It's always a great day to make cupcakes. And, I have to admit Martha Stewart inspired these today. Well, plus all the coconut I have stored away in my kitchen...when it comes to coconut I have all it's forms laying around. Coconut milk, shredded coconut, organic extra virgin coconut oil, coconut flour and the only thing I'm missing is a coconut tree in the backyard. That would be nice if I had a coconut tree in the backyard, wouldn't it? I bet it would be pretty and sustainable, too. Maybe I was born on the wrong continent?!? Hm. Or maybe I should consider moving...
Well, for now I enjoy coconut like most of us who don't have coconuts growing in the backyard. I fell in love with coconut once I discovered my food sensitivities. Which means I love it because it's creamy, gluten-free and vegan. A great substitute for dairy and contains lots of healthy fats to boost your metabolism, keep your hormones running well, and making you happy and healthy. I love it's taste texture and everything about it. I think if I was a food I would be a coconut. Maybe that's taking it too far though...hehe.
I made these sweet cupcakes as a healthy gluten and dairy-free alternative to a sugar-filled traditional cupcake. It is sweetened with dates and coconut palm sugar. I used buckwheat flour as the main base and went without eggs as well. They are super moist and fluffy and hard to tell they are vegan and gluten-free. I only used 1/2 cup of coconut palm sugar, but if you really want a sweeter cupcake I would use closer to 1 cup. I used less because I love the taste of dates and I wanted to save some sugar for later...But the whipped frosting with either raw honey or maple syrup is really what gets your first attention. It is rich and creamy and you will be licking your lips for hours. Lots of loving in these sweet babies. Enjoy!
Coconut Cream Cupcake Recipe (gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan-option, and nut-free)
2 cups of freshly ground buckwheat flour
2 ts. of baking powder
1/2 ts. of sea salt
1 1/2 TB of ground chia seed meal
2/3 cup of unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup of coconut palm sugar (or sucanat)
2 ts. of pure organic vanilla extract (or use half coconut flavor extract)
2/3 cup of warmed liquid coconut oil
2/3 cup of packed chopped dates
2/3 cup of boiling water
1 cup of coconut milk beverage (I like So Delicious best) (other non-dairy milks work too)
1 freshly squeezed lemon (2 TB of juice)
First, chop your dates and let them soak in some boiling water for 10-15 minutes. When cooled a bit, then blend them in magic bullet or blender until a thick pudding like substance. Then while dates are soaking- in a separate small bowl make the buttermilk mixture by pouring the coconut milk together with the lemon juice and also let this sit for 10 minutes to culture before pouring into the batter.
Grind fresh buckwheat groats in a magic bullet or high powered blender to make your own fresh buckwheat flour- which is the best! Use about 1 1/2 cups of groats to make about 2 cups of flour. Then after grinding flour mix in the rest of the dry ingredients and then pour in the date mixture, buttermilk mixture and the rest of the wet ingredients. Mix well all together and let sit for a few minutes to soak in the moisture. Then use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to pour the batter into cupcake tin. This recipe makes 12 cupcakes. Use a greased muffin tin or cupcake paper cups for best results. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25 minutes. Let cool 10-15 minutes before moving, and then continue to let cool for 1-2 more hours before frosting.
Some Cupcake Notes:
- I made these cupcakes to not too overly sweet and wanted the sweetness of the dates to really stand out. So I only added 1/2 cup of coconut palm sugar, but you can easily just add 1/2 cup more if you are looking for a much sweeter cupcake. I liked how my cupcakes turned out because I am not used to eating very sweet cakes, but I could understand if you are looking for a richer treat that you may want to add a little more sugar.
-If you are not as big a fan of fresh ground buckwheat flour as I or are looking for an easier option you can use Bob's Red Mill GF flour mix. This flour is a bit strong flavored if you ask me because of the garbanzo bean flour in it- but it still works good for texture. You can easily use just 1 cup of each if you are looking for a nice blend as well.
-You can use sweetened coconut flakes if you want. I just choose to use unsweetened to avoid added sugar.
Coconut Cream Frosting Recipe
4 TB of room temperature organic coconut oil
3 TB of raw local honey (or agave, or maple syrup work here too)
3 TB of unsweetened shredded coconut
1 ts. of pure vanilla extract
Whisk all together in a small bowl with a rubber spatula. Whisk till smooth and then top the cooled cupcakes. Top with some more shredded coconut for an added touch and more coconut. I wanted to use raw local honey in this recipe, but you can easily use agave or maple syrup too. They all have a distinct flavor, so just be aware of how that will affect the frosting. If you are a strict vegan- stay away from honey. I personally have been in love with raw honey lately and loved it on top of this cupcake!
Much love and hope for you today!
May you find healing in happy treats such as these!