03 April 2012

{food} Coconut Lime Cupcakes {Vegan}

It's difficult to do food photography when your four year old {thinking it would be fun to stick the CF card in upside down and see if the door would close} bends a couple pins inside your SLR camera, making it unusable. It's even harder when you lose all the photos you took with your "point and shoot" back-up camera and don't realize it until your last cupcake is already half eaten.

Thus -- the lower-quality photos of half a cupcake.
Making these little buggers wasn't much easier than taking their photographs. This was my third attempt. And the third time was closer to the charm. I'm thinking the fourth try will be even better.

But lest my melancholy dare discourage you -- don't let it. The potential here is incredible. The lime mixed with coconut will have you seeing palm trees in seconds and if you slather them with coconut whipped topping {see below}, you'll hear singing. And ukeleles strumming. The flavor is extremely delicious.

The texture can be a bit heavier than you might expect in a cupcake, but that is all resolved with just the right egg replacing ingredients {the tricky part}.
Use your brain with this recipe. Take a look at the original, see what I've changed and substituted, and make your own version to meet your dietary needs. It wouldn't be too hard to make this recipe gluten free either. ;)

Give them a try. They're delicious!

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Coconut Lime Cupcakes {makes 12}
got the idea from Two Peas and Their Pod

1/2 cup honey {or a tiny bit less}
1/2 cup sugar
zest 1 lime
1/3-1/2 cup coconut oil {LouAnns} {1/3 cup seemed like too little, 1/2 cup seemed like too much. can we have a middle measurement?}
2 eggs OR 2 Tbsp flax meal OR 1 tsp baking soda combined with 1 tbsp vinegar {this is the crazy part} 
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
juice of one lime {more if you like}
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup coconut milk mixed with 1/2 tsp lemon juice {buttermilk substitute}
1/2 cup shredded coconut

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly spray muffin tins or use paper liners.

Mix together the honey/sugar and zest, then mix in the the coconut oil and cream it all together. Using a mixer {cream on high for a few minutes} at this point might help to aerate and provide fluffier cupcakes. I'll do that next time {try #4}.

Add eggs or egg replacer {if using soda/vinegar, froth it a bit to add air} to the sugar mixture...add lime juice and vanilla.

Mix dry ingredients together and milk/lemon juice and then add alternately to the wet ingredients. Stir in coconut, carefully. Don't stir too much -- my first attempt had a volcano-like appearance.

Fill each muffin tin to the top with batter. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the tops are golden and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Then cool completely on a wire rack.

Now, here comes the really fun part.
Ever tried COCONUT WHIPPED TOPPING?
Made from a can of coconut milk?? Seriously.
Like this one. And it's really easy. True story.

Whipped Coconut Cream
inspired by Healthy Happy Life

1 can chilled coconut milk
vanilla to taste
2 tbsp sugar {optional, kinda}

So. You put the can, unopened, into the fridge and wait awhile. You're going to open the can and find the contents have separated into a more watery substance {which you can pour off and save for another recipe} and a creamy substance {that's what we're looking for}. Some brands have more cream than others. Golden Star is a favorite of mine.

Scoop out the white creamy goodness into a glass bowl and mix it with your beaters, just like you would mix heavy whipping cream. The only difference is that you're not going to make it thicker by mixing it longer.....so don't worry. It'll thicken when it's in the fridge. Just mix it up till it's a nice consistency, add your vanilla and sugar and chill. Use like whipped topping on EVERYTHING. =)

Do you avoid dairy? Eggs? Wheat? Do you still find a way to bake the desserts you love?