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Have you smelled the lilacs yet this spring? They smell of gardenias and feisty natural perfume — both musky and angelic. Their horn-like blossom clusters last only two weeks, welcoming in spring with the prettiest visual blast, something like pink cupcakes: coaxing and beckoning upcoming birthdays and special events. These Paleo and AIP cupcakes are well-suited indeed to all things special, special diet or not: moist, just the right sweetness, exciting, delicious, sure-to-please! The Strawberry “Buttercream” Frosting is, of course, dairy-free and YET, it’s my husband’s favorite frosting ever.
Here you see our cupcakes, dotted and surrounded by our lilac blossoms. We have MANY lilac trees on our new property, and after longing for their bloom, we are enjoying them so much. Lilac flowers are indeed edible, so if you have some in your yard, do decorate with them. They don’t taste lovely, but they’re SUCH a pretty garnish, and they’re healthy, and I, for one, enjoy eating them. Their color goes SO prettily with the strawberry buttercream.
You can also see in the photo above our flowering quince and our red tulips. We feel so thankful for all the beauty.
- 3/4 cup cassava flour Otto's brand preferred and recommended
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar
- 1/3 cup lard or coconut oil, melted and cooled slightly
- 1/3 cup coconut milk, room temperature or warm (not chilled)
- 1/4 cup collagen (see link and DISCOUNT code below in Recipe Notes)
- 3 Tablespoons coconut flour
- 3 Tablespoons filtered water
- 1 Tablespoon gelatin (see link and DISCOUNT code below in Recipe Notes)
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, sifted
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup lard slightly soft at room temperature (but not melted); OR (the not-orange) palm shortening
- 1/4 cup raw honey
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 teaspoon gelatin see link and discount code below in Recipe notes
- pinch sea salt
- 1 cup freeze-dried strawberries (find these at Trader Joe's or see the link below in Recipe Notes)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line muffin pan with liners. Set aside.
- In large bowl combine dry ingredients: cassava flour, coconut sugar, collagen, coconut flour, gelatin, cinnamon, baking soda and sea salt.
- In medium bowl combine wet ingredients: fat of choice, coconut milk, water and apple cider vinegar.
- Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir to combine.
- Fill muffin tin with batter. Bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Set aside to cool completely.
- Place freeze-dried strawberries in food processor, blender or coffee grinder and blend to a fine powder. (If you plan to use a pastry tip to frost the cupcakes, any pieces of strawberry that aren't powdered will clog the smaller tips. So remove or crush the larger pieces; or use an open, large tip for piping.) Set aside.
- Place 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan and sprinkle gelatin over its surface. Stir in with fork or whisk, and allow gelatin to dissolve for 1 minute. Heat over medium heat, stirring the entire time, as the gelatin dissolves completely, about 2-3 minutes.
- Turn off heat and stir in honey and sea salt to dissolve. Allow to cool to room temperature, about 15 minutes.
- Place the lard in a large metal bowl. Beat on high with hand beaters until creamy, about 1 minute.
- Add honey-gelatin-water 1-2 tablespoons at a time, beating about 20 seconds after each addition. Beat until frosting is smooth and honey mixture is incorporated evenly. Frosting will be aerated slightly and hold its shape as it's beaten.
- Add freeze-dried strawberry powder, and beat to fully incorporate.
- You can frost your cupcakes at this point. (If you refrigerate the frosting before using it, simply melt it down slightly (not fully) again, beat and refrigerate until you have reached the right temperature and texture. Or bring it to room temperature slowly, and beat briefly to loosen and soften.)
I hope recipes like these two (the cupcakes and the dairy-free buttercream) help you to enjoy spring even more, but also to enjoy your special diet even more! The possibilities for pleasurable food on limited diets are endless. That’s because whole foods are like spring time: fresh and fulfilling!
Do you have a special event coming up soon? Do you need a lovely Paleo or AIP cupcake recipe? Enjoy!