Today is a special day here at Vanilla & Spice - the one-year anniversary of my blog!
It's hard to believe that a whole year has already gone by since I published my very first post, and at the same time I can't believe how much this blog has grown over the past year! What started as a hobby has truly grown into a passion for me, and I've loved every step - including interacting with other bloggers through various social networks, doing my first guest post, and participating in my first virtual potluck!
I also owe a huge thank you to everyone who has visited my blog, read my posts, left me a comment, followed me on Twitter or Facebook, or tried any of my recipes. I've loved getting to know you all, and it honestly makes me so happy when I hear from someone who tells me that they like my blog or enjoyed one of my recipes, and I appreciate every comment, pin, tweet, and share!
To celebrate my first blogiversary, I thought it would be fitting to make a single cupcake. Not just any cupcake of course, but a healthier and seasonal vegan cupcake! Before I get to the recipe though, I wanted to share some of my reflections from my first year of blogging...
I think one of the best parts about starting this blog has been the ways in which it has challenged me to improve my cooking, expand my horizons and try new things. A year ago, I had never tried ingredients like millet, spelt flour and cacao nibs, and now they've become part of my pantry essentials! I've also ventured into cuisines of various countries and made my own versions of Indian, Thai, Indonesian and Vietnamese dishes.
In the past year, I've followed along with some of the popular blog trends and tried my hand at overnight oats, kale chips, roasted grapes, and single-ingredient banana ice cream. But I've also experimented with some of my own creations (although some have been more successful than others!).
Some of my baking and cooking experiments that I'm most proud of from the past year include my mini raw beet cheesecake, my first sweet potato pie, a raw zucchini lasagna that was inspired by a restaurant dish, my cauliflower-stuffed artichoke (the first time I've cooked a whole artichoke!), and my birthday cake this year, which was a pina colada cake that I veganized.
Of course, I've had a lot of failures in the kitchen which haven't made it onto my blog. These include a strawberry mousse that I attempted to make with tofu (which sadly tasted exactly like tofu no matter how much I tweaked it), some beet cupcakes with a cashew frosting that were barely edible, and gluten-free coconut flour scones that crumbled to pieces. So it's safe to say that I still have plenty of room for improvement in the next year!
Now, back to the cupcake, since the food is what this blog is really about after all!
When I was deciding what to make for this occasion, I went to a reliable source for vegan single-serving dessert recipes, Chocolate Covered Katie, and used her Single-Lady Strawberries-n-Cream Cupcake as the basis for my own creation.
Instead of making a strawberry cupcake, I used blueberries because they're currently in season. I used spelt flour and only a 1/2 tablespoon of sugar in the cupcake itself. Then I added a lemon glaze to the top for extra sweetness, which I made by mixing icing sugar with fresh lemon juice and a bit of lemon zest. Finally, I topped it off with a handful of sprinkles for more of a birthday theme!
I had to bake mine a bit longer than the recipe stated, but it turned out amazing! The cake was soft and moist and I loved the burst of berries. The glaze also added a nice sweetness and lemony flavour that paired well with the blueberries. It was the perfect single serving treat to celebrate my blog's first anniversary!
Thanks again for following along with me, and here's to another great year :)