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Vegan Pandan Coconut Cupcakes

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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.

Disclaimer: I am NOT paid by Orgran or Nuttlelex for this post!

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4 Responses

  1. Paola
    | Reply

    I don’t think I have ever had anything like that, but it does sound interesting!

    • daphnegoh
      | Reply

      Thanks Paola. Hope you will give this recipe a try. :)

  2. Elizabeth
    | Reply

    I tried pandan when I was visiting London some time ago and I really loved it. It’s something I’d like to experiment with more. These cupcakes sound great!

    • daphnegoh
      | Reply

      I love pandan too especially in desserts, so aromatic! :)

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