After quite a few years of cooking and developing recipes, we have managed to build up a little bit of confidence and don’t panic over kitchen fails or people’s opinions as easily anymore. But whenever our daughter asks me to bake for a few of her friends, my palms get all sweaty and my heart starts pounding. Seriously, nothing makes me more nervous than having to bake for a bunch of five- and six-year-olds.
Elsa is finishing preschool this summer and her favourite teacher is also retiring, so last week she wanted to bake a dessert for all the children and teachers at the preschool. She started out with grand plans for a big cake shaped like a princess but (luckily for me) we landed on mini cupcakes with a raspberry frosting. We had just bought a mini muffin pan and it was the perfect opportunity to try it out as we got a lot of muffins from one batch so it was enough for all the children and teachers.
These muffins are really delicious and moist with hints of coconut, banana, almonds and cardamom. It’s one of our go-to recipes that we change slightly every time. They are only sweetened with fruit and entirely gluten free (and we are aslo sharing a vegan version below). If you are allergic to nuts, you can blend (100 g / 3 1/12 oz) sunflower seeds and use instead of the almond flour.
Whenever Elsa initiates one of these baking sessions, she always starts with lots of enthusiasm only to loose interest after about 45 seconds, leaving us to do the actual work. This time she was much more persistent. She measured, blended, worked the batter and dropped it into the muffin tins. Halfway through the batch, we also started dropping a raspberry in the centre of each muffin and they turned out even better with that little berry pocket in the middle. Piping the frosting was the hardest bit. Elsa was utterly disappointed that hers didn’t turn out as pretty as the ones she had seen on our screens. But towards the end they at least started looking better than in the beginning.
Since that first batch, we have made this recipe two more times. One time to check all the measurements and another time so we could try a vegan version. We are sharing both methods here below. You can of course also make normal size muffins and skip the frosting if you want to keep it simple.
On another note, today we celebrate Midsummer in Sweden. We are going to be enjoying the last of these cupcakes and then we are off to find a maypole covered with flowers so we can jump like frogs around it! You think I am kidding? I am not.
Banana & Coconut Cupcakes with Raspberry Pockets
Makes 24 mini cupcakes or 12 regular
100 g / 1 cup almond flour
120 g / 3/4 cup rice flour
45 g / 1/2 cup desiccated coconut
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp freshly ground cardamom
1/2 tsp vanilla powder
1 pinch salt
14 soft dates (1 cup / 150 g), stones removed (if using dried dates, soak them for an hour first)
1 ripe banana, peeled and cut into large chunks
4 tbsp coconut oil or butter, room tempered
180 ml / ¾ cup plain yogurt or plant based yogurt
3 eggs (for a vegan version soak 3 tbsp chia seeds in 9 tbsp water for 15 minutes, stir around and use instead of the eggs)
24 raspberries (fresh or frozen)
Berry Frosting (recipe below)
Preheat the oven to 200°C / 400°F. Grease a muffin tin (mini or regular size) or line it with paper or silicon cup liners. Place all of the dry ingredients in a bowl, stir together and set aside. Add the dates to a food processor and blend on high speed. When smooth, add the banana and coconut oil and blend again. Finally add yogurt and eggs and blend until smooth and entirely mixed. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with dry ingredients and stir together. Drop the batter into the muffin tins, place 1-2 raspberries in the centre of each muffin and cover it with batter. Bake for 10 minutes (17-20 minutes if you are using normal size muffins) or until golden and just set. Prepare the frosting while the muffins are in the oven. Leave the muffins to cool before piping the frosting on top. Serve immediately or store in the fridge.
70 g / ½ cup raspberries (or strawberries)
3-4 soft dates, stoned
200 g cream cheese (or vegan cream cheese)
Mix raspberries and dates in a food processor or with a hand blender until completely smooth. Whisk the berry mixture together with the cream cheese in a medium size bowl until pink and smooth. Scoop the frosting into a piping bag. Place it in the fridge for 20 minutes (or longer) to firm up before piping the frosting on top of the cupcakes.