Elsa’s Berry Cupcakes

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Banana & Coconut Cupcakes with Raspberry Pockets
Makes 24 mini cupcakes or 12 regular

Dry ingredients
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

Wet ingredients
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.

Berry Frosting
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.

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66 Comments

  • I always love your photos, so gorgeous! These cupcakes look amazing, the colour of the raspberry centres is just beautiful <3
  • Vilka underbara bilder!
  • Ena
    Lovely, just lovely. What Could I substitute the banana with? Thanks and all the best!
    • Hi Ena, try substituting the banana with a few more dates (3-4?) or two tablespoons maple syrup. /David
  • Airyfairycelt
    These look so good. Is it possible to change dates for died prunes and have the same cake at all?
    • Hi, Since dried prunes are not as sweet and juicy as fresh dates, I can't tell you exactly how the result will be. But please go ahead and try. I would soak the prunes in water for at least an hour to make sure they soften up first. Since they are the main sweetener it is important that they get very finely mixed and not just chopped in chunks. Good luck and do let us know how it goes! /Luise
  • Any sub for chia seeds??allergic to these and flax! Im vegan too. Lve raspberries so totally up my alley otherwise!
    • If you are not vegan you can just use eggs. Otherwise you could try using aquafaba. It is the viscous water from cooked chickpeas. Since we haven't tried it ourselves, we are not sure of the amount (or if it works at all) but I would probably start with roughly the same volume as three eggs. This video shows how aquafaba works: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Ri-QiDFq5U /David
  • These look so delicious. I love the raspberry pockets especially. And the frosting. Yum! I never make frosting but you're convincing me I should.
  • The cupcakes look so lovely, such gorgeous ingredients too, and it's so nice to hear about your family life and the children growing up <3
  • Katie
    I like the part about Elsa losing interest after about 45 secs. When my daughter was little she would do the same thing when playing with her little brother. As long as she could make up the games, all was fine. When he would suggest a game to play, she lost interest in a couple of minutes! His sad little face was heartbreaking! My husband would say "get used to it mate, it's a life lesson!" ;)
  • joanne
    These look so good! I have all the ingredients except for yogurt.. can I substitute something else for yogurt? Thanks!
    • You can try using milk or a plant based milk (almond milk, oat milk, rice milk etc) instead.
  • Pia
    Your little family is really so precious, David, and the story behind these cupcakes just made me go "awww, that's so cute!" internally. Also, despite Elsa's slight disappointment, I think she did a fabulous job! Especially, seeing as she is so very young and it was her first attempt at piping. So in case you read this, tell her I have immense respect for her and that, should the day I try my hand at doing so for the first ever comes, I will probably be lucky if the outcome is even just half as good. Moreover, please remind her of these three important things: 1. "Comparison is the thief of joy.", 2. "Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better" and 3. "Practice makes progress." And now that all of that has been said, GLAD MIDSOMMAR och jag hoppers ni har en underbar helg ;)
  • Oh my, Elsa's gotten so big! Especially compared to the photos in Green Kitchen Travels. I bet her class was thrilled that you made cupcakes for them, especially cupcakes as beautiful as these! :)
  • Grey
    Super charmed by the maypole song and dance! I googled the translation: The little frogs, the little frogs are funny to observe. :)
  • So yummy! The photography is as beautiful as always, and I love the recipe for these cupcakes! Elsa is such a beauty xoxo
  • These look insanely beautiful! And I loved reading about Elsa's adventure in the kitchen :) she did a great job!!
  • Kristen
    Love your beautiful blog. I hope this isn't heresy but could I use whole wheat flour instead of the others? If so how much? Thank you😀😘
    • Hi Kristen, yes you can of course use other flours instead. Personally I really like the flavor from the almond flour, so if you want to you could keep that and then replace the rice flour and dedicated coconut with whole wheat flour. Or replace all the flours if you prefer. I cant give you an exact amount since it depends on what flour you use, but you should roughly replace it with the same weight. Good luck and let us know how it turns out. /David
  • These sound incredible! I may bake them to take on our road trip tomorrow. Do you think they would work with strawberries? Ive got some I need to use up! Thanks for another wonderful recipe!
    • Hi Chelsea, yes they work with strawberries. For the berry pockets, I would mash the strawberries and add approx 1/2 tsp into each muffin. And maybe use just slightly more for the frosting as raspberries usually have a more intense color and flavor. /David
  • Elsa is absolutely adorable and picking up the right skills! Look how gorgeous these are! Enjoy your midsummer party!! x
  • Elsa is adorable and I love her sweet cupcakes! These sound like perfectly lovely little treats to make for any occasion. Thanks for sharing!
  • I love the way you started involving your kids in the kitchen, I strongly believe it's the best way to teach them eating healthy and not to waste food. Anyway, these cupcakes are ADORABLE!!!
  • Mona
    If it wasn't around 35 degrees right now I'd go straight away to the kitchen to bake these beauties. But right now I'm rather trying not to move an inch (with a peach melba smoothie in front of me). The video was hilarious! I hope you have good weather too to enjoy the hopping and singing ;)

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