Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

The Road Not Taken
By Robert Frost


Sometimes you take the road less travelled, and sometimes you just take the looooong road. Like with this recipe; I had a goal in mind, but took several detours to get there. The journey began at Easter, when the shops were closed and we were all out of eggs. I wanted to do some baking but you really need eggs to make banana bread… or do you? Without too much thought or preparation, I  made my melt and mix banana bread without eggs. And ended up with something resembling a rock.


Fast-forward a couple of days, and I am madly doing research on vegan banana bread. With a tweak here and a tweak there, I have a recipe that looks like it might work. There’s chocolate on chocolate on chocolate – how could it not be delicious? Sure, you might think that with double chocolate banana bread you can’t go wrong. But believe me, you really can! It was a very oily batter, and heavy even as I spooned it into the pan. I had a bad feeling about that cake, and you guessed it: Flop-central!


Although temporarily beaten, I was determined to succeed. Like Thomas Edison, I said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” A quick search on the internets, and I discover a recipe that might work. Noting the use of vinegar, I suddenly remember a recipe my mum used to make. Wacky Cake used no eggs; only flour, sugar, bicarb, cocoa, oil, vinegar and water. Ditch the bananas; let’s make Wacky Cake! No eggs, no gluten, no dairy, no nuts. Am I excited? Just a little.


Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes with maple buttercream icing {vegan, gf/df}
Defying all odds, we have made a cake without the usual suspects… and it’s delicious!

Makes 12 cupcakes

1 cup plain (all-purpose) GF flour
½ cup brown rice flour
¾ cup soft brown sugar, firmly packed
4 tablespoons Dutch process cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch salt
¼ cup sunflower oil (coconut oil could also work)
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
¼ cup applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup water

Maple buttercream icing
½ cup vegan butter (Nuttelex), softened at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ cups pure icing sugar, sifted
5 teaspoons pure maple syrup
Few drops rice milk

Preheat oven to 180degC/350F. Line 12 regular (½ cup) muffin tins with muffin papers. Sift together dry ingredients over sugar in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.

Whisk together oil, vinegar, applesauce and vanilla extract in a separate bowl. Add wet ingredients to dry and then pour 1 cup water over everything. Stir gently to combine until flour streaks disappear. Do not beat.

Spoon batter into muffin papers and bake for 25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

Cool for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the buttercream, combine softened butter and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Using a handheld mixer or stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat until creamy. Gradually beat in the icing sugar. Slowly beat in the maple syrup, then add milk until it reaches desired consistency. Continue mixing until the icing becomes thick and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

Top cooled cupcakes with buttercream and decorate as desired. Serve immediately!


Adapted from All Recipes

If you don’t have or can’t find vegan butter, a maple glaze will suffice. Maple Glaze: 1 cup powdered sugar, 2 teaspoons maple syrup, 2 tablespoons milk. {thank you, Joy the Baker}

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