Sunday, September 21, 2008

Iron Cupcake:Earth Basil Challenge

Basil is this month's Iron Cupcake Challenge. Basil makes me think of tomatoes. Tomatoes remind me of an incredible tomato and peach gazpacho I sampled which was prepared by our Lake Austin Spa chef. I don’t even like gazpacho, but his concoction was something I’ve never forgotten. So for this challenge I created Peach Gazpacho Cupcakes.

The cake is based on the old tomato soup cake recipe. I couldn’t satisfy myself that Campbell’s condensed version is vegan, so I improvised with soygurt and tomato paste. I adapted a Sarah Kramer recipe from Veg Family. The peach part of the recipe is merely peach preserves, to which I added the basil. The basil flavor is very subtle, so if you want more, double the amount I used. And because of my aversion to buttercream frosting, I topped my cuppers with one of my favorite soup garnishes – popcorn, cinnamon flavored for this recipe.

Peach Gazpacho Cupcakes

Makes 1 dozen

The cake is slightly spicy and light in texture. These cupcakes are super quick and easy to make.

8 ounces plain soygurt
2 T. low sodium tomato paste
2 T. canola oil
2 t. vanilla
¾ cup sugar
1-1/2 cups flour
1 t. cinnamon
1 t. freshly grated nutmeg
1 t. baking soda
1 t. baking powder
pinch of salt

12 t. (1/4 cup) peach preserves mixed with 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil.

1 cup popped popcorn sprinkled liberally with cinnamon

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cupcake tin with paper liners.

For the cake: In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the soygurt and tomato paste. Whisk in the oil, vanilla, and sugar. Sift in the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Stir until combined.

Spoon into cupcake pan. Smooth tops and add 1 t. peach preserves to the top of each cupcake. Bake for about 22 minutes.

When cupcakes are done, remove them to a wire rack. The tops will be just sticky enough for you to stick on the popcorn topping.

This was another fun challenge and rendered some very tasty cupcakes. You can view all the entries in the Iron Cupcake flickr pool and you can join this monthly challenge at any time - find out how at

I know my lowly vegan blog and loath of buttercream will never beat out the mainstream competition; nonetheless, to participate I must post the voting time and prizes awarded to the winner.

Voting will begin on Sunday, September 27 at 12 noon at NO ONE PUTS CUPCAKE IN A CORNER, and will be open through Tuesday, September 30 at 12 noon.

Prizes this month are provided by:


LizNoVeggieGirl said...

Basil makes me think of tomatoes as well; and my herb garden that never flourished this year. Oh well, haha ;0)

GORGEOUS CUPCAKES!! Love the Peach-Gazpacho flavor.

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

You are so cretive! I think I would've hyperventilated if someone told me I had to put basil in a cupcake! But you somehow managed to make the concept of a basil cupcake sound and look delicious!

Jacqueline Meldrum said...

You have really come up with something different there Diann. I would love to try one.

Anonymous said...

These look amazing! By some weird coincidence, I just made a tomato cake last week--but of course no peaches or basil in sight! Your rendition looks infinitely more creative :) Good luck w/ the challenge!

Judy's Nutrition said...

You never cease to amaze me!

erica said...

Wow, basil makes me think spicy thai cupcakes (but that would be thai basil).

I've had hardly any food cravings today, thank goodness!

erica said...

By the way, I have an aversion to buttercream as well. It always, always makes me feel sick.

Sheree' said...

You are amazing! I was going to join after your last cupcake challenge post, but saw the next one was basil and gave way to fear! I did toy with the idea of tomato cupcakes, but never went anywhere with it. I love your whole idea! I wish I could have just a tiny bit of your creativity!

Anonymous said...

Wow. That is an incredibly creative cupcake combination! Good job! I'm giving you a gold star.

Anonymous said...

You met Walter Cronkite!!! Ok, I am jealous! :)

Great cupcakes - I love the idea of using popcorn. They look and sound so yummy, you're makinng me hungry for cuppers...

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

Wow, great concept! They sound awesome.

Anonymous said...

Wow, that's pretty creative!

jessy said...

oh my goodness! your cuppy looks (and sounds) absolutely scrumptious!


Usha said...

What a wonderful cupcake...loved the use of tomato paste in this...have bookmarked...will give this a try :)

Meghan said...

how exciting. its a surprising idea for a cupcake, but i think i could definitely get down with it!
good luck!

Vegan_Noodle said...

There is NOTHING lowly about this blog or your cupcakes! I think topping them with popcorn is such a cool idea!

Crystal said...

wow! What a gorgeous looking cupcake!

So creative - great job. I've never heard of tomato soup cake.

Nicole said...

I LOVE the popcorn on top! That's too cute.

Maggie said...

The peach-basil combination sounds great and the popcorn on top is brillant!