August 7, 2008

Apricot-Ginger Cupcakes with Coconut Butter Frosting

Sometimes recipe with convoluted beginnings have very tasty, unexpected endings. This one began with some deeply discounted fresh apricots. After passing over the same apricots at full price I found a quart for 99 cents irresistible. The poor things ended up in my fruit bin for longer than I'd like to admit. I just couldn't decide what to do with them. I tried eating them with oatmeal or yogurt but they were a little too sweet and bland. I looked through a million recipes online and just before I was about to dry them all I found myself with a cupcake craving. This brought me to Cupcake Project's Apricot Cupcakes with Almond Butter Frosting recipe. I figured if she could rehydrate apricots for puree I could puree my fresh ones. I wanted a summery flavor so I highlighted the ginger in the recipe. I used only powdered ginger to spice them and added some candied ginger chips. Then I changed the frosting to coconut. To do this I used one of my favorite products, Artisana Raw Coconut Butter. I love this stuff! You can use it like any other nut butter but you can also mix it with water to make a coconut milk substitute. I hate opening a can of coconut milk and then having leftover milk in the fridge. I use the coconut butter in curry dishes all the time and add it to fresh fruit or hot cereal.

While I was baking my house turned into a war zone! My son and his two friends from next door came inside to play. With them came a container of squash borer grubs and a couple of collected Japanese beetles. The grubs got loose and were crawling everywhere, kids were leaping off furniture, a tomato got smashed, it was bedlam. Of course they noticed the cupcakes and started begging. I gave them each a cupcake and sent them and the insects outside. Alex doesn't like coconut but he and the little girl neighbor liked the cupcakes without frosting. The girl's older brother gobbled up the whole thing! I loved the flavor of the sweet apricots with the spicy ginger. The coconut frosting was rich and a little went a long way but it gave a tropical flavor that felt summery. It was a perfect match with the extra ginger. I do want to try this recipe again in the fall with squash or pumpkin puree. I think it'll be even better. And maybe next time I can eat my cupcake without chasing down escaped grubs. That would improve my enjoyment tremendously.

I'm adding this to the Living with Food Allergies Blog Carnival. Visit No Whey, Mama on August 21st to see the other participants.

Here are my altered versions of the recipes:
Apricot-Ginger Cupcakes with Coconut Butter Frosting
Makes 7-8 cupcakes

1/2 cup pureed apricots
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/3 cup +2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons milk (I used hemp to use up a carton)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 tablespoons whole wheat pastry flour (or more ap flour)
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons candied ginger chips

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cupcake tin with paper liners.
  2. Mix the puree, oil, sugar, milk, and vanilla together until combined.
  3. In a separate bowl mix the flours, ground ginger, baking soda and baking powder. Stir until combined.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until combined. Add the ginger chips and spoon into the cupcake papers. Fill the papers three quarters full.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes.
  6. Cool and frost.
1/2 cup coconut butter
1/4 cup margarine (or butter)
1 teaspoon milk (I used soy here, the hemp was all gone)
3/4 cup powdered sugar
  1. Stir together the coconut butter and margarine until combined.
  2. Add the powdered sugar and beat. Add the milk until the desired consistency is reached.
  3. Frost the cupcakes and decorate with more ginger chips.