In continuation with my tribute to the end of the blood orange season I wanted to make something which would use a blood orange marmalade as well as frosting. I wanted to make a marmalade with blood oranges because it is such a flavourful fruit and even the peel has such a great flavour. I knew I could make it healthy and quickly by adding chia seeds and I also wanted to share the recipe of a quick and delicious vegan chia jam. I also wanted to add the blood orange juice to a vegan frosting recipe because I love the pinkish tinge it can give to a cake frosting. I had come across a lovely food photo of a blood orange butter cream frosting for a cake and I knew I had to replicate it in a healthy version. Thus this recipe for healthy vegan cupcakes with a blood orange chia jam centre and pink frosting was born!
I usually find recipes for either Vegan Cupcakes or Healthy cupcakes but not a combination of the two, i.e. a healthy vegan cupcake. Baking healthy cupcakes for me means something without refined sugar or refined flour as well as using good fats. I also wanted it to be dairy free and egg free as I enjoy the challenge of vegan baking. I found this recipe for vegan vanilla cupcakes and liked the simplicity of it. I decided to convert it into a recipe for healthy vegan cupcakes by subbing the refined flour with whole meal wheat flour, sugar with xylitol and canola oil with coconut oil and voila! These yummy healthy cupcakes were born!
I use Total Sweet Xylitol and it is one of my favourite plant based refined sugar substitutes. Not only does it work like sugar measure for measure, it is also very low on fructose which is a big deal for me. Read all about the importance of understanding fructose content in sweet products in my previous blog post here. Xylitol also ensures the end product colour does not change and hence my vanilla vegan cupcakes look as authentic as regular vanilla cupcakes.
How to make Healthy Frosting for Cupcakes?
My next challenge was to make healthier frosting. I also wanted to ensure it was a lovely pink colour with the natural dye of blood orange juice. My recipe for an easy vegan buttercream frosting is made with two main ingredients -powdered xylitol and coconut butter. I find coconut butter works much better than coconut oil due to its creamy texture. You can also use any of your favourite vegan butter spread. I adapted the recipe from here and used blood orange juice instead of the almond milk. If you do not have blood oranges at home, regular orange juice will work but you may have to add colouring to ensure the pink colour. I really hope you guys enjoy my vegan frosting recipe!
Chia Seed Marmalade?
The final aspect to these lovelies is the vegan chia jam centre. I love the idea of a surprise filling in a cupcake or cake or biscuit. It really thrills me and that is why I thought I had to put a surprise jam centre for these cupcakes, only they had to be healthy! My favourite way of making a quick healthy jam is by adding chia seeds in jam. Chia seeds is not only packed in healthy Omega 3s and protein it also has the ability to thicken liquids and hence can make a quick jammy texture. I wanted to use my beloved blood oranges and thought that a marmalade would be the best way to incorporate the fruit in its entirety. I adapted this recipe and used dates as a sweetener.
Delicious Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes!
With such an amazing combination of ingredients and flavours these are probably the naughtiest vegan cupcakes in town! These fluffy vegan cupcakes are moist and packed with healthier ingredients. Not only do they look beautiful, they taste amazing! Each bite has a unique texture and flavour. What is your favourite kind of cupcake? Let me know flavours that tickle you and frosting combinations you love!
Do give this recipe a try and let me know how they come out! If you do post your food photos on Instagram, then please do tag your creations of these vegan vanilla cucpcakes with #meghnas and #meghanskitchen so that I can see them as well!