Coconut Vanilla Strawberry Cupcakes (Gluten and Dairy Free)

Dairy Free – Gluten Free – Grain Free 

Preparation time: 10 minutes ; Cook time: 20 – 30 minutes

Makes 12

I often find that Gluten Free muffins, cupcakes, breads, pancakes – anything with a doughy naughtiness about them – have a funny dry texture that leaves you mouth feeling somewhat… powdery? That is why I am so obsessed with coconut flour. Every recipe I use it in turns out delicious and moist and tastes more indulgent than it is. I have spoken of my coconut love before (in my recipe for paleo pancakes – see here) but to sum it up; this is a grain free flour that is backed full of fibre and protein. Plus it is made from a ‘waste’ product; i.e. the husk of the coconut.

Inspired by this recipe by The Wannabe Chef, these cupcakes were super moist and had the most subtle coconut flavour. After I took them out of the oven they did sink a bit but I was actually okay with that because it gave a nice flat surface for me to apply the icing too. This being said, it wasn’t a light fluffy cupcake. I am sure they wouldn’t have sunk had I stopped opening the oven door to ogle them!

Ingredients

Cupcakes

  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons coconut flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (you could also use palm sugar, honey or maple syrup – I was just feeling naughty!)
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

‘Cream Cheese’ Frosting 

  • 1 tub tofutti (vegan cream cheese) or normal Cream Cheese if that’s how you roll
  • 1 x Punnet of strawberries
  • Icing sugar to taste

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 175C (350F) and grease your cupcake tin (I use coconut oil but your standard ‘oils’ are fine)
  2. Combine all your ingredients in a bowl and mix to form an even batter
  3. Scoop batter into cupcake wells
  4. Bake for 20-30 minutes – until the tops are firm and a skewer comes out without any mix
  5. Remove from oven and let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting them
  6. Place entire tub of ‘cream cheese’ into a mixer. Then sprinkle in icing sugar bit by bit and taste as you go. I don’t like my frosting too sweet so I hardly use any but others like that tooth-tingling buzz.
  7. Slice up strawberries and place on top of cupcakes.
  8. EAT!!!

DIY Coconut and Cucumber Cleanser

My quest to eradicate plastic and other nonsense single-use items continues. Far and away the hardest area of my life to do this in would be my make-up bag. While I would love to throw it all to the wind and live a pure existence without mascara and face-paint, I cannot. Not only am I too vain but I fear that I would be fired for always looking tired and/or sick. Damn you blonde eyelashes! Anyway, I digress. My point is… that I have started to focus on anything that I can cut out rather than lamenting what I can’t. I have found that anything to do with the care of skin and hair is pretty easily replaceable. First stop… cleanser. (My second stop was a DIY herbal toner which you can find here!)

I get a weekly organic delivery box and because we went away over the weekend there were some Lebanese cucumbers left looking a little limp. A passionate hater of all things wasteful I decided to experiment. The cleanser I made was so easy to make and is absolutely beautiful to use. Put it in the fridge for a really refreshing cleanse.

It is so nice to know that you don’t need to use harsh chemical that you can’t pronounce to clean your face. They don’t do damage to the environment, they don’t have excessive and wasteful packaging and you get to essentially rub food on your face – which is always fun.

Ingredients

1 x Cup of Cucumber Juice (4 x lebanese or 2 x green)

1 x Cup of Coconut Milk (organic if you have it)

1 x tablespoon of Agave or honey (if you are vegan use Agave Nectar)

Why these ingredients?

Cucumber juice – is an astringent and helps purify your skin.

Coconut Milk – hydrates and moisturises – as well as feeling bloody nice!

Honey / Agave Nectar (vegan) – antibacterial which makes it great to prevent acne and other spots

Equipment

  • Bowl
  • Measuring cup
  • Food Processor / blender / or juicer
  • Muslin or cheesecloth to sieve the cucumber. If you don’t have them on hand then get creative… I keep old stockings around the place (for cleaning and use in the garden) so I just slipped that over the bowl and used it instead. Working perfectly fine..
Upcycled ingenuity

Method

Steps 1 through 5 are if you do not have a fancy fruit-juicer (mine died).

1. Peel the cucumbers

2. Process the cucumbers in a food processor until smoothish

3. Pour crushed cucumbers through a strainer into a mixing bowl or jug

4. Squeeze out as much juice as possible.

5. Bam. You have beautiful cucumber juice!

6. Add the honey or agave, coconut milk and cucumber juice together

7. Whisk to make a smooth liquid

8. Pour into a used jar and keep in the fridge.

Application

  1. Wash your face with warm water
  2. Apply cleanser to a cloth
  3. Wipe over face and neck
  4. Rinse with warm water / cloth

Top Tip

When rinsing your face make sure you do so in a bowl so that you save all the water from draining away. Because you are using completely natural ingredients it is grey water safe. You can use the excess for your garden, herbs or veggie patches!