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

  • These look so delicious. Banquetes en Guatemala http://zonagourmet.com.gt/
  • Olivia
    Hello, First, thank you for all your wonderful receipes! Usually, I try not to change a line of those but I really can't find vegan cream cheese... Do you think silken tofu would work instead? Thank you so much for your answer!
  • Mona
    I made these today to bring something to a friend who was moving houses today. The muffins were really tasty and everyone enjoyed them. Since I didn't have any almond flour on hand I used spelt which worked fine and it was my first time to bake with chia seeds. These are incredibly easy to make and turn out fantastic!
  • Emma
    My cupcakes are ready but I'm worried my frosting's not going to firm up. Tried piping it once but it just went flat instead of swirly. Anyone else had the same problem. I've used cream cheese as I'm not vegan. Thanks
  • Sarah Roberts
    Is that "rice flour" intended to be brown rice flour? Or white? Thanks! These look delicious!
    • Whatever you prefer. We have tried both. The result is quite similar although a little lighter with the white. /David
  • Delphine Vandaele
    Good morning, I am French and I have been struggling with icing... In fact, I don't find any "vegan cream chesse" in France... What could i use to replace it? Something that I can bought in France... Or do you know a website who deliver vegan cream cheese in France? I am sad because cupcakes are my favorites and it's been years since I eat them because of this issue... Thanks, Delphine
  • Such a mouth watering & delicious recipe!!!! All ingredients may easily available from market & you explained this recipe step by step very well. I have so much interest in new dishes so waiting for your next post. Thank you......
  • Julia
    Just made them this morning and my daughter absolutely loved them. Ate 5 mini ones in one go with a little bit of help from me :) Great recipe, thank you!
  • Farah Mirza
    I'm 7 months pregnant and can't wait to give my child your natural and tasty approach to baking! Thank you so much for sharing!
  • Stina
    Made these the other day and I have to saw Wow, an easy and yummy recipe. I didn't have all the ingredients at home so I made my own version, had spelt flour instead of rice flour, extra dates instead of banana and strawberries instead of raspberries (i had frozen ones that i mixed a little and dug a little whole in the muffin) ate them without the frosting :) Thanks GKS and enjoy the Swedish summer :)
  • Elsa is so adorable, yes I agree baking for the younger children in my family is nerve racking... they're brutal but the cupcakes look gorgeous will definitely have to try them x www.fashionablef00d.blogspot.co.uk
  • Wow... Cupcakes are my favorite type of cake:-) And this recipe looks absolute delicious. I will def try this soon!
  • Jessica Li
    Hello David, Luise, Elsa & Isac! I just made these and they turned out great - but I used Medjool dates instead of normal dates, and needless to say they turned out superrr sweet - do you guys have a good conversion for medjool dates vs. normal dates? Also I guess I should have soaked my dates before blending them, because my blender was struggling a bit with that since they all stuck together. Could it be an idea to put the wet ingredients in first (ie yogurt & egg) and then add the dates? Or would that not work out well? Sending love from Oslo! Best, Jessica
  • Can't get enough of cupcakes ... will have to try this recipe soon!
  • Great photography, love them. Those Pancakes looks yummy too! Would tryout some time next weekend. Mary from CooktopHunter.com
  • Valeria
    Made these with aquafaba yesterday; I went for 3tbsp to replace 1egg and beat them to soft peaks. I also replaced the banana with a combination of David's suggestion (went for 2 dates and a tbsp of maple syrup). They are absolutely amazing! Thanks for sharing and kudos for diving into not-so-safe baking territory! :D
  • Oh my, these look so grand. Too bad my house is already an oven this summer. My son would love these - bookmarking. Thanks so much for this fabulous recipe.
  • Hello The recipe looks really really delicious. I just want to know the substitution for dates as I am allergic to them. Thanks
  • birgit
    dear elsa your frosting looks very good if i would live next door to you i would always beg you to make the frosting on my birthdaycupcakes the recipe sounds so delicious i'll give it a try as soon as possible lg birgit

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