citrus coconut cupcakes (vegan)

20th March 2016


When we lived in Israel, we were very fortunate to be surrounded by citrus orchards, and now here in Portugal, we have our own line of orange and lemon trees that extends down the driveway.  Each Winter, the trees are abundant and I am struggling to make use of all those oranges.  I managed to boil and freeze a dozen for this recipe, and twice weekly, I fill a basket full to last us through with freshly squeezed juices in the mornings.  I peel and chop bowls full, to offer to class after yoga practice.  I have also been making big pots of marmalade jam to last us through the year.  Scooping it up and serving it on home-made bread to warm and brighten these damply, chilly days.  But still, so many end up on the ground.

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orange blossoms


citrus coconut cupcakes

Makes 12 cupcakes

Recipe adapted from Amy Chaplin’s – ‘At Home in the Wholefood Kitchen’.

Deliciously flavoured orange vegan cupcakes.  The boiled whole orange then blended with the wet ingredients, gives these cupcakes a clean, vibrant and refreshing flavour.  The coconut gives them a crusty outside and moist, light crumb inside.  I love to serve them with a dollop of thick Greek yoghurt and a drizzling of maple syrup for a sweeter cake.

I have also made this as a cake and drizzled it lavishly with lemon-zested icing.


1¾ cups whole-spelt flour

1½ tsp aluminium-free baking powder

¾ tsp  baking soda

1¾ cups, dried unsweetened, shredded coconut – divided

1 medium navel/Valencia orange, boiled

1 cup maple syrup (can replace with 1 cup brown sugar)

¼ cup plus 2 Tblsp extra virgin olive oil

2 tsp apple cider vinegar

½ tsp rock salt

1 Tbsp vanilla essence

strips of lemon & orange zest to garnish, optional

to boil the orange

1.  Place a whole orange in a medium pot, cover with water, then bring to boil over high heat, cover pot, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 45 – 50 minutes or until soft.  Remove from heat, drain, and set aside to cool.

You can also boil a few oranges in advance and freeze them for up to three months.

to make the cupcakes

2.  Preheat oven to 180C/350F.  Line a muffin tray with 12 paper liners and set aside.

3.  Grind ¾ cup coconut in a food processor for 1 minute.

4.  Add the whole-spelt flour, baking powder and soda to the food processor, and blend to combine, transfer to a medium bowl and add the remaining dried coconut.  Set aside

5.  Cut the boiled orange into quarters, remove any seeds, and cut each piece in half, then place in a food processor, add the maple syrup, olive oil, vinegar, salt, and vanilla – blend until smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary.

6. Pour into the flour mixture, and use a rubber spatula to stir until just combined; do not overmix.

7.  Distribute batter among lined muffin tray, filling them almost to the top.

8.  Place in oven, bake for 25 – 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

9.  Remove from oven and set aside to cool for a few minutes in the tray, then remove and place on a wire rack to cool completely.

Once cool, serve with thick Greek yoghurt or coconut cream, a drizzling of maple syrup and garnish with strips of citrus zest.


Goodness shared from Stacey

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