We have a lemon tree in our backyard, it would be ‘un-Australian’ not to, right? Well our lemon tree is on steroids so much so that I’ve been inventing recipes as often as I can to best utlise these golden morsels of tangy juiciness. I’ve made preserved lemons, lemon pancakes, lemon sugar, lemon cordial and given bag loads of lemons to family and friends. But when it came to baking I thought hmm what goes well with lemon? Honey… and coconut? And voila my lemon and coconut cupcakes were brought to life.
These cupcakes are dense yet oddly light, I think it’s the coconut. The lemon juice is crucial and I’m lucky because our lemons are super juicy and you really do want to achieve that lingering citrus tang. My ricotta and lemon frosting is the icing on the cake, literally. It makes these cupcakes something special.
These cupcakes are gluten free and healthy. They are especially pretty when you top them with my ricotta frosting and decorate with an oozing of golden honey, crushed pistachio nuts, or toasted shredded coconut. Simply beautiful to enjoy with a cup of tea and perfect for a pretty tea party.
2½ cups almond meal
½ cup desiccated coconut
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1-2 lemons (zest and juice, see recipe)
1 cup wholemeal flour
2 eggs (room temperature)
¼ cup plain yoghurt (or you can use ½ cup of either yoghurt/ricotta alone)
¼ cup ricotta
1/3 cup honey
¼ cup coconut butter, melted
Ricotta and lemon frosting
½ cup ricotta
½ lemon (juice and zest)
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup toasted desiccated coconut
- Preheat the oven to 180c.
- Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.
- Add the wet ingredients and mix well. Depending on how juicy your lemons are, use the juice and zest of 1-1½ lemons as you want to achieve a nice tang.
- Transfer the mixture into a pretty cupcake liners and bake for 30 minutes or until cooked through. Please be sure to check that the centre of your cupcakes are cooked through by checking with a skewer.
- Let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting.
- To make the frosting combine the ricotta, vanilla extract, juice of ½ a lemon (reserve the zest), and mix very well so you achieve a smooth and creamy consistency.
- Drizzle the cupcakes with the lemon and ricotta frosting and sprinkle with toasted coconut and lemon zest before serving.
* I like to try the wet mixture before it’s cooked to make sure I can taste the lemon tang. If your lemons aren’t juicy enough add more juice to suit your taste.
** Keep these cupcakes stored in an airtight container in the fridge, they last for a few days but I doubt they will last long!
I’m sure you’ve heard that drinking a warm glass of water in the morning with some fresh lemon juice helps digestion by restoring your body’s natural balance. I’ve been doing this for years as an alternative to my morning tea and I love it. Lemons help boost your immunity (think lemon, honey and hot water when you have a cold) and they fight infections with their rich natural concoction of vitamins. Lemons cleanse your liver and bowels and they are versatile in both sweet and savoury dishes so try integrating them into your day. FYI: As tasty as lemons are, please don’t go too overboard if you suffer from things like heart burn.