Monday, April 4, 2011

The Betty Crocker Project : Pina Colada Cupcakes with a Special Guest Appearance of The Sweet & Sara Contest!

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A few months ago we posted a recipe for a cupcake to help get folks in the wintery holiday mood. It was a lovely little cupcake that combined Silk Soy Nog and the spirit of the season. But this weekend while I read countless Facebook statuses talking about freak snow flurries and saw photos posted of the recent NY Vegfest... well, it seemed like it was time for a new cupcake*. A cupcake that would warm your house like a Spring day and remind you that frozen treats and beaches are coming soon. It became clear to me that the time had come for Pina Colada cupcakes**.

As always I looked through our copy of Betty's Big Red to find the recipes that I could piece together to create this masterpiece. Then I remembered an email I got a while back from the folks over at BC about Betty's online cupcake center, and quickly found these. When you compare the recipes, you'll notice I made quite a few changes, but the spirit is there. I was cautious because I didn't want them to taste like suntan lotion, so I tried to keep the flavors subtle and natural when possible. All in all, these little buddies turned out just as I had hoped, and we loved them. We went mini with ours... because that's how we roll around here.

We could be yours.
Which brings us to our second agenda item, something else you're going to love! The Sweet & Sara Vegan Marshmallow Contest! Wow - I can actually hear you all gasping with excitement. This blog is all about proving that being vegan doesn't include sacrifice. Nothing says that more than Sweet & Sara's Easter Peepers & Skippers! Who needs those smug little gelatin-based Easter treats now that we have these?

That's why we're partnering with Sweet & Sara to bring these little guys, and a variety pack of vegan marshmallows, into the life of one lucky Meet The Shannons reader! Want to win some awesome for your Easter basket, or to give away as an Afikomen Prize, or maybe just to just eat? Here's what you have to do:
  • Start by "liking" this post on Facebook using the little button at the top.
  • Post a comment below with a link to a cute picture of a bunny and/or a chick (ducklings, piglets, kittens, puppies and other cutie faces are also approved) and a "Thank You" to Sweet & Sara for putting peeps in their place.
Before you leave your comment - remember in order to win one of our contests, you need to be a "follower" of Meet The Shannons. If we can't email you, then we can't send you your prize! So before you leave your comment with the answers, make sure you use the "follow" button on the side of the blog. We'll randomly choose a follower from the correct answers posted below on Thursday April 7th and send you a MAJOR AWARD! (Please keep in mind that it will take a few days for processing and shipping).

So start your search engines, find those cute bunnies, and enjoy these cupcakes...

Pina Colada Cupcakes
  • 2 1/3 Cups Flour
  • 1 1/2 Cups Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Margarine
  • 3 1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon Rum Extract
  • 3 Tablespoons Applesauce
  • 1 Cup Crushed Pineapple in Juice
  • 1 teaspoon Coconut Milk
Heat oven to 350.

Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl with a hand held electric mixer for 5 minutes on a medium speed. You want it be smooth and fluffy. Turn your bowl at a slight angle to make your batter a little fluffier.

Put your paper liners in your cupcake pan and fill the cups 3/4 of the way and bake for around 10 - 15 minutes. Remove from the oven when you can stick a toothpick in the center and remove it cleanly.

Pina Colada/Coconut Frosting
  • 2 1/2 Cups Powder Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Margarine
  • 2 teaspoons Rum Extract (you can substitute with Coconut Extract if you want a strong coconut flavor)
  • 2 teaspoons Coconut Milk
  • 4 Cups Coconut (shredded)
Blend all the ingredients in a large bowl with a hand held electric mixer on a medium speed for 5 minutes using the beater attachments first and then when the margarine is soft - switch to the whisk attachments and blend for another 5 minutes. You want to stop when it gets fluffy.

If you want your frosting to be thicker add more Powdered Sugar - a tablespoon at a time or if you want it softer add more Coconut Milk a teaspoon at a time.
Put your Shredded Coconut in a bowl. Once you have have frosted your cupcakes - gently dip the frosted top into the bowl and very gently press down. You'll want to roll your cupcake top in the Coconut a little to make sure it gets a lot. You're pressing the Coconut into the frosting so make sure you don't press so hard the frosting comes off into the bowl.

And now you're ready to party like it's 1998.

* In case you were wondering what a Cupcake Sheriff looked like.
**Like any good activist, I feel that once you see an opportunity to make the world a better place - you have a responsibility to do something.


  1. I love marshmallows, but don't eat them because of the gelatin. I'd love to try the Sweet & Sara Vegan marshmallows, thus why I liked this page, say Thank You (for making Vegan marshmallows in general, actually, since they'd probably come in handy for camping!), and posting a picture.

    The photo linked is of our bunny, and 2 of her babies who have since found good homes. The big bunny, Molly, she had 5 babies, and they all ended up finding happy homes. :)

  2. I liked this post and am a follower! :D Thank you to Sweet & Sara for the deelishus savings of the Easter babies and for the incredible s'mores that are my addiction. I couldn't decide between a bunny and a chick so - voila! :)

  3. I love vegan marshamallows! And THANK YOUUUU Sweet & Sara for returning s'mores to my life!

  4. THANK YOU, Sweet & Sara for making me love the fact that I am a vegan more and more each day by making the most über delicious treats in the WORLD <3

    Now, please ‘ooooooooo’ and ‘ahhhhhhhh’ over this link below. Don’t say I didn’t warn ya!

  5. I recently ordered some Sweet and Sara marshmallows from Vegan Essentials and they were delicious! So I ordered some more. Thank you Sweet and Sara for helping my kids (and me) not have to give up one of our favorite treats.

    I have a family of wild rabbits that live in a bush in my backyard, but I don't have any pictures of them (too bad, since they're cute), so here's a link to someone else's pet bunnies.

  6. I know that little bunnies are typically thought of as the cute ones, but big bunnies need lovin' too!

    Thank you so much to Sweet and Sara. My sister in law (Sara, oddly enough!) is the only person I know in real life who likes Peeps. I'd love to give her some of these to try out! Thanks for being such an innovative and ingenious company :)

  7. Thank you Sweet & Sara!!!! Love your mallows!

  8. Love love LOVE Sweet& Sara marshmallows!!

    This bunny and baby duck are SO fluffy, the cuteness is almost unbearable :)

  9. I LOVE LOVE LOVE your blog!!! AND I've always wanted to try Sweet & Sara Marshmallows!! THANK YOU Sweet & Sara for what I'm sure to be the BEST PEEPS ever!!

  10. thank you thank you thank you sweet & sara for outshining peeps!

    here's a bunny eating pasta:


    Cheers, Sweet and Sara for peeps that will send you and your suger-coated bum spiraling around the sixty-three moons of Jupiter.