The month of December means two things: one, my retail (sorta) job is a holiday season quagmire that keeps me from posting as often as I’d like. And two, I start watching even more Doctor Who than usual. Why’s that? There’re several reasons that I associate Christmas with everyone’s favorite Time Lord. Firstly, the Doctor Who Christmas Special is an oasis for Whovians during the break between the show’s seasons. It’s a one hour gift from the BBC that shines brighter than any ornament on the nerd tree. In turn, this event times out pretty well with the DVD release of the most recent Doctor Who season. So I’m hip-deep in 6 discs of bow ties and English accents right about now. It’s almost enough science fiction whimsy and tearful endings to make me forget about all the time (ha!) sensitive custom frame orders waiting for me to finish back at Santa’s workshop.

If you ask any Dr Who fan who is their favorite incarnation of the Doctor, they’ll probably have an answer waiting for you in their pocket next to some jelly babies. Tho’ I’ve always had trouble answering that – it’s usually whichever one I’m watching at the time. But I can safely say that my personal holy trinity is Tom Baker, David Tennant, and Matt Smith (in no particular order.) And as I was preparing this post, I realized that both Baker & Smith have been known to sport leather patches on their jackets/coats. OK, so not the most popular fashion accessory on a vegan-themed blog – we’ll imagine that the patches are made of some Gallifreyan animal friendly product. Not a big deal, it’s just that you don’t often see elbow patches and here they are on two of my favorite Doctors. Yep. Oh, boy.
Uh, let’s try to save this post with some kick-ass cupcakes…

Amidst the hubbub of the holiday season, you may be scrambling for a new, attention-grabbing dessert for that next party. Well, we’re recommending Natalia KW’s Cupcake Heaven, available as a paperback or an ebook. We decided to start with her Cinnamon Swirl Cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. Natalia describes them as a “classic vanilla bean cupcake, swirled with sweet & spicy ribbons of cinnamon syrup, topped off with thick cashew cream cheese frosting.” Wow, kinda hard to resist taking a shot at that combination. Keep in mind, these are raw so they’re not your grandmother’s cupcakes – they reminded me of cheesecake.

Cinnamon Swirl Cupcakes
3 cups peeled and chopped apples
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3/4 cup raw honey or agave
1/2 cup raw coconut oil
seeds of 2 vanilla beans
2 teaspoons organic vanilla extract
pinch of salt
2 cups raw coconut flour
1/3 cup agave nectar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
pinch of Himalayan salt
Cream Cheese Frosting
2½ cups raw cashews, soaked for 2
hours, drained/rinsed
½ cup raw honey or agave
6 tablespoons lemon juice
¼ cup pure water
seeds of one vanilla bean
1/8 teaspoon Himalayan salt
1/3 cup raw coconut oil

The Cupcakes –  Place the chopped apples in your food processor fit with the S-blade and process until smooth. Immediately add the lemon juice and process to prevent browning. Add the honey or agave, coconut oil, vanilla bean, vanilla extract & salt and process again until well combined. Finally, add the coconut flour and process until completely combined. In a small bowl, whisk together the agave nectar, cinnamon and salt until smooth. To assemble the cupcakes, fill your liner 1/3 of the way with the cake mixture and press to form. For mini cupcakes, drizzle ¼ teaspoon of the cinnamon syrup over the top of the cupcake. For regular sized cupcakes, drizzle ½ teaspoon of cinnamon syrup. Top with more cake until the liner is now 2/3 of the way full. Drizzle another ¼ (or 1/2) teaspoon of cinnamon syrup onto the cupcake. Finally top the cupcakes with more of the cake mixture until the liners are completely full. Freeze for 2 hours to firm. Once solid, pop the cupcakes out of the liners and they’re ready to be frosted.

The Frosting – place the cashews, honey or agave, lemon, water, vanilla and salt in a high-speed blender. Blend until very smooth. Add the coconut oil and blend again until just combined. Refrigerate the frosting for 2-4 hours to firm. Once the it has thickened, frost the cupcakes.

Here’s a tip to make this and all your cupcake endeavors a little easier. We invested in a set of silicone cupcake “wrappers” – found ‘em at Bed Bath Beyond. They’re red and rubbery and make getting the cupcakes out of the baking tin much easier. And they look cool.

We want to hear how your vegan plans for the holidays are working out. And if you haven’t started yet, you can leave us an answer to the age-old query, Who’s your favorite Doctor? Better yet, tell us why.