Well, I think it’s safe to say I’m on a bit of a confectionary roll at the moment. My sweet tooth is definitely having the time of it’s life and enjoying all of these cakes and desserts I’m coming up with.
For some reason, all of my current recent inspiration is for desserts and I’m even finding myself dreaming about cake.. hahaha. Of course, I definitely find that desserts are the most exciting recipes to come up with as there’s so much more experimentation with ingredients, and the process feels a lot more exciting and creative. I also really enjoy the decorating and preparation of desserts. So, at the moment I’m just having lots of fun and creating all of the naughty treats I love – but with my own special twists and takes on the classics.
One absolute favourite cake of mine is a lemon drizzle. Mmmm. I love its combination of a moist sponge with a crisp sugary drizzle of icing on top. The sharpness of fresh lemon juice mixed with soft, sweet cake mixture is something that creates an absolute harmony of flavours, by blending sweet with sour. It’s definitely a cake I’ll always love.
For this recipe, I decided to transform the lemon drizzle cake into cupcakes. It generally makes them easier to bake, and they always look cute in little muffin cases – especially these flowery ones (they’re my favourite to use). The recipe itself makes just 6 cupcakes as I like to keep my batches small. The cupcakes are so moist and are bursting with a strong lemon flavour. When you bake the cakes, remove them from the oven when they feel fairly firm to touch on the top, and are golden with a shine. Then, make sure you leave them to cool completely before icing or eating them, so that they can firm up and gain the right spongy consistency. Of course, if you don’t mind them softer then feel free to try them warm.
Lastly, for the drizzle I used xylitol. To make the icing, I blended the xylitol in my NutriBullet to make a powdered sugar, and then added in the lemon juice to form an icing. It’s amazing how easy it is to make! I think the drizzle creates the perfect final touch and adds a really nice bite of sweetness to the cakes. Yummy.
Also – I have to warn you. I don’t think I’ve told you before that I cook with an Aga. We don’t actually own an oven in my house.. hahaha!! But with an Aga comes both fun and complications. I’ve had so many struggles with it at the moment as it’s been almost impossible to reduce its heat from 300C!!!!! It’s literally been crazy – and I don’t know why it’s gotten so hot. Luckily, when I leave the Aga door open for around 20 minutes and put the cooling tray in, it manages to cool back down to 180C. Yet, when I then put something in it to cook, it heats itself back up to 200C – so I never get a solid temperature to cook with. Therefore, I’ve listed the oven temperature for this at 180C, as it’s my recommended temperature. But due to this, they might take longer than 30 minutes to cook in your oven – as it’s likely that your oven doesn’t get hotter by itself. So, I recommend that you keep an eye on the cakes and allow them to bake for longer, if necessary for up to 40 minutes. Mine cook in 30, as by that time the AGA’s heated back up to 200C… *frustration*. But, let me know how they go for you when you cook them in a normal oven!!! I would love to know how long they take for you to bake.
Anyway, even with the struggle of my Aga, I still love to make these cupcakes. So I hope you like the recipe too!
lemon drizzle cupcakes
for the cupcakes:
2 large lemons (to zest + make 1/2 cup juice)
1/4 cup (60ml) sunflower oil
1/2 courgette (zucchini) (100g)
3/4 cup (110g) coconut sugar
1/3 cup (50g) millet flour
1/3 cup (55g) buckwheat flour
1/4 cup (30g) ground almonds
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
for the drizzle:
2 tbsp xylitol
1 1/4 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
PREHEAT YOUR OVEN TO 180C / 356 F
1. Firstly, zest your lemons and add the zest into a large mixing bowl with the buckwheat flour, millet flour, ground almonds, coconut sugar and baking powder. Stir them together until well mixed.
2. Then, juice the lemon to make 1/2 cup of juice. Add the juice into a blender, followed by your courgette, cider vinegar and sunflower oil. Blend the mixture until smooth.
3. Pour the liquid mixture into your mixing bowl, and mix everything together until smooth using a hand whisk. Then, line a muffin tin with 6 large cupcake/muffin cases. Scoop the cake mixture 3/4 or so full into each case. Then, move the muffins into the oven, and cook for 30-40 minutes, or until golden and slightly firm/bouncy on top to touch. When the muffins have cooked, remove them from the oven and set aside to cool completely.
4. When the muffins have cooled, prepare the drizzle. Add the xylitol into a strong blender/NutriBullet and blend into a powdered sugar consistency. Then, remove it all from the blender and into a bowl. Add in the lemon juice, and stir together into a smooth icing. Lastly, spoon the icing on top of the cupcakes to finish and leave to set. Then, enjoy!