You never think this day will really come. But it does.
You spend 18 years preparing for it, and you know it's the right thing. You know you've done a good job because he is so confident. But it still hurts.
My baby went to college last weekend, and he didn't look back. He gave me a quick hug after we put his room together and tossed a "Thanks mom!" my direction. "I'll text."
And that was it.
My heart split as I stoically turned, threw him a kiss and told him "Make good choices... I love you!".
He picked up his phone and answered a text as he smiled and returned an "I love you too."
Neither of us are good at goodbyes.
I made it half way down the hall before the tears started. My husband comforted me on the elevator ride down and into the car. Then he cried too.
We started the car and slowly made our way through the incredibly beautiful UCSB Campus, and I know he'll be happy. He's so ready for new challenges, new people and new found independence.
But I'm not.
Today I'm alone in the house for the first time in years. I needed to bake. But with Liv out for the entire day, my son at college and my husband on a trip, today I baked for me.
I love to bake, but part of the love of baking is doing it for others.
These cupcakes remind me of the luscious Coconut Cupcakes we had in Santa Barbara at Crushcakes during the college orientation visits and again after dropping him off.
It's not quite like sharing them with him. But almost.
Coconut Cupcakes - Vegan and Dairyfree
With lactose intolerance an issue for my family I'm always on the prowl for dairy-free recipes and coconut milk makes it easy. These cupcakes are slightly denser than the airy version we had at Crushcakes, but they are comforting in every way. Bringing a bright coconut flavor to the tender crumb, they ease a difficult day.
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 cup coconut milk (I used Trader Joe's light version)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
generous pinch salt
1 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut
Coconut Buttercream Frosting
1/3 cup stick butter alternative, room temperature (I use Earth Balance)
1/4 cup coconut milk (I used Trader Joe's light)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 -3 cups powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350ºF.
In a medium sized bowl whisk the coconut oil with the sugar. Whisk until well combined. Add the coconut milk and vanilla extract, whisking again until combined. Set aside.
In a small bowl add the vanilla, baking powder, baking soda, salt and 1 cup of shredded coconut. Whisk.
Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and stir just until combined.
Line a cupcake pan with paper liners (we got 10 cupcakes out of this batch). Pour about 1/3 cup into each cupcake liner.
Place cupcakes into the oven and bake about 18 minutes, or until the top of the cupcake springs back when touched and thoothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and remove cupcakes to a wire rack to cool.
Beat stick butter alternative with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add the coconut milk and vanilla extract and beat again to combine. Add 2 cups of powdered sugar and continue beating for about a minute. Add more powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time until desired consistency is reached. Beat for a good few minutes to attain a nice, fluffy frosting.
With a spoon or a cake decorating tip of your choice spoon or pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes. Top with shredded coconut.