Today’s our stop on The Cupcake Diaries blog tour! I’m excited to welcome Darlene Panzera who shares a super yummy cupcake recipe and guess what? It’s vegan and gluten free so anyone can enjoy them! I really enjoyed the series and reviewed all three novellas here. I do have to warn you-have some cupcakes on hand because you’ll be craving them afterwards!
Thank you for having me here today! I am very excited to share with you my new series: THE CUPCAKE DIARIES: Sweet on You, Recipe for Love, and Taste of Romance. I write sweet, fun-loving romance and in these 3 short, light-hearted novellas Andi, her sister, Kim, and their friend Rachel follow their dream to open a cupcake shop and find true love!
In the first novella, Sweet on You, a fanatical Zumba Dancer tries to shut down Creative Cupcakes saying they are unhealthy. “Drop the cupcakes, drop the sugar in your diet!” This was a lot of fun because my very good friend and writing critique partner, Wanda DeGolier, is a real life Zumba instructor (www.creativezumba.com) who gave me helpful hints on the dance choreography as well as how to describe the outfits. And unlike the Zumba instructor in the book—Wanda says she loves cupcakes! She’s included her original recipe below. These are healthy and deliciously moist!
Wanda’s Easy Black Bean Brownie Cupcakes
(Vegan and gluten free, but ignore that part or you won’t even try them.)
• 1 ¾ cup of black beans (that’s about 1 can, but I make them fresh)
• 1 banana
• 3 Tablespoons coconut oil (or butter) melted
• ¾ cup of cocoa powder
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• 1 ¼ cup of dry sweetener (your choice, sugar, Splenda, Xylitol)
• ½ cup of flour (you can use rice flour if you want gluten free)
• 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
• Optional: walnuts
Preheat oven to 350
Mush all the above ingredients together except the walnuts. I use an immersion blender. (Not sure if a mixer would do it, but a regular blender would.)
You can add the walnuts now if you want them throughout the mix, or you can sprinkle them on top before baking.
Scoop mixture into cupcake wrappers in a cupcake pan (or pour into a 8″ x 8″ brownie pan). The bigger the pan, the less cooking time. You can oil and flour the pan to prevent sticking, but I’ve never had them stick. Bake for about 25 minutes. (Longer for chewier brownies/cupcakes, less for gooier ones).
That’s it! Let them cool a bit and enjoy!
Sweet On You (Cupcake Diaries #1)
Andi Burke has a dream—a kitchen big enough to dance in, regular income to support her daughter, and a chance to find true love. So when she enlists her sister Kim and their bubbly best friend Rachel to help open Creative Cupcakes, it all seems perfect.
Especially when hunky local reporter Jake Hartman offers to finance the store for them. Andi hasn’t dated since her divorce, but the way Jake keeps looking at her might make her change her mind. After all, what could go wrong?
Plenty! There’s a shady tattoo parlor behind their shop, a crowd of crazy Zumba dancers out front (chanting “Lose the fat, dance with Pat!”), and about the only thing going right is Andi’s romance . . . until Jake’s media crew captures a story that could shut the two of them down forever.
Recipe for Love (Cupcake Diaries #2)
For fans of Debbie Macomber comes Recipe for Love, the second installment in the Cupcake Diaries series Relationships can be tricky, but will Mike the magician convince Rachel to break her two-date rule? Rachel Donovan believes first dates are fabulous, second dates are fun, but third dates? She never sees a guy three times in a row for fear he’ll break her heart, but she’s tempted to make an exception when her coworkers, Andi and Kim, hire Mike Palmer to drive their Cupcake Mobile. Mike meets Rachel when he’s wearing his black-masked magician costume at a Creative Cupcakes birthday party and then tries to saw her in half. He draws closer while helping Rachel devise promotion plans to outsmart the arrogant new French pastry chef threatening to put the shop out of business. When a rat runs through the middle of her glitzy promo party and the video is uploaded to YouTube, Rachel fears she won’t be able to save the shop, help her mother pay for her grandfather’s medical treatment, or win back the heart of the one guy she’s come to love . . . or will she?
Taste of Romance (Cupcake Diaries #3)
For fans of Debbie Macomber comes Taste of Romance, the third installment in the Cupcake Diaries series. Kimberly Burke has avoided all types of risk since her mother’s deadly plane crash—including risky relationships. Seems like everyone is always leaving her behind: her ex-boyfriend, her mother, and now her sister Andi and best friend Rachel—who have each found the man of her dreams. Then she meets Nathaniel when she mistakes his backyard for the new community park. He loves her passion, and when he learns of her wistful desire to travel, he takes her up in a hot air balloon, hoping to overcome her fear of flying so that she can accompany him abroad. But before he leaves, they must catch the Cupcake Bandit and replace the money stolen from Creative Cupcakes before the shop is shut down. Will discovering the thief’s identity persuade Kim to take a risk on love … or will she stay behind and let Nathaniel fly off without her?
Purchase Links: Avon Romance | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Darlene Panzera is the winner of the “Make Your Dreams Come True” contest sponsored by Avon Books. The win led her novella, The Bet, to be published with Debbie Macomber’s Family Affair. The award-winning novella (chosen in a blind-read by Debbie Macomber) was then published as a full length novel retitled, Bet You’ll Marry Me. Born and raised in New Jersey, Darlene is now a resident of the Pacific Northwest where she lives with her husband and three children. When not writing she enjoys spending time with her family, two horses, and loves: camping, hiking, photography, and lazy days at the lake.