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Cupcakes are simple to make and scrumptious indulgences that transformed from baking a whole cake which often takes much longer to bake in the oven. It is a small cake invented in the 19th century in the United States to serve only one person and a ground-breaking approach due to the amount of baking time saved. The beginning of cupcakes is undetermined with the initial representation of “light cake baked in a small cup” acknowledged in 1796, in a cookbook named American Cookery by Amelia Simmons. Followed by the recognition of the term cupcake in the Receipts cookbook by Eliza Leslie in 1828. While the term cupcake was thought to have either adopted from cakes baked in cups or ingredients used to make cupcakes were calculated by cups. In the early initiation of cupcakes, they were also known as “number” (1234) cakes due to the number of ingredients quantified to make them. In the 20th century, muffin tins were invented and became very popular for making cupcakes. Cupcakes were mostly frosted with either chocolate or vanilla frostings which remain as one of the most popular and typical frostings up until today. There are now endless number of variations in colour and flavours. Not to mention the long lists of cake shops, recipe books, magazines, blogs, cafes and restaurants devoted solely to cupcakes alone. Cupcakes indeed have a pop culture craze in today’s gastronomic world. For my gluten free fusion recipe, I am using pandan (screwpine) leaves and coconut as the main flavours giving these cupcakes an intense aroma. This recipe is also vegan, dairy free, egg free, soy free and nut free.
Pandan or screwpine leaves or Pandanus (Pandanus amaryllifolius) are lengthy, thin and blade-like leaves that are bright green in colour and pointed at the ends. They are often referred to as “Asian vanilla” or “Vanilla of the East”, as they are extensively used in both sweet and savoury Southeast Asian cooking. Pandan leaves are native to South Asia and Southeast Asia. They are extremely adaptable and can be used to wrap meats like chicken, fish, prawns, calamari and red meat before steaming, deep-frying, barbecuing, grilling or roasting. They are also used to add flavour to coconut milk before cooking rice, stews, soups or curries. Most importantly, pandan leaves are used to flavour desserts like cakes, biscuits, breads, drinks, ice cream, popsicles, agar agar, coconut jams and sweet red bean soup. Pandan leaves add unique and intense, sweet flora like fragrance to desserts and dishes. Pandan leaves are abundant in plant compound and essential nutrients like glycosides, alkaloids and tannins and are used in traditional medicines. Health benefits of pandan leaves include: pain relief; to reduce fever; anti-inflammatory for arthritis; promote healthy skin; decrease stomach cramps; support wound healing; aid recuperation for women after child birth; heal leprosy and small pox; reinforce strong gums; and used as laxative for children.
Vegan Pandan Coconut Cupcakes
Save to BigOven
1 hour, 25 minutes
Pandan (screwpine) leaves and coconut are the main flavours these cupcakes with pandan coconut Buttercream Frosting, giving them an intense aroma.
- Some vegan butter for greasing the muffin pans
For the Cupcakes:
- 400g (14.1oz) gluten free self-raising flour (Orgran)
- 1 tablespoon potato flour
- 2 tablespoons desiccated coconut
- 130g (4.6oz) castor sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1½ cup (375ml) coconut milk
- 1½ cup (375ml) pandan juice
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
For the Pandan Juice [1½ cup (375ml) plus 2 tablespoons]
- 20 fresh or frozen pandan leaves, wash thoroughly and cut into roughly 2cm lengthwise
- 600ml water
For the Pandan Coconut Buttercream Frosting:
- 230g (8.1oz) cold vegan butter (Nuttlelex)
- 180g (6.3oz) gluten free pure icing sugar
- 30g (1oz) gluten free corn (maize) starch
- 2 tablespoons coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons pandan juice
For the Garnish:
- ¼ cup desiccated coconut
- ½ cup shredded coconut
- 2 non-stick 12 cup muffin pans
For the pandan juice:
- Add the cut pandan leaves and water to a NutriBullet or food processor, pulverise until you get a thick puree paste. Strain through a fine sieve, using a tablespoon to press on the pandan paste to release more juice. You need 375ml (1½ cups) of pandan juice plus 2 tablespoons for frostings.
For the frosting:
- Place cold vegan butter in a large mixing bowl and using an electric hand mixer, beat for 2 minutes. Gradually add all the icing sugar and gluten free corn (maize) starch and beat until light and fluffy.
- Then add in the coconut milk and pandan juice, beat for another 2 minutes or until well combined. Place in refrigerator until ready to use.
For the cupcakes batter:
- Mix all the wet ingredients together in a large mixing bowl, whisk by hand until combined.
- Sift all the dry ingredients except desiccated coconut into another large mixing bowl, whisk by hand and combine well. Then add in the desiccated coconut, whisk and combine. Make a well in the centre of the mixing bowl.
- Gradually pour the wet ingredients mixture prepare in step 1 into the well and use a spatula to mix briefly. Then whisk by hand and combine well.
For cooking the cupcakes:
- Pre-heat fan-forced oven to 180C or 350F.
- Grease all the muffin pans with some vegan butter.
- Spoon and fill each muffin pan with some batter, until about ¾ full for each pan.
- Use a small spoon to even out the top of the muffin batter.
- Bake the muffins for 25 minutes or until golden brown and tooth pick comes out clean.
- Cool in muffin pan for 5 minutes, then remove and place the cooked muffins on a cooling rack.
For frosting the cupcakes:
- Let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting.
- Prepare piping bag fitted with star piping tip and frost the cupcakes.
- Garnish with some desiccated coconut and shredded coconut on the frostings and serve.
| Amount Per Serving:|
| Calories|| 413.02 kcal|
| % Daily Value*|
| Total Fat 28.37 g|| 43.6%|
| Saturated Fat 19.0 g|| 95%|
| Trans Fat 0.03 g|
| Cholesterol 2.22 mg|| 0.7%|
| Sodium 180.67 mg|| 7.5%|
| Total Carbohydrate 38.64 g|| 12.9%|
| Dietary Fiber 2.03 g|| 8.1%|
| Sugars 15.62 g|
| Protein 3.32 g|
| Vitamin A 1.3 %|| Vitamin C 1.93 %|
| Calcium 9.68 %|| Iron 14.46 %|
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Healthy gf Asian
Fresh or frozen pandan leaves can be purchased from Asian groceries stores.
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Disclaimer: I am NOT paid by Orgran or Nuttlelex for this post!