Hello there. Happy Sunday. How’s your day going? Sundays are wonderful, aren’t they? I started my day with taking Cocoa for a walk around the track behind my apartment building, which is always crowded except for Sundays. We sniffed flowers and took in the sunshine and rolled in the grass (okay, I didn’t do that last one). Then, I had coffee while she lazily chewed her new bone and I had some of these leftover vegan lemon coconut cupcakes for breakfast.
For a second, I felt bad about eating cupcakes for breakfast.
Only for a second.
I mean, these vegan cupcakes are much healthier than your average cupcake. They don’t use any dairy or butter, of course. They use very little sugar, considering. And they use coconut two ways: in the form of coconut oil and coconut butter.
And there’s fruit. So, I think I’m going to go ahead and give myself a pass for eating cupcakes for breakfast. Just this one time. (Sure, “one time.” Funny.)
Have you guys ever had coconut butter? Coconut butter is actually the meat of the coconut, pulverized into a creamy and buttery paste. Although some people confuse it as being the same as coconut oil, it’s definitely not. Think of coconut butter as you would think of peanut or almond butter. It’s pretty easy to make your own coconut butter, and you can follow The Kitchn’s instructions here. However, I totally buy mine. Artisana Organics makes my favorite brand of raw coconut butter, which is what I used in this recipe, in addition to their raw coconut oil. I will link both of these below.
I experimented with this recipe several times before I got it just right. These cupcakes are fluffy and tender and a delicious vegan cupcake. It uses coconut oil, lemon zest and juice, coconut milk, almond milk, and agave.
There is a little bit of cane sugar in the cupcake recipe, as well as a little bit of powdered sugar in the frosting. This is for the success of the recipe and it is a very small amount compared to your typical cupcake.
The frosting is made with coconut oil, coconut butter, raspberry puree, and vanilla. It does use a little bit of powdered sugar, which helps this frosting come together and limits separation. Since the frosting uses coconut oil, you have to be careful of separation, and I’ve found that powdered sugar is excellent in preventing this and creating a smooth consistency. Should your frosting separate on you during the process, just re-blend the frosting in a high-speed blender or add a bit more powdered sugar. If that doesn’t work, re-heat the frosting to liquid consistency and start the process from there. If you follow the steps and ensure everything is at a good temperature, that shouldn’t happen! But if it does, do not worry because it’s totally fixable.
Best part of this recipe? I didn’t even have to break out my KitchenAid mixer to make it! These vegan lemon coconut cupcakes come together in one bowl and the frosting just gets blended in a high-speed blender or food processor. I used my trusty Magic Bullet. I figured I should use this more, and not just for making
healthy smoothies Pina Coladas.
You can pipe the frosting on these cupcakes, as I did for picture-worthiness. But, honestly? I love these cupcakes with the homemade used-a-knife-like-mom-used-to type of frosting. A nice thin layer of frosting is all these cupcakes need. The cupcakes are really tasty, lemony, and perfectly sweet.
These cupcakes would also be delicious with a simple icing on top made from lemon juice and powdered sugar and topped with fresh raspberries. They would also be good with whipped coconut cream. Options are endless! But I really wanted to use my coconut butter for this recipe, hence the frosting.
When making the frosting, make sure that your coconut butter is at almond-butter, spreadable consistency. If your butter is rock solid, like mine was, gently heat it in the microwave in 10 second intervals until it softens. Your coconut oil should be soft, but not liquid. For the raspberry puree, simply puree fresh raspberries and strain them through a fine mesh strainer so that your frosting doesn’t have the seeds. I didn’t strain them for my first batch, just pureed them whole (that’s why some photos have seeds in the frosting). But straining it is much better. 🙂
The frosting will most likely need to refrigerate for a half hour or so to thicken and create a lovely and spreadable consistency. These will be fine at room temperature as long as it’s not too warm. If it’s too warm, the frosting may sweat or even melt.
You can frost the cupcakes the night before (although, as always, cupcakes are always better fresh). If you do this, keep them in an air-tight container and let the cupcakes come to room temperature for a half hour to an hour to soften the icing, which will be very hard.
These vegan lemon coconut cupcakes just remind me of summer. I can’t wait for you to make them and enjoy them at your next gathering! Or, you know…for breakfast.
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Here are some things you may need (or want) for this recipe:
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Looking for more summer vegan recipes? Check out these popular choices:
- ½ cup melted coconut oil
- ½ cup cane sugar
- ¼ cup agave syrup
- Zest and juice of one lemon
- 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- ½ cup full fat coconut milk
- 2 teaspoons lemon extract
- 1½ cups flour
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup coconut butter
- 1 cup coconut oil
- ½ cup raspberry puree (from about 12 ounces of fresh raspberries)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon agave
- ⅓ cup powdered sugar
- Fresh raspberries, for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a cupcake tin with 12 cupcake liners.
- In a measuring cup or container, combine the almond milk, coconut milk, lemon extract, and the zest and juice from one lemon. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl or container, combine the flour with the baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk well. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the melted coconut oil, agave, and cane sugar. Whisk well until combined.
- Add a third of the flour mixture and whisk. Add a third of the wet mixture and mix well. Continue alternating between the flour and wet mixture, adding a third of each at a time.
- Mix well but do not over-mix (a few lumps are okay).
- Fill each cupcake liner about a third of the way full and bake cupcakes until they spring back when touched and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 22-25 minutes.
- Puree the fresh raspberries and strain through a fine mesh strainer. Measure out ½ a cup.
- Gently melt the coconut butter until almond butter consistency. Soften the coconut oil until room temperature, but not melted. Blend the coconut butter in a high-speed blender with the coconut oil until incorporated.
- Add in the raspberry, vanilla, and agave. Blend until thoroughly mixed.
- Place the mixture in a bowl and slowly whisk in the powdered sugar until no lumps remain.
- Refrigerate the frosting until thickened, about a 30-45 minutes.
- Frost cooled cupcakes and top with a fresh raspberry.