Cupcakes are some of my favorite desserts in the world. Unfortunately, a traditional cupcake is loaded with saturated fat, sugars and processed ingredients. Since the holidays are now upon us, I figured, rather than avoid those decadent treats altogether, I might as well make some of my own that I know I can enjoy guilt free! These cupcakes are moist, gooey, and have an AMAZING gingery flavor, which tastes just like a gingerbread cookie! We have several steps for this recipe, so you want to give yourself enough time to make these treats, especially if you are going to be soaking the nuts.
So without further ado, let us begin!
Makes about 12 2 1/2 inch cupcakes
For the cupcake base you will need:
– 2 1/2 cups soaked walnuts (you want to soak them overnight, or at least 4 to 6 hours prior to prep time. This is for blending purposes as well as health purposes. For more information about soaking nuts, see my blog post)
– 1 cup dried figs, soaked 4 to 6 hours
– 1 cup dates, soaked 4 to 6 hours
– 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger (you can also used powdered ginger if you want)
– 2 tsp cinnamon
– 1 tsp nutmeg (powdered or grated)
– 1 12 count cupcake tray (or 2 trays that hold 6 cupcakes)
– cupcake liners (2 inch in diameter)
– high-powered blender like a vitamix or blendtec for blending
For the cashew cream lemon icing you will need:
– 1 1/2 cups soaked cashews (this is for blending purposes and for health reasons. For more information on the benefits of soaking your nuts, see my blog post about it)
– 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice (the juice of about 1 large lemon)
– 1 tbsp coconut oil
– 1 tbsp honey
– 1 tsp freshly grated lemon zest (from the same lemon you will use the juice from)
– 1 ziplock bag for icing, or if you have a piping bag, you will need that)
First you must soak your nuts and dried fruits for at least 4 to six hours. I usually soak mine overnight, so that they are nice and moist and ready for preparation the next day
Once the nuts and dried fruit have been soaked, drain the water and rinse them one more time. Then add all the ingredients for the cupcake base into your high-powered blender, and blend on high for several minutes. The mixture will be thick and dough-like, so you will have to start and stop the blender several times, pressing down the sides to make sure everything is fully mixed. Your mixture should look something like this:
After you have mixed the ingredients, spoon the mixture into the cupcake papers and put them into the cupcake molds. You will then place the trays into the freezer while you prepare the cashew cream lemon icing
Drain the water from the cashews, then add all the ingredients to your high-powered blender
Blend on high for a couple minutes, pushing down on the sides to make sure the mixture is fully blended. Your icing should be thick and creamy:
Remember, if you want more of a lemony, tangy taste, add more lemon juice and zest! if you want less of a lemon taste, use only a 1/2 tsp of zest and try with a bit less lemon juice.
Now it’s time to ice the cupcakes! If you don’t have a piping bag–which I don’t, and never have, just use a regular ziplock bag instead:
Take your cupcakes out of the freezer, and start squeezing the lemon icing out of the bag. You can use any design pattern you want for the cupcakes. I used the traditional swirl, but you can always get creative with the icing technique!
Once the cupcakes have been iced, cut up some thin lemon slices, and use your extra lemon zest for a garnish
Place them in the freezer again to chill for a couple hours. Then, take them out and eat them!
You can store them either in the fridge or freezer, but they will keep longer and stay hard if stored in the freezer.