These cupcakes are vegan, oil-free, and sugar-free; they are made with a combination of whole spelt flour, fresh ground almond meal, and dessicated unsweetened coconut that has been ground into a coarse meal. They’re spiked with fresh lemon juice and zest and filled and topped with a dairy-free, egg-free, sugar-free Lemon Coconut Curd that gets its pastel yellow color from a pinch of turmeric.
Lemon Coconut Curd and Cupcakes [Vegan]
For the Cupcakes:
- 1 cup whole spelt flour
- 1/2 cup blanched almonds, ground into almond meal
- 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut + more for sprinkling
- 3/4 teaspoon pure bourbon vanilla powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 1/2 lemons, juiced
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 6 tablespoons brown rice syrup
- 1/3 cup all natural apple sauce
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- Cupcake liners or coconut oil for lining/greasing the tins
For the Lemon Coconut Curd:(Best if prepared a day ahead. You may have some leftover, depending on how generously you fill and top the cupcakes)
- 2 cup plain rice milk
- 2 tablespoons brown rice syrup, light (the dark malt will affect the color)
- 2 tablespoons coconut butter (not oil)
- 1 1/2 lemons, juiced
- Zest of 1/2 lemon
- Pinch of turmeric for color
- 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 2 tablespoons kudzu, diluted in a bit of cold water
- 1/2 teaspoon agar agar powder, diluted and boiled separately in a small amount of water
To Make the Cupcakes:
- Preheat oven to 350°F and line or grease muffin/cupcake tins.
- Sift spelt flour into a large bowl. Process almonds and shredded coconut and add it to the flour. Add baking soda, baking powder, vanilla and salt.
- In a separate bowl, combine lemon juice, lemon zest, apple sauce, and brown rice syrup.
- Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Fold gently with a spatula until well combined and you have a homogeneous mixture.
- Fold in apple cider vinegar and work quickly to pour the batter into the prepared tins.
- Bake on the center rack in a preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, checking on them after 20 minutes by inserting a toothpick into the center. If it comes out clean and dry, they are ready. Otherwise return to the oven for an additional 3-5 minutes, they should brown to a nice golden color because of the almond meal. Watch them carefully so they don’t burn and remember that oven times and temperatures vary.
- Remove from the oven and let them cool to the touch, then remove them from the tins and let them cool completely.
- Once cooled, use an apple corer to remove the center, being careful not to puncture a whole in the bottom of the cupcakes.
- Fill the center, and top with Lemon Coconut Curd and a sprinkle of shredded coconut.
- Keep refrigerated in an air tight container and serve within 3 days.
To Make the Lemon Curd:
- Add rice milk, brown rice syrup and coconut butter to a small pot over medium heat, whisking until the coconut butter is fully dissolved. Whisk in lemon juice, lemon zest, turmeric and coconut.
- Dissolve kudzu in a small amount of cold water and add it to the milk, whisking and letting it come to a gentle boil for about 2 minutes, it will start to thicken at this point. Remove from heat and set aside, it will continue to thicken as it cools.
- Meanwhile, dissolve the agar agar powder in a small amount of water over medium heat. Bring it to a boil and whisk until all of the agar is dissolved and you have a clear liquid, about 3 minutes.
- Pour agar liquid over warm rice milk cream and mix well to combine thoroughly. NOTE **If the rice milk cream has cooled too much, bring it back to heat before adding the agar, otherwise the agar agar will start setting on contact and create clumps.
- Process the mixture for 30 seconds to a minute using an immersion blender or a stand up blender.
- Pour into a glass container with a cover and place in the fridge to let cool for about 2 hours.
- Once cooled, give it a good stir. If it’s clumpy, blend it once again. At this point you can fill and top the cupcakes with the Lemon Coconut Curd immediately, or you can let it rest over night to firm up a bit which I highly recommend.