I don’t get very excited about Halloween. I’ve never been trick or treating before and I don’t have any memories of carving pumpkins. Children in the UK these days might have a different experience of the holiday but when I was growing up it just wasn’t a big deal.
I know it’s quite the opposite across the Atlantic and that my US readers have probably been looking forward to the 31st October for weeks! The “spooky spiderweb” decoration on my cupcakes was with my American friends in mind, but everyone, anywhere in the world, can and should make these!
I think everyone should be able to enjoy a treat and so I tried to cover as many bases as possible by making this recipe, not only vegan, but gluten-free, grain-free, and oil-free (I couldn’t manage nut-free as well this time, sorry!) too!
I was positively jumping up and down when I tried the finished product! Ultra light, ultra fluffy and ultra moist, you really would have NO idea that I’d made these cupcakes without any of those things.
Check out that fluffy crumb!
A little shout-out to blogger friend Brandi of The Vegan 8 for introducing me to the magic combination of almond flour and potato starch. The almond flour keeps things moist and rich and the potato starch brings structure and lightness. I’ve done some of my own experimenting and have found that, while tapioca starch and potato starch are *fairly* interchangeable, tapioca can dry baked goods out a little.
I made these a little coconutty since we all know it’s a favourite flavour of mine, but without coconut extract the coconut flavour is very mild so the recipe would work well as a regular vanilla cupcake too.
I topped them with an easy chocolate ganache, and, instead of a sugary icing, used pure coconut butter to make my spider web design. The pattern isn’t hard to do and you certainly don’t need any fancy equipment- I simply used a freezer bag (with a tiny end cut off) and a toothpick. Of course you can decorate these any way you like for the appropriate occasion.
- 1 C (125 g) Almond flour (Ground almonds UK name)
- 1/2 C (75 g) Potato starch (NOT flour)
- 1/4 C (20 g) Shredded coconut
- 2 tsp Baking powder
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1/2 C Coconut sugar (75g)
- 1-1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
- 3/4 tsp Coconut extract (optional)
- 3/4 C Coconut milk (the kind from a can),well whisked
- 1/2 C Apple purée/unsweetened applesauce
- 80 g/ 3oz Dark chocolate (OR 1/2 C Chocolate chips)
- 2 Tbsp Coconut milk
- Coconut butter, melted
- Preheat oven to 180C/350F and line a cupcake tin with paper/foil cases.
- In a large bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients, making sure there are no lumps remaining.
- In another bowl, whisk together the extracts, coconut milk and apple purée.
- Add wet ingredients to dry and stir well to combine.
- Spoon the batter into the cupcake cases (10-12) and bake for 20 minutes.
- Allow to cool for 10 minutes then place the cupcakes on a cooling rack and allow to cool completely before topping.
- For the ganache, melt the chocolate in a bain marie or glass bowl placed over a pot of boiling water. Whisk in the coconut milk (it should thicken a little).
- Spread the cooled cupcakes with ganache then make the spider web design.
- Spoon a few tbsp coconut butter into a freezer bag (or piping bag with a fine nozzle) and allow to cool slightly to thicken a little. Snip a tiny corner off the bag and pipe 3-4 concentric circles on top of the cupcakes. Drag a toothpick from the centre to the edge of the cake at regular intervals through each circle to create the spider web effect.
Whether you make these cupcakes for Halloween or for another occasion, I hope you like them as much as me! And please do share your feedback, I love hearing from you.
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