Have Your Cake and Drink it Too

Pina Colada

This Thursday, May 6th, I’m making my second appearance on WTTW’s Chicago Tonight along side Dana Joy Altman of Real Food Rehab and Angie Montroy of Angie’s Pantry. If you watched our last appearance you may remember the Great Macaron Misunderstanding. Well rest assured that we will be clearing up the difference between a French macaron and a coconut macaroon on Thursday’s show.

We’ll also be discussing Angie’s ideas for spring/summer grilling, Dana’s 21 day cleanse and my affinity for turning my favorite summertime beverages into baked goods. You can ask us questions during a live chat right after the segment. Log in Thursday at 8pm CST to join in.

In preparation for the segment, I thought I’d reflect on some of the “drinkable” desserts I’ve made over the years and highlight a few new ideas I’m kicking around.

Tenorikuma Cupcakes

Coffee. It might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you’re thinking of refreshing summertime beverages – but it’s the first thing that comes to my mind… ever. In the morning, in the afternoon – on week days and week ends, hot weather or cold. I love coffee. I’ve added coffee to my recipes in a variety of ways – and how tasty would a nice warm cappuccino cupcake with a big scoop of espresso ice cream be to enjoy in the five seconds it’s warm out in Chicago? Here are some of the ways I’ve baked with coffee so far:

Espresso buttercream – still my go-to for any grown-up party. Makes a chocolate cake a little more sophisticated, tastes amazing sandwiched between cinnamon cookies. I have also eaten it with a spoon, I won’t lie.

Tenorikuma Cupcakes – inspired by a little kawaii character who loves lattes. Also included, two different downloadable cupcake toppers.

Coffee & donuts cupcakes – I made these with Starbucks Via instant coffee, which some will argue is only good for baking. Me? I like to eat it like Pixy Stix.

The Caffinated German Cupcakes – these were for my mother-in-law who loves coffee and German chocolate cake almost as much as she loves Teno.

Black No. 1 Brownies – most recently, coffee helped me pay tribute to Peter Steele of Type O Negative

Vegan Berry Chai Muffins

Chai. I was a junior in high school and the only thing there was to do for fun was to go to Barnes and Noble and hang out in their makeshift Starbucks. It was there where my best friend at the time suggested I order something called “chai,” insisting that it tasted just like pumpkin pie. I’ve always liked to drink my dessert and eat my drinks as dessert so it sounded pretty good to me. Again, not typically a spring/summer beverage unless you’ve ever had an iced chai made with vanilla rice milk in which case you are already sighing at the refreshing imaginary flavor in your mouth. Here are some ways I’ve baked under the influence of chai:

Vegan Berry Chai Muffins – inspired by a drink I had on an unseasonably warm winter day these muffins will hit the spicy spot no matter the weather.

Vegan Chai Latte Cupcakes Рone of the first things I made from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World this is still one of my go-to recipes.

Bike Messenger Brownies – named in honor of all the bike messengers I served “dirty chai” to back when I worked at Earwax Cafe.

Thai Sweet Coconut Cupcakes – dreamed up for my chai-loving little sister.

Now if you want to really talk about summer sippers I’m your girl. I would happily drink all my daily calories once my Chicago Bears thermometer reads 70 degrees or higher. Ice tea, lemonade, horchata… you name it. If you can put it over ice I’m drinking it and I’m making it into a baked good.

Vegan Iced Tea Cupcakes

Lemon Angel Cupcakes – these are cheaters made with angel food cake mix. Don’t tell anyone.

Vegan Iced Tea Cupcakes with Lemon Frosting – inspired by the creepy powdered iced tea my mother-in-law is completely addicted to.

Matcha Green Team Cupcakes – these are in the “fail” category, so attempt at your own risk.

Lychee Bubble Tea Cupcakes – for a hot minute a local bubble tea house was serving Bake and Destroy cupcakes weekly, this flavor was for them.

Mountain Dew Cupcakes – this has to be one of my most-requested recipes, which is pathetic both because it’s made from cake mix and because its made with Mountain Dew, which is disgusting.

Horchata Cupcakes – definitely not a home run, but I was on the right track here. I’m thinking an horchata donut is in order for this summer.

Pina Colada Cupcakes – honestly, I only know what pina coladas taste like from Jelly Bellys (I don’t drink) but these were a special request from a fire fighter so how could I say no?

Rum & Gold Cupcakes – another request from that same fire fighter, and named after a line from one of my favorite Three Inches of Blood songs.

This summer I’m dreaming up lots of ice cream flavors (Thai iced coffee, espresso caramel and peanut butter…) and lots of donuts (seriously, those horchata donuts are calling my name!) Obviously you know where to find those recipes just as soon as I write them.

Finally, I did end up making French macarons along with my fellow BrutalSnacker Lisa after that Chicago Tonight episode. You can watch the hijinx here. I hope everyone who can tune in on Thursday does – I’ll post the video as soon as it’s available on Friday!