It’s so tough watching people who love sweet treats not being allowed to have sugar! You might hate me forever after this – but I am not the biggest sweet tooth. But give me a plate of oily chips and I am drooling at the mere thought…. So although I do not relate to sugar cravings – I can imagine if someone told me that french fries and chips were to never be eaten again, I would be devastated!
The Troll has taken the whole no-sugar diet very well. But then again he is usually on another planet anyway (it’s a wonderful place that planet – I sometimes wish that I could dwell there too!), so I do not think he notices the deprivation much.
Pa Russy however is slightly different. While he has been absolutely stalwart in his resolve, one realises that it is hard won, when he tells up of all the cookies he noticed being eaten by people at the farmer’s market on Saturday.
And so I decided to try out a reduced sugar cupcake recipe – with ‘icing’. And to add to the challenge I had set myself, I thought I’d make it vegan too boot. I didn’t tell Pa Russie that though, otherwise he might have thought I was trying to bake broccoli or something into these cupcakes. : )
I also wanted to dye the cupcakes naturally pink with some beet water (the water that one has cooked beets in).
Thankfully (to Ma Elizabeth!)I had some xylitol to get me going. Xylitol is a form of sugar which is classified as ‘crystallized alcohol’ and has a much lower glycemic index and calorie count than regular sugar. And then because I am not a cupcake expert I went online and looked for a nice vegan recipe. I chose Dana’s funfetti recipe from The Minimalist Baker.
To start off I combined the sugar with coconut oil and creamed the heck out of it. On the side I dissolved the raising agents in some coconut milk with a little vinegar. Then I combined the two bowls, a dash of the beet water and the dry ingredients all together, folding away. Once combined the batter went into a muffin pan and in to bake.
While it was baking I was scratching my head as to what to do about the icing. Of course for pure vegan purposes you can just make regular icing but with vegan butter. But I did not want to flaunt all of that sugar laden icing in front of people who are Off The Sugar.
As I was cleaning up, I spotted my can of coconut milk. As is often the case with coconut milk, the top part had hardened into a cream. I had only used the liquid milk underneath for my baking. So I grabbed this, and added some sugar, and a little beet water. I creamed this until the sugar had dissolved. It was so pretty and pink!
Thankfully I did this pinking of the icing, because when the cupcakes came out of the oven they were not one bit pink. Boo! I will try this again, and make the batter a darker pink. I’ll let you know the results..
To add a touch of confectionary flair I decided to ‘pipe’ the icing over the cupcakes. Because I am not a real baker, I do not have one of those thingys that make those beautiful poufs of icing. So I grabbed a small plastic baggy, and cut off a small hole from one corner. I then filled the bag with icing and started carefully piped my swirls. Not 100% classy perfection, but definitely cute – and really healthy!
Tip: Midway through my piping, I think the heat of my hands was making the coconut cream too runny. So, knowing the nature coconut oil to firm at the drop of a hat, I popped the baggy into the fridge for a few minutes and had some of my coffee while I waited. When the bag came out I could pipe perfectly!
Needless to say the cupcakes were a hit otherwise they would not be here! Even I thought there were yummy; ).
I ♥ You CupcakesPrint This
- 1 cup coconut milk from the can (you will use the top solidified part for the icing)
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup of xylitol sugar ( you can use regular if you want)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- Dash of salt
- Beetroot water to color the icing + extra sugar to sweeten it
- Combine the coconut milk and vinegar.
- Cream the coconut oil and sugar until smooth.
- Sift in the dry ingredients to the second bowl.
- Add the raising agents and vanilla to the first bowl.
- Combine the bowls and fold together.
- Spoon into a muffin tray and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degrees Celsius) for about 20 minutes, or until a knife inserted comes out clean.
- Once baked remove from the oven and let cool on a wire wrack.
- Combine the hardened top of the coconut milk in a bowl with 2 tablespoons of sugar and a little beet water. Beat this until it is smooth. You can add more beet water if you want a darker pink. Remember we are talking a matter of drops here, beet color is potent!
- Once done, spoon into a small sandwich packet or other plastic bag. Put this into the fridge until you are ready to top the cupcakes.
- Remove the bag from the fridge and cut a small hole at one corner.
- Apply pressure and ‘pipe’ your topping onto the cupcakes.
If the coconut milk which you are using does not have a harder layer of coconut cream at the top - then you might want to try your hand at manufacturing you own. I have had success creaming coconut oil with a little water to form a cream. If you try this and it comes out sloppy, you can cool it in the fridge for 10 minutes or so and it will stiffen up!