It’s no secret that the vegan culture is thriving in Berkeley. There are countless vegan restaurants in the area, all of the dining halls have vegan options and there’s even a vegan cinnamon roll shop near campus (which is like, AMAZING). It’s even a pretty typical reaction from someone who hears that you’re a Berkeley student:

“You go to Berkeley? You must be like, really smart.”

“You go to Berkeley? Do you even go to class, or are you just protesting all the time?”

“You go to Berkeley? So, does that mean you’re like, a weird vegan hippie now?”

We’ve all heard it. It kind of goes without saying that the vegan food culture comes with a certain stigma. The food tastes bland, there are little to no options, vegans are trying to convert you to a lifestyle that’s much less fun … the list goes on. Well, listen up everyone because there’s a new (and young) vegan chef who’s changing minds left and right about the vegan world! She’s been taking the food industry by storm and making the vegan lifestyle look chicer than ever. She’s gorgeous, she’s sweet and best of all, she’s a recent Berkeley alum. Meet Chloe Coscarelli.

Back while she was studying at the great University of California, cooking was just a passion of hers. She worked at Herbivore, a local and popular vegan restaurant, and made vegan food for her friends and roommates. After Berkeley, she ventured off to culinary school, where she graduated from the Natural Gourmet Institute and completed the Plant-Based Nutrition Program at Cornell University.

However, Chloe really got some attention when she beat out three other pastry chefs on The Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars”. Not only did she win with some astounding vegan cupcakes, but she was the only vegan chef competing. Ever since then, Chef Chloe has been on the road to success. She recently released her first cookbook (and completed a mini book tour therewith),  appeared in segments of KTLA and The Today Show and is now working on her second book.

Stay tuned, because the Clog has scored an interview with the vegan chef, and we’re really excited. In the meantime, try out one of Chloe’s award-winning vegan cupcake recipes:

Raspberry Tiramisu Cupcakes


Vanilla Cupcakes

1 ½ cup all-purpose flour

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

¾ cup soy, almond, or rice milk

½ cup canola oil

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2 tablespoons white or apple cider vinegar

Espresso Soak

1/3 cup amaretto

1 tablespoon instant espresso powder

Raspberry Sauce

1 cup raspberries (fresh or frozen)

½ cup agave or sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

dash of salt


2 tablespoons instant espresso powder

2 tablespoons amaretto liquor

2 tablespoons water

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening

3 cups powdered sugar

Garnish (optional)

12 fresh raspberries

12 small mint leaves

½ cup ground bittersweet chocolate or raw cacao nibs


To make the Vanilla Cupcakes:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 1 (12-cup) cupcake pan with 12 cupcake liners.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together nondairy milk, oil, vinegar and vanilla. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and whisk until just combined. Do not over mix.

Fill the cupcake liners about two-thirds full with batter. Bake for 16 to 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean with a few crumbs clinging to it. Cool the cupcakes completely before frosting.

To make the Espresso Soak:

In a small bowl, whisk amaretto and espresso powder until espresso dissolves. Set aside.

To make the Raspberry Sauce: In small saucepan, cook raspberries and agave over medium heat until raspberries wilt down. Let simmer on low for 5 minutes until the mixture becomes a pourable consistency. Remove from heat and mix in vanilla, lemon juice, cinnamon and salt. Taste and adjust sweetness by adding more agave if necessary. Let cool in refrigerator.

To make the Frosting:

Combine espresso powder, amaretto, water and vanilla in small bowl and mix or swirl bowl until espresso powder has dissolved (about 1 minute). Using a handheld or stand mixer, beat the shortening until smooth. With the mixer running on low, add powdered sugar and beat to incorporate. Add 1 tablespoon of espresso liquid at a time, as needed, until it reaches desired frosting consistency and tiramisu flavor. Beat on high for 2 more minutes until light and fluffy.

To assemble the cupcakes: Using a spoon, cut out a small hole from the top of each cupcake (scoop out about 1 tablespoon of cake) and discard. In the hole of the cupcake, layer approximately 1 teaspoon of the Espresso Soak, 1 tablespoon of the Raspberry Sauce, two teaspoons ground chocolate, and piped frosting on top. Garnish with a raspberry and mint leaf. Enjoy!

Image Source (top): enricarchivell under Creative Commons

Image Source (bottom) and recipe: chefchloe

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