Fluffy, bright, dainty. Not always what I go for in a dessert – I often lean towards rich, nutty, and chocolatey. But this fantasy of a dessert popped into my head on a day when the sky was bright blue with clouds, and fresh with an Albertan breeze. Lemon and coconut pair here for a delightful treat reminiscent of sunshine and puffy clouds.
The frosting will bring you to tears of joy – similar in texture to cream cheese frosting, but with a zip and coconut taste that you’ll love. The secret is to use full-fat coconut cream, and put the can in the fridge for at least an hour beforehand, so that the fatty part separates well away from the runny water.
My recipe also tucks a little pocket of sunny yellow lemon curd into the centre of the cakes. You’ll make more than you need, so store the rest in the fridge to spread on toast or scones the next morning. Yum!
Coconut Lemon Cloud Cupcakes
An original recipe by Agent Minty
Makes 12 frosted cupcakes
- 3 Tbsp + 1 tsp melted coconut oil
- 3 Tbsp white shortening
- 1 cup ultrafine sugar (take regular sugar and zip for a minute or less in a blender or clean coffee grinder)
- 1 1/2 tsp powdered egg replacer + 2 Tbsp water
- 1 1/2 Tbsp lemon zest (about 1/2 lemon)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 cup + 2 Tbsp non-dairy milk
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 1/2 Tbsp lemon zest
- 1/4 cup +1/4 cup water
- 4 tsp arrowroot powder
- 2 tsp Bird’s custard powder (or 2 tsp corn starch + 1/4 tsp turmeric, though not quite as good)
- 1 1/2 Tbsp margarine
- 1 1/2 Tbsp melted coconut oil
- 2 Tbsp margarine
- 1/3 cup + 2 3/4 cup icing sugar
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- pinch salt
- 6 Tbsp full-fat coconut milk
Make the cupcakes:
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Cream together coconut oil and shortening until smooth.
- Beat in sugar until fluffy.
- Add in egg replacer mixture, lemon zest, and vanilla, beat for about one minute.
- In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder and side, and salt.
- In a cup, combine lemon juice and milk.
- Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the mixer, beat briefly until mostly incorporated, then add half of the milk mixture and mix.
- Continue alternating flour and milk until all is mixed in. Scape down bowl and mix briefly.
- Divide mixture between 12 lined cupcake tins.
- Bake in the centre of the oven for 18 minutes, rotating halfway through.
- Remove cupcakes to a wire rack and let cool completely, at least one hour.
Prepare the lemon curd:
- Combine sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a small saucepan, and heat on medium.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl whisk together 1/4 cup of water plus arrowroot and Bird’s powder. Once powders are well-mixed, add remaining water to mix.
- Bring sugar-juice mixture to a simmer, stirring frequently.
- Quickly mix up starch mixture again, and slowly pour into the simmering juice, stirring as it is added.
- Keep stirring juice mixture until it starts to thicken and become slightly shiny, about 3 minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir in margarine.
- Place plastic wrap on surface of warm mixture to prevent a skin from forming.
- Cool to room temperature, then chill in the refrigerator until surface of curd is cool to the touch.
Prepare the frosting:
- Cream together coconut oil and margarine.
- Beat in 1/3 cup icing sugar, lemon juice, and salt until creamy.
- Alternate adding 1/3 of the remaining icing sugar, 1/2 of the coconut milk, beating between each addition until smooth.
- Continue adding icing sugar and milk until it is all incorporated and well-mixed.
Assemble cupcakes (See pictures below):
- Using a melon baller or small knife, remove a 2 tsp-sized scoop from the top of each cupcake. Keep removed bits.
- Fill holes most of the way with lemon curd (about 1 1/2 tsp)
- Cut off all but top 1/4-inch off of removed cake bits and place back over holes in cupcakes, like a lid.
- Frost cupcakes with coconut icing – I recommend piping it on so that the pocket of lemon curd isn’t disturbed.
- Store cupcakes in the refrigerator for up to three days.