Hiya blog friends! Before I get into my latest création délicieuse, I wanted to point out a couple fun blog updates for you all.
1. If you missed my last post, you may not have heard the excitement. I joined Twitter! So if you’re interested in what I’m up to between posts or care to get sneak peaks into what my next baking adventure might be, you can now follow me there or keep tabs by checking out the widget along the right side of the blog.
2. You already know that everything I bake is full of whole foods and free of refined flours or sugars. But I thought I’d take the health factor a step further and label my recipes with specific dietary preferences – (V) = vegan; (GF) = gluten-free; (DF) = dairy-free. So check out my Recipes page if you haven’t been in a while. Perhaps an oldie but goodie will now catch your eye!
Ok, baking time!
My sister and I had BIG plans for our Christmas dinner desserts this year – an eclectic assortment of seasonal mini cupcakes. Flavors to please every palate. All bite-sized to allow for maximum taste bud enjoyment without maximum belly filling.
Well, all did not go according to plan…
We started with five cupcake ideas. Imagine the spread! The family would be blown away. But we then remembered all baking and frosting would have to be done on the same day we were cooking Christmas dinner itself – darn tight travel schedule! And five quickly narrowed to three. No worries – three still provided a great variety. So the ingredients were bought, the holiday arrived, the family opened presents and we got to work.
And two of the three recipes bombed! One did not rise at all and left us with flat cupcake “discs” as they not so affectionately became known. The other was a crumbly mess – though we were able to miraculously salvage it by transforming the cupcake scraps into a quite yummy bread – cupcake? – pudding. Chaos feeds creativity people.
And then there was one…
The sole recipe to survive – or dare I say, thrive! – was for Mini Chocolate Cupcakes + Chocolate Peppermint Frosting. I found this recipe for chocolate cupcakes and this one for chocolate frosting and basically followed them to a tee. Just added some vanilla extract to the cupcakes – because I believe no recipe is complete without vanilla – and some peppermint extract to the frosting – because otherwise we wouldn’t have Chocolate Peppermint going on, now would we?
Oh – and these were very fun for me to bake because they contained a new-to-me ingredient – COCONUT FLOUR! Using coconut flour is not only thrilling for me – it also means the cupcakes are gluten-free! Whoo!
Here’s the recipe:
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup agave nectar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup non-hydrogenated butter substitute (I use Earth Balance)
2 cups unrefined powdered sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
2 tablespoons unsweetened soy milk (or almond, rice, etc.)
1/4 cup cocoa powder
dash of salt
Preheat the oven to 375*F. Spray mini cupcake pan with cooking spray and set aside. In a large bowl, mix together coconut flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking soda. In a separate bowl, mix together eggs, oil, agave and vanilla extract until well-combined. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until blended. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for about 10 minutes.
While cupcakes are cooling, prepare frosting by blending together non-hydrogenated butter substitute, unrefined powdered sugar, vanilla extract, peppermint extract, soy milk, cocoa powder and salt with an electric mixer until smooth. Once cupcakes cool, spread frosting on top. Makes 16 mini cupcakes.
These cupcakes are SO cute and SO tasty! I think I have a new addition to the Sweet + Natural favorite recipes list. The frosting is an absolute dream. Fluffy but rich. Chocolately but refreshing. And I am very excited to have had such success with my first ever coconut flour baking attempt! That is one ingredient that will definitely be experimented with further in my kitchen. Yep yep.
Have you ever baked with coconut flour? Any tips for the newbie?