These sweet little things were born from a happy accident. I planned to make cupcakes using the recipe from Chef George Stella’s cookbook for birthday cake. Developed by his wife Rachel, it is an amazing treat and it lends itself well to cupcakes — you just need to bake them for a much shorter time than you would a full-sized cake.
Alas, I didn’t have all the necessary ingredients. When my sweet tooth calls, however, I must answer, so I scrounged through the pantry and came up with a plan. The resulting recipe uses coconut flour in place of some of the almond flour, adds an extra egg, and boosts the sweetener. The finished product was quite a success.
- 2 cups ground almond flour (buy it, or make your own by whirring unblanched almonds in a food processor until they turn to a fine powder)
- 1/2 cup coconut flour (available through your health food store or online — it’s great for breading things, too!)
- 6 large eggs
- 1/4 cup water
- 7/8 cup Splenda
- 1 Tbsp. Brown Sugar Diabeti-sweet (optional)
- 1 Tbsp vanilla
- 1 Tbsp. baking powder
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, use a whisk to beat the 6 eggs together with the water until the mixture is a pretty yellow color. Add the baking powder and sweeteners. Next, throw the two types of flour in. Add the vanilla.
Mix the ingredients well. If the batter is too stiff, add a teaspoon or so of water. Don’t thin it out too much or you’ll have a disaster on your hands.
Spoon the mixture into muffin tins. I prefer the silicone ones, lightly sprayed with cooking spray. You can also throw a tiny bit of the coconut flour or the Splenda in each muffin cup after you’ve sprayed it as extra insurance against sticking.
Bake for 17 or 18 minutes. They should be lightly browned (they won’t be real brown because we’re not using sugar) and a toothpick plunged into the middle shouldn’t come out with big gooey globs on it.
While the cupcakes cool on a rack, mix together your icing:
- 4 tbsp. unsalted butter (softened)
- 8 oz. softened cream cheese
- 7/8 cup Splenda
- 1 Tbsp. vanilla
For variety, you could add a capful of almond extract, lemon extract, or coconut extract to the icing, or just be a purist and leave it as is. Obviously, you could also add a few drops of food coloring or some nonpareils (does anyone have any clue how to pronounce that word and what in the world it means, other than pretty sprinkly stuff?) to the top. Let your mood move you (Unless you are in a foul mood, in which case someone else needs to take over kitchen duties for a while).
Apply the icing. If you’re really ambitious, get out your cake decorating bag and tips and pipe on the icing. Even if you just made the icing smooth and piped on little icing “pearls,” the effect would be stunning.
This recipe makes 12 cupcakes, but if you’re alone and 6 somehow “disappear” and you want to claim the recipe only made 6, I swear I won’t tell. This seems like a waste of breath, but I’ll tell you anyway — should you have any leftovers, they should be refrigerated.