Almost vegan in the sense that oops, half a cup of butter just happened to slip in. Clumsy me. I swear it won’t happen again.
I never thought I would eat the combination of lemon and poppyseed ever again. And you should know, I loved lemon poppyseed desserts. Once, I even made a lemon poppyseed frappuccino (ed. note: this is the most difficult word to spell … I always forget which letters are doubled) when I worked at Starbucks in high school.
I will not explain the story behind my change of heart, but know that it involves evil dogs, water being spilled and stop-action motions. These cupcakes banished the lemon-poppyseed curse.
This past weekend, my parents were having two of their adult friends over for dinner and I said I would make dessert. Since they are grown-ups (much unlike myself) I figured they probably wouldn’t like a dessert that involved my usual use of excessive Kindergarten-colours (darn, I really wanted to make this!). Half of my family also has a thing against chocolate, so that was unfortunately ruled out.
I had been wanting to jump head first back into the world of lemon + poppyseed for awhile, so I decided to go for it. I have been in lemon deprivation lately since I’m not getting my bi-daily fix of lemon gelato at my favourite Ottawa cafe. Since one of our guests is lactose intolerant, I used coconut milk in the cupcake batter, adding a light smell and taste that could counter the lemon. After an initial failed attempt at making a glaze (it looked like some sort of cleaning solution), I decided to just do a icing sugar-lemon juice combination, which I topped with a bit of toasted shredded coconut.
They were so pretty! And got the Adult Seal of Approval.
PS: I am returning to Ottawa today, meaning there will no longer be home cooked meals waiting for me around every corner. I have lots to do this week school-wise, which can only mean one thing: I’m going to bake a lot. Are you excited?! I’m excited.
Recipe: Almost-vegan coconut lemon poppyseed cupcakes
Very loosely adapted from The First Mess
– 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
– 1/2 cup sugar
– Half of a 398 ml (14 oz) can of coconut milk
– Zest of one lemon
– 2 1/2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
– 1 tsp vanilla extract
– 1 1/2 cups cake flour, sifted
– 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
– 1/2 tsp baking soda
– 1/4 tsp salt
– 1 1/2 tbsp poppy seeds
Preheat the oven to 350°. Put cupcake liners in nine tin holes. Use yellow ones to make the finished product look extra pretty.
Put the sugar and lemon zest in a bowl, and use your fingers to rub the two together, creating a fragrant, lemony sugar.
In a large bowl, cream the butter and lemon-sugar.
In another bowl, whisk together the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Mix the dry ingredients and coconut milk into the butter mixture, making three additions of the dry ingredients and two of the milk. Add the vanilla extract and lemon juice and stir to combine. Add the poppy seeds and mix well.
Use a muffin scoop to fill each tin 3/4 of the way. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of one of the cupcakes comes out clean. Carefully remove the cupcakes from the tin and cool completely on a wire rack before adding the glaze.
– 4 cups icing sugar
– 4 tbsp lemon juice (approx)
– 2 tbsp shredded coconut
In a bowl, use a metal spoon to stir together the icing sugar and lemon juice. Add more icing sugar/juice to create a medium-consistency glaze. It should be liquidy enough to spread over your cupcake by itself, but should not be so thin that it seeps into the cake.
Carefully toast the coconut on a small, non-stick pan over low heat. Remove as soon as it begins to brown. Sprinkle it over the top of the cupcakes.
Makes 9 cupcakes.