Easter is only a few days away and instead of Easter egg shaped treats, I decided to make some fresh, spring inspired cupcakes! These are the perfect individual—no cutting or utensils needed—dessert. The fact that you don’t have to grease and flour cake pans and that they take less time baking in the oven has me making them more often. I mentioned before that I used to make party and wedding cakes and cupcakes for a time before getting my degree in graphic design. Cakes are what I’m familiar with and many times a go-to dessert for entertaining.
Creating cakes and frostings that are gluten and refined sugar free (and still delicious) has been challenging to say the least. I’ve made many futile attempts with few successes, but I always share the wins and this is one of them!
Since spring is now here, I wanted to make these very fresh in flavor. The cupcakes are adapted from my Summer Berry Cake with a bit of lemon zest added. I filled them with a chia jam made from fresh berries and chia seeds. For the frosting I blended together grass-fed butter, cream cheese, thick unfiltered honey, and some fresh lemon juice. It was the perfect fluffy topping and only mildly sweet. I love desserts, but I don’t like them overly sweet.
Chia seeds absorb the juices from the berries and make a thick jam-like consistency. It doesn’t require any cooking or starch, just time to thicken. I cut a small plug of cake out of the center and
ate them all filled each with the berry-chia jam—as much as would fit!
I topped these with fresh berries and even drizzled lemon curd on a few. You can dress these however you wish—lemon zest, candied lemon peel or toasted coconut—just keep them in a cool place so the frosting doesn’t melt. I hope you enjoy these sweet treats!
Do you have any special plans for the holiday? Since my husband is a pastor and will be working all throughout the weekend, we’ll attend a few services at our church with him. We’ll have our big Easter dinner on Monday when he’s off. Happy Easter to you and your family, dear friends!
“For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:28
- 1.5 cups Bobs Red Mill 1 To 1 Baking Flour or other gluten-free flour blend of choice (Spoon flour into cup and level off. Do not pack the flour into the measuring cup)
- 1.5 teaspoons Baking Powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup melted butter or Coconut Oil
- ½ cup Maple Syrup/Honey (I used half of each)
- ½ cup milk (I use almond milk)
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- zest of 1 large lemon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla or lemon extract
- A mixture of fresh berries to decorate the tops of the cupcakes, optional
- 1 cup mixed fresh berries (or thawed and drained from frozen) Any combo of strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, or blueberries
- 1 tablespoon Chia Seeds
- 1-2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey, to taste
- ½ cup grass-fed butter or coconut oil, softened
- 8 oz. cream cheese (dairy-free can be used) or mascarpone
- 2-4 tablespoons honey (I recommend and used a thick raw honey like this one) (if you're not opposed to using sugar, Powdered/Icing Sugar can also be used.)
- juice of 1 large lemon
- zest of 1 large lemon, optional
- 1 egg + 1 egg yolk
- 2-3 tablespoons honey
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon butter or coconut oil
- Mash berries together with chia seeds and maple syrup with a fork or pastry blender until berries are pureed. Set aside for chia seeds to absorb the juices and thicken the filling.
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. Place cupcake liners into a 12 count muffin pan.
- Combine flour, baking powder, salt and lemon zest together in a large mixing bowl. Slowly blend in melted butter, maple syrup/honey, egg and egg yolk, milk and vanilla. Mix until batter is well blended and smooth. Scrape sides and bottom of the bowl and mix again.
- Fill each cupcake liner ⅔ full of batter. Makes between 10-12 cupcakes, depending on how much you fill each cup. Place pan into preheated oven and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until cake tops are domed and tops spring back when gently pressed. Cupcakes will not be brown, but you don't want to over bake them or they may be dry. Remove the pan from the oven and let cool slightly before removing the cupcakes.
- Take the butter and cream cheese out of the fridge 10-15 minutes before ready to use. Place into a large mixing bowl and beat until fluffy (If you have a whisk attachment, that works well.) Add half the honey, lemon juice/zest and continue to beat after until fluffy. This frosting will be mildly sweet. Taste and mix in more honey if needed. Continue to beat until frosting is light and fluffy. Refrigerate until needed.
- Into a small saucepan, whisk together egg, egg yolk, honey, lemon juice, and zest until well combined. Place over medium low heat and stir often until mixture begins to thicken, between 5-7 minutes. Careful to heat it slowly or the eggs can curdle. When it's finished, it should be thick and coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and stir in butter/coconut oil until blended. If mixture gets chunky bits from the eggs, make sure to strain it through a sieve before using. Chill in the fridge until ready to use.
- Use a small paring knife to cut a round whole out of the center of the cupcake for the filling. Go ahead. Eat the cake scraps. You know you want to. 😉
- Place berry-chia jam into a plastic piping bag or sandwich baggie and cut a small tip or corner of the bag. Place the tip into the cupcake and pipe until it fills to the top. Do the same for the rest of the cupcakes.
- You can scoop a dollop of frosting onto each cupcake or pipe the frosting on. I used a large pastry bag and a Wilton 1M tip to pipe swirls onto each cupcake. If you plan on putting berries on top, don't put too much frosting or it will overflow.
- Place a few berries on top or a drizzle of lemon curd (optional.)
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