Yes, indeedie, today is the start of national cupcake week here in the UK! So this afternoon I’m sharing some of our favourite free-from cupcake recipes with a healthy twist! These cupcakes ALL have hidden vegetables in them, as well as being gluten-free, egg-free, dairy-free, soy-free and nut-free, they are are really scrummy. (The vegetables are all well disguised!)
The best vegetables for baking cupcakes with (in my opinion) are root vegetables – for example: sweet potatos, carrots, beetroot and parsnips. So if you’ve never ventured out into the whacky world of vegetables in cupcakes before, stick with one of these root vegetable options. Everyone knows carrot cake works – right? Root vegetables are drier than other vegetables (less water content) and are also full of rooty sweetness which works really well in cakes.
We’ve been experimenting with root vegetables in cakes for a couple of years now, ever since I had my free-from brownie success using sweet-potato in the mix in place of flour and eggs! My BOOM! Brownies got me all excited about the potential of vegetables in cakes and thus my fun-filled, taste-tastic and slightly crazy journey of experimenting with vegetables in cakes began. I hope that you make one of these recipes and it inspires you to start playing with vegetables in cakes. It’s a great way to help children who are scared of vegetables discover that they are bearable and can be part of something yummy!
For cupcakes which I want to be light and fluffy I tend to just grate the vegetables as finely as possible and add them in as a raw ingredient. For richer, denser cakes like my BOOM! Brownies, I tend to bake the root vegetable first and then mash it up before adding it to my cake mix.
Our most often made vegetable cupcakes are the carrot &, maple cupcakes – they are truly gorgeous and don’t need any icing on top they are sooooooo good. However if you do fancy adding a frosting I recommend our tropical vegan frosting!
I progressed from the root veg, in my vegetables in cake adventures to the squashes. These are slightly harder to get right as the moisture content in squashes is much higher than in root vegetables. We love pumpkin cakes at halloween, and butternut squash in muffins, they work really well, and then there’s the moist and slightly risky/daring courgette cupcakes.
Unfortunately not all of my vegetable-based cakes were transferred over from the old website – like my fancy beetroot battenburg cake, and our simple sweet parsnip cupcakes. I will slowly get them all on this website and on the recipe index.
But for now, here are a few recipes to inspire you and give you an idea of how vegetables can work in your cakes. In order of ease and popularity I would start with the carrot cupcakes – carrot cake is always a winner and yummy with an orange frosting on top ;D. Then go for the pumpkin cupcakes, and if you’re feeling really daring have a go at our bonkers strawberries & cream surprise cupcakes with courgette in them. I have also added a load of our vegan frostings so the you can decorate them to disguise the veg even more! Just make sure that your cupcakes are 100% cold before you start decorating them, otherwise residual heat in their centres will melt your pretty icing!
I hope you enjoy and let me know what you and your children think of vegetables in cupcakes!
On Friday I will share some of our more traditional, indulgent cupcakes – like chocolate cupcakes, mud-pie cupcakes, vanilla cupcakes, fruity cupcakes – all free-from gluten,eggs, dairy, soya and nuts but ram-packed full of oodles of YUM! Yesterday I mailed a newsletter out to those who’ve joined our free2bake revolution a load of other scrummy cupcake recipes for the week! If you’d like to join the free2bake revolution and receive our weekly newsletter subscribe here!
smiles and happy cupcake baking, sharing & scoffing to you!
free-from recipes for national cupcake week
and some frostings