As usual, I wanted to make a delicious cake for my birthday… so, what’s new? The only problem is that a layered 20 cm (8 inch) cake is far too much cake, even for two greedy people like us. I ended up making cupcakes instead.
The last few years, I’ve become a fan of everything coconut. Thus I decided to make coconut cupcakes. The recipe was adapted from my moist chocolate cake and was crowned with my soy-free, vegan whipped cream. The cupcakes are vegan-friendly, incredibly moist, tender, light and coconutty with a creamy coconut topping. They are simply to live for!
VEGAN COCONUT CUPCAKES
Makes 6 cupcakes
For the topping
- 3 tablespoons almond milk
- 1 teaspoon powdered agar agar*
- 2 ½ teaspoons tapioca starch*
- 2 tablespoons agave nectar
- 1 small pinch salt
- 180 ml (¾ c) coconut milk
For the cupcakes
- 75 g (½ c) plain (all-purpose) flour
- 50 g (¼ c) raw cane (turbinado) sugar
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened desiccated coconut
- ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ tablespoon milled/ground linseed (ground flaxseed) blended with 1 ½ tablespoon water until thick
- 4 tablespoons almond milk
- 4 tablespoons softened cream coconut block*
- 4 tablespoons water
- ½ teaspoon lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened desiccated (shredded) coconut, lightly toasted
* Agar agar and tapioca starch are readily found in Oriental (Asian) shops.
** Creamed coconut is a solid. It is sold in blocks and can be found in unrefrigerated grocery aisles. If this is difficult to find in the USA, use coconut butter.
1. Place almond milk, agar agar, tapioca starch, agave, salt and coconut milk into a small saucepan. Heat the mixture. whisking constantly with a hand whisk until it comes to the boil, then reduce the heat to simmer.
2. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring constantly with a hand whisk – the mixture will get thick. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then chill for 1-2 hours, or until set.
3. Meanwhile, make the cupcakes. Preheat oven to 150°C (300°F). Line six holes (cups) of a muffin tin (pan) with paper cases (liners)
4. In one bowl, mix together the dry ingredients – plain (all-purpose) flour, sugar, coconut, bicarbonate of soda (baking soda), baking powder and salt.
5. In another bowl, mix together the wet ingredients – linseed (flaxseed) mixture, almond milk, creamed coconut, water, lemon juice and vanilla extract.
6. Pour dry ingredients into wet ingredients and fold together until just incorporated. Try not to overmix, otherwise the cakes will get rubbery.
7. Divide the batter into the prepared muffin tin (pan).
8. Bake in middle of preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until browned on top, springy to the touch, and when a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.
9. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool.
10. Meanwhile, take the chilled coconut mixture out from the refrigerator. Beat with a hand whisk or electric hand mixer until smooth, and soft peaks form. If the mixture is relative cold, the cream should hold its shape. Return to chill until cakes are cool enough to top.
11. To decorate, pipe or spread the “cream” onto the cakes and top with a sprinkling of toasted desiccated (shredded) coconut. Enjoy!