For the last month and a half whilst making arrangements for my upcoming wedding, I’ve been buzzing around shopping for dresses, suits, and shoes, tearing out my hair picking flowers, making tedious decisions concerning rings and menus, and crying my eyes out while choosing ceremony passages to be read by our loved ones. This thing is a roller coaster, as I’m sure everyone who’s married can attest.
Amidst all of this stress (I know, I know – my life is SOOOO hard. Woe is me…), I’m finding myself craving sugar. Luckily, last night I got to indulge that sweet tooth in the name of experimentation and science. My soon-to-be brother-in-law, Alan, and I went to work in his kitchen to invent and create the perfect Paleo wedding dessert. I’d somehow landed on cupcakes instead of cake because, well, cakes seem cumbersome and easy to mess up. When it’s a cupcake, it’s just little, so how could it possibly go wrong? And this is the kind of rationale that has been guiding my decisions lately…
Anyway, before I give you guys the recipe and let you in on our incredible frosting discovery, I will say that there is a lot of sugar in these cupcakes and that’s why they are only Paleo-ish. However, the recipe contains no grains, no dairy, no weird oils or shortenings, no soy, no nuts, and no chocolate. Not that those last two aren’t Paleo, but I don’t eat them. The only vice is lots of delicious sugar because it’s my wedding and I do what I want :)
Here’s the recipe for my Paleo-ish Lemon Lavender Lust Wedding Cupcakes with Incredible Frosting
This was adapted from my friend Paige Claassen’s delicious recipe that I believe she pulled straight out of thin air. Amazing. And since she won’t be able to make it to my wedding, at least her cupcakes will. Here’s a picture of her version.
Her version of the cupcake contains all-purpose flour, almond milk, and light coconut milk, but we changed that up. We substituted the all purpose flour with a 50/50 combo of tapioca flour and coconut flour. And we subbed the almond milk and light coconut milk with full fat coconut milk. To be exact, we mixed the coconut cream at the top of the can with the coconut water at the bottom of the can so it was an even consistency.
Lemon Lavender Lust Cupcakes
3/4 C. Coconut Milk (canned)
1 tbs. Coconut Oil
1/3 C. Sugar
1/4 C. Clover Honey (not the crystally raw version – go for refined honey here)
1 tbs. Tapioca Flour
1/2 C. Tapioca Flour (Yep, you read that right. 1/2 cup plus 1 tbs of tapioca flour)
1/2 C. Coconut Flour
1/4 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp. Guar Gum
1/4 tsp. Baking Powder (make sure this doesn’t have corn in it)
1/2 tsp. Baking Soda (make sure this doesn’t have corn in it either)
1 1/2 tbs. Dried Lavender (you can find this in the herbs section of health food stores)
1. Preheat oven to 325° (300° convection oven)
2. Mix milk, oil, eggs, sugar, and honey in mixing bowl until smooth.
3. Sift flours, salt, guar gum, baking powder, and baking soda into separate bowl then add dry ingredients into mixing bowl. (I recommend having mixer on while adding dry ingredients if using electric mixer.)
4. Grind up lavender with a mortar and pestle, or something equivalent. Then blend into batter till lavender is well incorporated throughout the batter.
5. Line muffin tins with paper liners and pour batter into each cup until even with the paper liner.
6. Place in oven and bake for 20-25 minutes (19-21 minutes convection oven time).
7. Cupcakes are done when tops are lightly browned and tooth pick can be inserted into center with little to no resistance and comes out clean. If they need more time add 2 minutes at a time.
8. Remove from oven when done and set on cooling rack to cool. (Cupcakes may continue to cook after being removed from oven.)
9. Once cool add icing (see recipe below), top with light sprinkle of lemon zest and loose lavender leaves.
10. Be sure to taste at least one in the name of experimentation and science.
Now for our big frosting discovery…
Well, we wanted our frosting to be thicker than Paige’s, and I couldn’t find anything online that didn’t utilize cream cheese or palm shortening (which tastes gross in my opinion) to achieve that, so we were experimenting. Paige’s recipe for the frosting calls for whipping cream, powdered sugar, lemon, and lemon zest, so we subbed the whipped cream with coconut cream that had been refrigerated. Alan started whipping it with a hand-held blender and after about 5 or 6 minutes it started separating into thick cream and water. It looked nasty. We thought about tossing it out, but then Alan decided to see what happened if he just kept blending it after tossing out the water. It turns out you can continue blending coconut cream until it’s VERY thick and frosting-like, and that’s what we did. We blended it for a total of about 10 or 15 minutes and dumped out all the excess water. We were left with a thick conglomeration of coconut goodness.
Unforgettable Frosting (dairy free, egg free, gluten free)
1/2 C. Chilled Coconut Cream (thick cream from the top of the coconut milk can)
1 1/4 C. Powdered Sugar (you can find it without corn or wheat)
1/2 lemon Fresh Lemon Juice
1 Tbs. Lemon Zest
1. Add chilled cream to a bowl and whip with a hand mixer till separated about 5-10 minutes (may look like cottage cheese).
2. Drain liquid from bowl keeping as much stiff cream as you can. Continue to whip another 5 minutes and repeat process if more liquid separates out.
3. Add powdered sugar and continue blending (may need to mix by hand as frosting will become thick quickly).
4. Add lemon zest and lemon juice and continue to mix (for stiffer frosting add less lemon juice).
5. Spread onto cupcakes once cooled and garnish with lemon zest and loose lavender leaves.
This is not the greatest picture. I should have taken more, but I was busy eating cupcakes – er – conducting an experiment…
These are the most delicious cupcakes I have ever had in my life, and I’ve had quite a few. I almost cried when I put it in my mouth. The frosting and cake complement each other perfectly, and the consistency of the cake was bouncy, light, and moist. The frosting is thick enough that it stands up on its own and will hold up well over time. It is very sweet, but it’s balanced out by a not-too-sweet cupcake. I wasn’t the only one who thought these things. My soon-to-be father-in-law, who regularly delights in non-Paleo foods tried one and declared, “You could sell these.” And that’s exactly what Alan intends to do.