So now it appears I’m on a coconut kick! Once I toasted the flakes for the carrot soup, I decided to try a sweet creation…and with Easter just around the corner…
I was inspired by a vanilla cupcake recipe in the book, “Cooking with Coconut Flour,” by Bruce Fife. I’m always playing with alternative flours and recently discovered an organic coconut flour from Tropical Traditions. Ever heard of it? It’s a gluten free option that is high in fiber and protein. And according to the book, it has many more health benefits. It is said to regulate blood sugar, protect against diabetes, improve digestion, and aid in weight loss. “CwCF” contains recipes for primarily baked goods – from quick breads and cookies, to muffins and pie crusts. It even offers ideas for savory dishes substituting this nutritious flour for all purpose flour, in foods like tamale pie and veggie meat loaf.
Because coconut flour does not contain gluten, eggs are used to a larger degree than in most cake mixes. Gluten is a protein which has an elastic character and traps air bubbles. Without it, baked goods become more dense – as seen in this photo. I had several friends try a batch, and most of them favored the rich quality this recipe contained. But then I got to wondering – what differentiates a cupcake from a muffin other than the frosting? Turns out there is quite a conversation about it on other sites.
Wanting to put the full coconut flavor to my cupcake mix, I used coconut oil instead of butter and added coconut flakes to the batter. Then I made a creamy frosting from cashews, and topped the muffins cupcakes with toasted coconut. I also think this would make a wonderful cake, so if you feel the urge, pull out your bundt pan and double the recipe.
Coconut Cupcakes – Makes 8
Coconut flour cannot be substituted 1 for 1 in normal recipes. Eggs are the binding source here, which might also explain the density. For the frosting, you could also make one with coconut milk and powdered sugar for another shot of coconut. Either way, these cupcakes are moist and delicious.
6 TB organic coconut oil, melted
6 pastured eggs
1/2 C agave nectar
1/3 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 C sifted coconut flour (I just use a strainer)
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 TB unsweetened coconut flakes
Blend together oil, eggs, agave, salt and vanilla. Combine coconut flour and flakes with baking powder and whisk into batter until there are no lumps (but be careful not to overmix.) Pour batter into greased muffin cups and bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes. Cool before frosting.
Cashew Frosting – Makes 1.5 cups
This is a favorite recipe from Cafe Gratitude called “I Am Smooth.” If there’s any extra, add it to your green smoothie🙂
1.5 cups soaked cashews (soak in cold water overnight)
1 TB, plus 2 tsp. lemon juice
3 TB, plus 1 tsp. agave nectar
1/2 C water
2 TB unsweetened coconut flakes, toasted
Rinse soaked cashews and add them with all ingredients to blender. Begin to pulse slowly, then turn up speed. You may have to scrape the bottom to keep it from clumping. Add more water if needed. Frost cupcakes and top with coconut flakes.