Goodness me. Coconut, coconut, coconut. It’s all I ever hear these days from Mr. Bailor. He will wax lyrical about the health benefits of coconut at any given opportunity; and ones he’s not given, too. He’ll go into raptures about their short-chain (or is it medium-chain??) thingamajigs at the drop of a hat. I confess I don’t even care to remember the glorious whys and wherefores of coconut. I just know that Bailor says coconut is where it’s at, and that’s good enough for me. But still, I figured it was about time I shut him up with some Orange Coconut Cupcakes.
Whenever I take him sane treats to munch on during our podcast recording sessions he grills me on the ingredients list and the proportions of each one to the others. Then he’ll say, “Can you replace the almond flour with coconut flour?” Every. Single. Time. It doesn’t seem to matter how many times I explain to him that you can’t just randomly switch out regular flour for any other kind of flour, and that this is especially true of coconut flour – he doesn’t hear me and he just never gives up. If converting baked goods recipes to sane ones were as easy as switching out regular flour for any other non-grain “flour”, life would be a breeze. I certainly wouldn’t be spending 3 days a week making a mess in my kitchen, ending up with multiple batches of this-and-that in various stages of development, striving for perfection in baked good sanity. Coconut flour is an especially tricky beast to bake with. Yet I realized that if I was ever going to get any peace from The Bailornator, I’d have to get him something coconut, and soon.
I think my road trip must have blown away the cobwebs and caused a surge of creativity, because no sooner was I back…VOILA!
Here you go, Bailor – just for you I created Orange Coconut Cupcakes. If anyone on earth deserves a treat for all that they do – it’s you. You deserve a sane cupcake. Making it with coconut flour was the very least I could do.
A big shout-out to Diane who gave me the idea of vitamixing the oranges to oblivion and using as the liquid. Fantasticness, Diane, fantasticness!! THANK YOU!
And then, because cupcakes always have frosting, and because I wanted to make this as coconutty as humanly possible for you, I added a little topping to your Orange Coconut Cupcakes.
Now, let’s talk about the topping for a moment, because this could get confusing, or frustrating, or just plain annoying for you. I whipped coconut cream / milk. I say cream / milk because our food manufacturers have a hard time getting a naming convention going when it comes to coconut products. What I am talking about here is stuff that comes in a can and when you open it there is solid coconut and a watery liquid separated out. I am not talking about thin, regular coconut milk that comes in a carton (or sometimes in a can). Once you get what I am referring to, make sure you use a full fat version, since low-fat will not whip. I used Trader Joe’s Coconut Cream, which, once I had drained the liquid off, whipped right up at room temperature. However, I have read that many brands do better if they are put in the ‘fridge overnight to get really cold. Given the variations in coconut cream / milk in your locale, you may have to experiment with the topping until you find a brand that works for you. If you have a Trader Joe’s near you, I’d just go with that and call it good.
WARNING: These Orange Coconut Cupcakes are seriously filling. You all know by now my near-legendary appetite, and one of these is enough for me.
- Coconut oil spray
- 3 oz / 85g sunflower seeds
- 1 oz. / 28g chia seeds
- 2 oz. / 55g coconut flour
- 1 oz. 28g vanilla whey protein powder
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 1/2 oz. / 70g xylitol
- 1 tsp xanthan gum
- 1 1/2 oz. / 40g flaked or shredded coconut (depending on how lumpy you like it)
- 2 oranges
- 4 eggs
- 1 can / 13 1/2 fl oz. thick coconut milk
- 1/4 tsp orange extract
- 1/4 tsp guar gum
- Xylitol to taste
- Spray 15 silicone muffin cups with coconut oil spray and place in muffin pan.
- Grind the sunflower and chia seeds in a coffee grinder until very fine. (If you use a Vitamix be very careful you do not end up with sunflower butter!)
- Tip ground seeds into a mixing bowl and add the coconut flour, whey powder, baking powder, salt, xylitol, xanthan gum, and coconut.
- Zest the oranges, add zest to the dry ingredients and mix very thoroughly, making sure the zest is evenly distributed.
- Peel the oranges and put the orange flesh in a blender and blend on high until it is completely liquified.
- Whisk the liquified oranges and eggs in a bowl and add to the dry ingredients, mixing quickly until completely combined.
- Carefully spoon the mixture evenly into the muffin cups – they should be slightly under-filled.
- Place in center of oven at 300F for 35 minutes, until golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool for a few minutes until you can handle the silicone cups.
- Turn each cup top down in one hand, and using the other hand gently squeeze the sides of the cup all the way round until the sides release and the muffin pops out. Be gentle.
- Place each muffin on a cooling rack to cool.
- Tip the coconut cream into a sieve to remove the liquid portion.
- Put the solid portion of the coconut cream into a bowl.
- Add the orange extract, and sprinkle the guar gum evenly over the surface.
- Immediately whip the coconut cream on high with a hand mixer (or a stand mixer) until it is thick and holds its shape.
- Sweeten to taste and whip to incorporate.
- Place a spoonful of cream on top of each cupcake.
- Sprinkle with toasted flaked coconut.
- Once frosted, store them in the ‘fridge. Or frost as you need them.