where you left off. Rising time may be slightly longer than noted in the recipe due to the dough being cold vs room temp.

I only baked my cinnamon rolls for about 18 minutes. I guess that just depends on your oven. Also, these take quite a while to make but they are SO worth it! They’re relatively easy, just time-consuming. While my dough was rising the first time, I went to the post office, got groceries, etc. While the rolls were rising a second time, I took little Tugboat to Petco to get dawg food and a new toy. Oh yeah, by the way…this is Tugboat:

Houston and I adopted him from Town Lake Animal Center here in Austin. He has an underbite! He likes high fives, treats, being petted 24/7, and riding in the car. Oh, and he LOVES swimming.

Anyway, since I don’t have a camera I must rely on Photobooth to take pictures. Here is the finished cinnamon roll:

I am currently eating another one for breakfast. I just popped it in the oven for a few minutes to warm it up and it’s so. damn. good. Also…really good with coffee! A girl I went to high school with sent me a recipe for Pumpkin Spice Lattes! I’ve been seeing the ads for Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Lattes, and I was curious. I just didn’t want to pay like $4 for a latte. That’s all. So I made lattes last night, too. What a pumpkiny night.

Via Love Veggies and Yoga:

Pumpkin Spice Latte (Vegan, Gluten Free)

1. Make coffee (a pot, a cup, in whatever fashion and however you prefer making your coffee.   The stronger the better)

2. Make Pumpkin Milk

1 c milk (I used almond milk but use any kind you want from half and half to rice milk) (I used almond milk)

1/4 heaping cup pumpkin puree (more if you really love pumpkin)

2 tsp pumpkin pie spice blend, or to taste (I don’t have pumpkin pie spice, so I made my own using 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ginger, 1/8 tsp allspice, 1/8 tsp cloves, 1/4 tsp nutmeg. I found the “recipe” here and just doubled it so I would have the 2 tsp spice blend for the pumpkin milk)

1 tsp cinnamon, or to taste

1 tsp vanilla extract

sweetener of choice, to taste (I suggest 2 tbsp agave or 2 tbsp brown sugar or a pinch of stevia to taste; or try honey, maple syrup, etc. to taste)

Optional: pinch of ground nutmeg, ginger, garam masala, cardamom, or other warming spices to taste (I didn’t add any more of these since I made my own spice blend)

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk well by hand or blend all ingredients using a Vita or blender (I used a Magic Bullet..it worked great!)

Optional: Warm the finished pumpkin milk mixture in the microwave or on the stovetop (I do a quick nuke of about 1 minute)

3. Pour 1 c of brewed coffee into a mug and pour half the pumpkin milk mixture over the top of the coffee and enjoy. 

The other half of the pumpkin milk mixture is for the refill you know you will want.  If you truly don’t want a refill, refrigerate it for up to a few days and use for your next latte, in a smoothie, or drink it as is.  As long as you’re dirtying dishes, I always make a little extra for refills or for later.

The latte turned out awesome. It wasn’t super sweet, which I enjoyed. The one thing I don’t like about flavored lattes is that they are so damn sugary. I want the flavor, not just sweetness. I only added a little agave to sweeten the milk, but obviously you could add more if you like a sweeter coffee drink.

Last night was a perfect night for pumpkin goodies because it cooled off and RAINED! Yeah, it rained. In Austin. There’s been a drought for about a year now (although it did rain briefly once or twice in the past couple of weeks). The rain was so cold, too. It was awesome.

Have a rad day!

-Caitlin

Have you ever seen the movie Slacker?  It’s a really great movie that was filmed in Austin back in 1991 that I actually based my idea of this city off of before I moved.  Incidentally, some local filmmakers just released Slacker 2011 on August 31 at the Paramount Theater & now it’s playing (maybe still?) at the Alamo Drafthouses around here.  I intended to go see it, but I’m a busy busy lady these days.  School consumes me from 9-4 and then I’m off to babysit until about 8 p.m.  No time for fun!  Anyway, you should watch the original.  I haven’t found Austin to be anything like it though.  I’m still waiting.  Anyways, that is my note about living here so far.  What I wanted to do, though, is post some old baking projects I’ve done that never made it onto the blog, including a wedding that Caitlin and I did this summer.  SO!  Here goes…

It’s almost fall!  I made the goldish cupcakes shown almost a year ago for my friend Emily.  She likes the richer desserts, so I made a chocolate cupcake with chocolate chip cookie dough baked in the middle and a caramel frosting on top.  Vegans can be fat, too.

The others are all for my lovely friend, Emma’s wedding.  Caitlin is shown rolling the red gum paste balls we topped on the vanilla vanilla cupcakes and I’m sprinkling the chocolate chocolate with sage green pearls.  We made 350 of those puppies!!  It was crazy, but the challenge was one that makes me really proud to say we accomplished so well.  We DID NOT, unfortunately create that awesome cake shown in the corner of one of the photos…someday…

So what should you take from this post?

I’m really sorry I haven’t contributed enough to this blog.

I can’t wait for fall and I bet you can’t either.

We made A LOT of cupcakes this summer.

We love you!

Blessins from Texus,

Jessie

It’s been a busy month. We moved to Austin! We’re here and it’s great. The food is ridiculously good. Our apartment is cute. Jessie started school today. We all got jobs. Yaaaay!

Since it’s been busy, I’m just now getting around to (finding and) posting pictures from Lauren and Erik’s wedding, which was one month ago tomorrow. I took some film photos but they are still in Illinois, as far as I know.

For Erik and Lauren we made chocolate, vanilla, and coconut-lime cupcakes, as well as a coconut-lime mini-cake for them to cut. The ceremony was short and sweet, and the reception was beautiful (albeit HOT HOT HOT). The reception was in a gorgeous restored barn outside of Peoria…seriously, the prettiest location. I was really glad Cakestand got to be a part of it! I got lots of good reactions to the cupcakes. Steph asked a little girl if she liked them and she yelled, “Yeah, they’re pretty good, FOR VEGAN!” and then ran away. That’s good, right?

This is the table set-up. Erik & Lauren decorated everything…so the trays, pedestals, and little cake bunting are all theirs. We can only take credit for cake :)

Our friend Phil (right) was the best man. He did a good job of holding the cake while E&L cut it. WAY TO GO PHIL!

Just a shot of the interior of the barn. It was so dreamy!

It works. I used it.

The flowers were adorable. I think I took some similar photos, and I want to see them really badly.

I was worried the cupcakes would melt on my way to the wedding but they did fine. It ended up being a really nice afternoon, seeing friends and eating some of the best food ever! 

All photos: Meredith Nunn

5 tiers of goodness.

Here are a few more photos from Zach & Steph’s wedding. Once again…credit goes to Skyler & Alycia Photography.

Here is our wonderful cakestand in all it’s glory. It’s so pretty!

Me with the cake! I’m excited!

This obviously isn’t cake..it’s Steph’s wedding dress at The Loft! It’s one of the prettiest dresses I’ve ever seen. And I’ve never seen lace like what was used on the skirt. Anyway, this is relevant because Steph and I co-created the window display in which her dress is hanging!

Cool! I need to go to bed. Sweet dreamz, y’all.

-Caitlin

Working on a coconut-lime wedding cake for tomorrow. I don’t look as grumpy as Lime Cat, though.

Working on a coconut-lime wedding cake for tomorrow. I don’t look as grumpy as Lime Cat, though.

CakeSTAND…literally.

At the beginning of June, Jessie and I baked cupcakes for Zach and Steph’s wedding. We were also bridesmaids! I had never been a bridesmaid before so it was a cool experience. The whole day was awesome, because we have such rad friends.

All photos courtesy of Skyler & Alycia Photography.

We made 200 cupcakes…50 each of plain chocolate, lemon blackberry, red velvet, and root beer. Here are the chocolate and lemon that Jessie made, and the little cake on top that I made, complete with flags.

I was so nervous to pipe that cake! But it turned out to be a lot easier than I had expected. I wasn’t sure how thick the frosting needed to be, so I did some experimenting. My first idea was to use a vegan royal icing but that didn’t work. I ended up just making a thicker buttercream. Too thick, though, and it won’t even come out of the bag!

Close-up of the lemon blackberry cupcakes. Aren’t they adorable?!

The cakestand that the cupcakes are on is now OURS! Steph’s uncle made it for us! It’s so beautifully made. All of the tiers come apart so you can make it as tall or as short as you like. CAKESTAND HAS A CAKESTAND! We plan on using the bottom tier as a little table in our future Austin, TX apartment :) That’s right, we are moving. Very soon. I’m hoping to find a baking job and then hopefully once we get settled in we can continue baking for Cakestand.

More pictures coming soon from the other wedding we did this summer! We also have another one coming up next weekend! Yay!

-Caitlin

This is the cake I made for Zach & Steph’s wedding yesterday (CONGRATS!). It was scary to think about making a wedding cake but it turned out really well! I was nervous to pipe so many swirls, because I thought they might slide off, and sometimes I’m just bad at piping. But, they all stayed put so I was happy. They loved it and I got lots of other compliments. More pictures to come! Thanks, Mr. Steven, for this picture.
-Caitlin

This is the cake I made for Zach & Steph’s wedding yesterday (CONGRATS!). It was scary to think about making a wedding cake but it turned out really well! I was nervous to pipe so many swirls, because I thought they might slide off, and sometimes I’m just bad at piping. But, they all stayed put so I was happy. They loved it and I got lots of other compliments. More pictures to come! Thanks, Mr. Steven, for this picture.

-Caitlin

Houston and I made vegan cream cheese danish the other night, after putting if off for way, way too long. I used to love eating danish from one of our local bakeries when I was younger. My mom would buy the variety boxes sometimes and it was a treat, lemme tell ya. But friends, these vegan delights are quite the treat themselves. The recipe is incredibly easy since it utilizes store-bought dough. You can make your own dough, though, if you prefer.
Dough & Filling
2 cans of croissant dough (Pillsbury and Cub Foods brand Crescent Rolls are vegan) I used Hy-Vee brand..these are also vegan!
1 container of vegan cream cheese 
1/3 cup white sugar
3/4 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon vegan sour cream
Icing (Optional BUT HIGHLY RECOMMENDED) 
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon soy milk
1 tablespoon margarine
Preheat over to 350 degrees. On a cookie sheet, lay out the first can of crescent rolls into one big rectangle. Pinch seams together. In a bowl, mix the cream cheese, white sugar, lemon juice, vanilla, and sour cream until smooth. Spread the filling on the rolls, leaving enough room at the edge to pinch the danish shut. Lay out the second can of dough over the filling, pinching the seams and the edges. Bake for 25 minutes. Let cool.
To prepare the optional icing, mix the powdered sugar, soy milk, and margarine until smooth. Drizzle over the cooled danish.
Recipe courtesy of ExploreVeg.org, although Steph sent me this recipe a while ago, so the credit goes to her for finding it! My only complaint is about icing…I would just prefer a little less. Houston agreed.
My advice is to enjoy this danish with a cup of coffee and your friends. 
-Caitlin

Houston and I made vegan cream cheese danish the other night, after putting if off for way, way too long. I used to love eating danish from one of our local bakeries when I was younger. My mom would buy the variety boxes sometimes and it was a treat, lemme tell ya. But friends, these vegan delights are quite the treat themselves. The recipe is incredibly easy since it utilizes store-bought dough. You can make your own dough, though, if you prefer.

Dough & Filling

  • 2 cans of croissant dough (Pillsbury and Cub Foods brand Crescent Rolls are vegan) I used Hy-Vee brand..these are also vegan!
  • 1 container of vegan cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon vegan sour cream

Icing (Optional BUT HIGHLY RECOMMENDED)

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon soy milk
  • 1 tablespoon margarine

Preheat over to 350 degrees. On a cookie sheet, lay out the first can of crescent rolls into one big rectangle. Pinch seams together. In a bowl, mix the cream cheese, white sugar, lemon juice, vanilla, and sour cream until smooth. Spread the filling on the rolls, leaving enough room at the edge to pinch the danish shut. Lay out the second can of dough over the filling, pinching the seams and the edges. Bake for 25 minutes. Let cool.

To prepare the optional icing, mix the powdered sugar, soy milk, and margarine until smooth. Drizzle over the cooled danish.

Recipe courtesy of ExploreVeg.org, although Steph sent me this recipe a while ago, so the credit goes to her for finding it! My only complaint is about icing…I would just prefer a little less. Houston agreed.

My advice is to enjoy this danish with a cup of coffee and your friends. 

-Caitlin

Record Store Day, continued.

Here are two more photos from Jared Bartman’s 7” release/Record Store Day at Ribbon Records. Thanks for always taking pictures, Steph! :)

Here we are looking a bit more presentable than in the previous photo (no closed eyes, etc.). Notice our awesome logo sign, made by our friend Kent! That tablecloth is actually a few curtains that I got at a thrift store. Also, aren’t the records on the wall such a great idea?

Love those little jewel-tone wrappers.

-Caitlin

Steph took this photo of us at Ribbon Records yesterday, with our cupcake setup. We look SO GOOD, right? I always seem to close my eyes in photos. Jessie doesn’t have arms. The End.

Steph took this photo of us at Ribbon Records yesterday, with our cupcake setup. We look SO GOOD, right? I always seem to close my eyes in photos. Jessie doesn’t have arms. The End.

PizzaCookie.

That’s right. A PizzaCookie. Chocolate-chip cookie “crust” (minus the chocolate, though), red buttercream frosting “tomato sauce”, and fondant “toppings”…green pepper, black olives, sausage, and cheese. All vegan, too! Jessie and I made this for our friend Zach, for his going-away party. He works at an awesome bike shop in Madison, WI, now. We were sad to see him go, but I think this was a fitting way to leave Peoria. Don’t you?

(Thanks to Steph for the picture!)