These Vegan Pandan Coconut Cupcakes are simple to make and delicious treats. Likewise, these cupcakes are remake from a whole cake which often takes much longer to bake in the oven. While, for my gluten free fusion vegan pandan coconut cupcakes recipe. I am using pandan (screwpine) leaves, coconut milk and desiccated coconut as the main flavours. Resultin in these cupcakes having an intense aroma. This recipe is also dairy free, egg free, soy free and nut free.
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History of Cupcakes
Americans invented cupcake as a small cake in the 19th century to serve only one person. Likewise, a ground breaking creative approach due to the amount of baking time saved. Although, it is unclear how they created cupcakes. But they gave credit to “light cake baked in a small cup” in 1796. In a cook book named American Cookery by Amelia Simmons. Subsequently, they gave recognition to the term cupcake in the Receipts cookbook by Eliza Leslie in 1828.
While bakers adapted the term cupcake either from cakes baked in cups. Or according to ingredients used by bakers to make cupcake calculated by cups. In the early creation of cupcakes, they also known cupcakes as “number” (1234) cakes. Because of the number of ingredients quantified to make them. In the 20th century, bakers invented muffin tins and these tins became very popular for making cupcakes.
In majority, bakers mainly frost cupcakes with either chocolate or vanilla frostings. Which still remain as one of the most popular and typical frostings up until today. Moreover, there are now endless number of variations in colour and flavours. Not to mention the long lists of cake shops, recipe books, magazines, and blogs. Plus cafes and restaurants devoted solely to cupcakes alone. Cupcakes indeed have a pop culture craze in today’s gastronomic world. Lastly, my vegan pandan coconut cupcakes is one of the many adaptation to local tastebuds by Malaysian bakers.
What Are Pandan Leaves?
Pandan or screwpine leaves or Pandanus (Pandanus amaryllifolius) are lengthy, thin and blade-like leaves. Likewise, they are bright green in colour and pointed at the ends. In addition, pandan leaves are native to South Asia and Southeast Asia. Moreover, they often referred to pandan as “Asian vanilla” or “Vanilla of the East”. Many people extensively use pandan leaves in both sweet and savoury Southeast Asian cooking. Because pandan leaves are extremely adaptable in culinary uses, we can use them in many recipes. Including wrapping meats like chicken, fish, prawns, calamari and red meat. Before steaming, deep frying, barbecuing, grilling or roasting.
In addition, they use pandan leaves to add flavour to coconut milk before cooking rice, stews, soups or curries. Furthermore, they use pandan leaves in many popular desserts for intense flavour. Ranging from cakes, biscuits, breads, drinks, ice cream, popsicles to agar agar, coconut jams and sweet red bean soup. Furthermore, pandan leaves add unique and intense, sweet flora like fragrance to desserts and dishes.
Nutritional Values and Health Benefits of Pandan Leaves
Pandan leaves are abundant in plant compound and essential nutrients. Similarly, they are namely glycosides, alkaloids and tannins. Although many medical practitioners use these plant compounds in traditional medicines as well.
The many health benefits of pandan leaves may include:
- Provide pain relief;
- Help reduce fever;
- Anti-inflammatory for arthritis;
- Promote healthy skin;
- Decrease stomach cramps;
- Support wound healing; a
- Aid recovery for women after child birth;
- Heal leprosy and small pox;
- Reinforce strong gums; and
- Used as laxative for children.
Vegan Pandan Coconut Cupcakes
- Some vegan butter for greasing the muffin pans
For the Cupcakes:
For the Pandan Juice [1½ cup (375ml) plus 2 tablespoons]
- 20 fresh or frozen pandan leaves wash thoroughly and cut into roughly 2cm lengthwise
- 600 ml water
For the Pandan Coconut Buttercream Frosting:
For the pandan juice:
- Add the cut pandan leaves and water to a NutriBullet or food processor, process 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 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. Chill 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 level 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.