This Easter was my first spent with my husbands family. At my familys Easter, Ive always been the odd-duckling out with my food intolerances and pretty much just eat what I can- not always so exciting. But my husbands family is a little different, and I think we all laughed when we saw the email stating everyones food allergies/intolerances. We had: gluten-free, nut-free, seafood-free, no meat, peanut-free, dairy-free, vegan. Thats quite the challenge, even for a trained chef!
I decided early on I would bring something both he and I could have as our entree, and making a gluten-free vegan dish nut-free wasnt too hard. But when it came to dessert that one stumped me. I usually use at least a bit of almond milk in my desserts, and nut flours are a staple around these parts. But for this dessert I had to stay away from anything remotely nutty, so the challenge was on.
I had a vision of a pretty spring cupcake, something light and fruity to go with the changing season, a fresh, bright dessert to mimic the warm air and budding flowers of spring. That is, if spring ever decides to arrive in Southern Ontario.
I started envisioning something with Easter colors- but I didnt want to use food coloring. So with the help of some tiny wild blueberries and nearly eight lemons, I came up with one of my best cupcake recipes yet: blueberry with tangy lemon frosting. This isnt the healthiest recipe, I will admit that. But for a treat? Theyre perfect. Light, bright and mildly sweet, they provide a hint of spring in what seems like a very, very long winter.
Blueberry Cupcakes with Tangy Lemon Frosting
(Gluten-free, Vegan, Nut/Peanut-free)
2 cups gluten-free All Purpose flour
1 cup unrefined cane sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp xanthan gum
1 cup rice or soy milk
1 chia egg (1 tbsp milled chia, 1/4 cup water)
3 tablespoons oil
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 cup frozen wild blueberries, slightly defrosted
1 batch Tangy lemon frosting (recipe below)
Fresh blueberries for garnish (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
2. Mix dry ingredients well in a large bowl.
3. Whisk wet ingredients up to lemon juice in a medium bowl. Add wet to dry, stir to combine.
4. Stir in blueberries and lightly stir until they turn the batter a slightly blue tinge.
5. Spoon batter into muffin cups, about 1/2-3/4 of the way full. Bake in preheated oven for 20-22 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.
6. Let cool in pan for about 5 minutes. Remove from pan and cool on a wire rack completely before frosting. While cupcakes are cooling, prepare frosting.
Tangy lemon frosting
1/2 cup non-hydrogenated vegan margarine, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
6 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp vanilla
zest of two lemons
1. Beat margarine with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add in powdered sugar, lemon juice and vanilla slowly until they form a frosting-like consistency. Beat in lemon zest.
2. Using a pastry bag or a plastic bag with a metal tip, pipe frosting on top of cooled cupcakes. Add blueberries to garnish, if desired.