I literally had some minor panic attacks the first few days after I went vegan. I decided to cut out all meat, eggs and dairy overnight and waking up that next morning felt like a dream. Am I really doing this? Am I crazy? What the heck am I gonna eat for breakfast?!?!
It took a couple of days for the fear and anxiety to wear off, but it took even longer for me to feel comfortable with plant-based cooking and baking. There were a lot of botched meals when I tried using new to me ingredients and methods. There were a lot of breakfasts eaten for dinner because I didn’t have any ideas of what to cook. There were a lot of “cheats” when I felt so overwhelmed and had huge craving for the way I used to eat that I just gave in (mainly in regards to dessert…hello wedding cake!) I’m sure there was also a lot of shuddering when I tried to explain to my friends and family what I was going to eat and where I was going to get my protein.
At times I wondered if my new lifestyle would ever feel normal or easy. Would I give in to the stress and pressure and go back to eating meat, eggs, and dairy? Would my dessert cravings ever go away? Would traveling be possible eating a plant-based diet? Well, to rid you of the suspense that I’m sure you’re dealing with;), my new plant-based lifestyle DID get easier. My intense sweet tooth started to subside. I learned how to whip up quick, simple plant-based meals. I learned what foods worked well to prepare on the weekend to make dinner easier throughout the week. I gained more confidence in my decision and learned how to communicate why I went plant-based to others.
I also learned a lot of tips and tricks to make dairy and egg-free baking easy. I used to have to research recipes and baking substitutes for a looooong time before I felt like I could try out a batch of muffins or some banana bread. Now I have some simple swaps up my sleeve that make “veganizing” baked goods so easy to do.
I actually just got an e-mail from a reader who has created an awesome baking substitute guide. If you’re looking for easy way to substitute eggs, milk, or butter in your baked goods, go check out this awesome guide HERE!
Speaking of baked goods, let’s talk about these Vegan Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cashew Frosting!! I’m so so happy with this recipe. I made them to celebrate a friend’s exciting news and everyone that had one loved them. Success! In my opinion, these Vegan Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cashew Frosting are a healthier version of carrot cake. The base is oil-free and sweetened with pureed apple and coconut sugar. Raisins add chewy sweetness and the creamy cashew frosting adds lots of richness, making these cupcakes feel like a real treat!
I hope you make these for your next celebration! If you give them a try, let me know! Leave a comment or take a picture and tag #theconscientiouseater on Instagram!
- 2 cups shredded carrots
- 1 cup coconut sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ cup non-dairy milk
- ⅔ cup apple sauce
- 2¼ cup flour*
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ tsp salt
- pinch nutmeg
- ½ cup raisins
- 2 cups raw cashews, soaked for 4+ hours
- ½ vanilla bean pod seeds
- ¼-1/2 cup water
- 1 cup powdered sugar**
- Preheat your oven to 350F/180C and grease 15-18 muffin tins with cooking spray or use silicone muffin liners. Set aside.
- In a bowl mix together the shredded carrot, coconut sugar and vanilla. Add in the non-dairy milk and applesauce and stir to combine.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients mentioned from the flour to raisins.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. It's okay if the batter is slightly lumpy.
- Distribute the batter between your muffins cups. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Remove the cupcakes and allow them to cool for a while before removing them and placing them on a cooling rack to cool completely.
- While the cupcakes are cooling, make the cashew frosting by draining the soaked cashews and placing them in a high speed blender or food processor along with the vanilla been seeds and ¼ cup of water. Blend until smooth adding more water if necessary to make everything blend.
- Pour the cashew cream into a bowl and stir in the powdered sugar. Place the frosting in the fridge to thicken up for about 30 minutes.
- Once the frosting has thickened and the cupcakes are completely cooled, spread a generous layer of cashew frosting on each cupcake.
- Serve and enjoy!
**I make my own powdered sugar by blending 1 cup of sugar with 1 tablespoon of arrowroot powder together in my high speed blender until a fine, icing sugar forms.