I want you to just take a few, solid seconds and check out that cupcake. Do you see that deeply colored, glistening berry center? The creamy cashew frosting flecked with dates and lemon zest that covers the rounded surface of the cake, with its wafting aromas of banana and vanilla, are enticing. Food like this you can write for hours about. It’s inspiring, beautiful, drool-inducing recipes like this that really motivate me to keep this food blog up.
Two of my friends celebrated their birthdays at a dinner last night, and I was lucky enough to be asked to make cupcakes for the shindig. It is times like these where I find that I try to get the most creative, it’s a whole ‘nother ball game when you’re baking for other people than for you and the ones that are around more often. Although, cupcake recipes with fillings are just a tad more time-consuming, it’s almost always worth it, and in this case it is TOTALLY worth it.
One Year Ago: Steamed & Grilled Lemony Artichokes
- 2 Cups Raw Cashews, Soaked for 2+ hours
- ½ Cup Water
- 3 Tbsp. Coconut Oil
- 5 Dates, Pitted
- 2 Tbsp. Fresh Lemon Juice
- ½ tsp. Lemon Zest
- 1 Cup Strawberries, Without Stems and Diced
- 1 Cup Blueberries
- 3 Tbsp. Organic Sugar
- 1 tsp. Arrowroot Powder
- 3 Cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
- 1½ Cups Organic Sugar
- 2 tsp. Baking Soda
- ½ tsp. Salt
- 1½ Cup Ice-cold water
- 1 Cup Mashed Banana
- 2 Tbsp. White Vinegar
- 2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
- Optional: Additional Blueberries and lemon zest for garnish
- Place the cashews, ½ cup water, coconut oil, dates, lemon juice, and lemon zest into a food processor or high-power blender. Puree until the mixture is completely smooth, then place it into the refrigerator for it to firm up (this will be your frosting).
- Next, take the strawberries, blueberries, and the 3 tbsp. of sugar, place them into a small bowl and mash them together until the mixture is still chunky, but has small pieces.
- Pour the berry mixture into a small pan over medium heat, add the arrowroot powder immediately and stir it in until it is dissolved. Bring the filling to a simmer and reduce the heat to low-medium, simmer for 5 minutes.
- Take the pan off of the heat, pour the berry filling into a bowl and refrigerate it.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and get 22-24 cupcake liners ready in their pans. In a large bowl, sift together the AP flour, 1½ cups sugar, baking soda and salt.
- Using a smaller bowl, beat together the water, banana, vinegar and vanilla extract. Fold the wet mixture into the dry, and stir until there are no clumps left and the batter is smooth.
- Fill each cupcake liner roughly ¾ of the way full and bake for 19-22 minutes, testing with a toothpick in the middle of the cupcake to see if it draws clean.
- Place the cupcakes on a cooling rack (or into the refrigerator to speed up the process), until they are no longer warm. Using an apple corer, take an 1"-1¼" of cupcake out of each center.
- Fill each center with the berry filling until it reaches the top of the cupcake. Once you are finished with that, using a piping bag, pipe the cashew frosting onto the cupcakes using approx. 1½-2 Tbsp. for each one.
- Top with a couple of blueberries and lemon zest, and serve!
Even though everyone was full from dinner, I’m happy to report that 95% of the cupcakes were eaten (a couple were taken home) and I received only positive feedback on them. These cupcakes ended up super moist, and almost like something that you could eat for breakfast. Try them out and let me know what you think!