Delicious but simple vanilla cupcakes are stuffed with a homemade lemon curd and topped with a delectable coconut buttercream in these gluten-free Lemon Coconut Cupcakes!
It took me two tries but I finally got the hang of lemon curd. Thank goodness.
You guys remember what happened the last time that I tried to make it, don’t you? Let’s just say it wasn’t my finest moment in the kitchen. That being said, this time around I got it right – sooo right.
These gluten-free Lemon Coconut Cupcakes actually first made their debut on Father’s Day. If you remember, my first attempt at lemon curd was on Mother’s Day – which didn’t end so well. Apparently I am a glutton for punishment because I decided to try my hand at lemon curd again, but this time on Father’s Day – except if I messed up the curd this time, I didn’t have any sort of back up plan. It was a risk, and now that I think about it I kind of want to smack myself in the face, but it thankfully all worked out in the end.
To my credit though, this time around I brought in back up in the form of a tiny ginger – aka Little Sissy.
Though Little Sissy and I aren’t all too similar in many ways, if there is one area that we are alike it is in our love of baking. While she mostly sticks to baking cookies [mostly because she just wants to eat the cookie dough], she does branch out every now and then to bake brownies, cakes and pies, thus I figured she would be the perfect helper when it came time to baking these gluten-free Lemon Coconut Cupcakes.
I also figured that another set of eyes would be helpful when it came time to make the lemon curd. What I didn’t count on however, was how much Little Sissy would love said lemon curd – as well as the cupcakes and frosting. Before I knew it I had a little sister in a sugar coma at 9am with cupcake crumbs on her face and frosting on her fingers. The leftover curd [that I had planned on saving for another use] also didn’t stand a chance, especially not with Little Sissy and a spoon nearby.
It was quite the morning and I pretty much fail at being anything close of a “health professional”, but I’ll take memories like that over being a proper representation any day.
Though if I’m being 100% honest, I think we could all gain from starting our day in a sugar coma every now and then. Remember guys, health isn’t only food and fitness.
But I’ll save that soap box for another day 🙂
While I was tempted to actually make these cupcakes with a full blown lemon cake, in the end I opted to keep them plain vanilla so as not to overwhelm with lemon flavor. While I do love lemon I wanted the flavors to be balanced – with both lemon and coconut being noticeable instead of lemon being truly dominant. I loved the burst of lemon flavor that came from the curd and the balance of coconut from the frosting – it truly was the perfect choice!
But now the real question – what did Daddy think of them?
They were, after all, made for him!
While I am pleased to say that these gluten-free Lemon Coconut Cupcakes got two thumbs way up from everyone in the family, Ninja didn’t even try them because if it isn’t doused in chocolate he really isn’t interested. Seriously that guy – what a snob, am I right? 😉
But Daddy liked them, and Little Sissy loved them, and both Mom#2 and Brother are on board with them, so I guess I’ll just have to ignore Ninja’s blatant rejection. I mean it wouldn’t be the first time he’s snubbed his nose up at my creations and I’m sure it won’t be the last. In all honesty I should be happy about it anyway – that just means more for me!
So while the summer may be all about fresh berries, I highly encourage you to give lemon and coconut a try. Just close your eyes, take a bite, and imagine yourself on a beach somewhere in the Caribbean – but maybe wait until after breakfast to do so 😉
- Cupcake Ingredients:
- 1¾ cup gluten-free all purpose flour
- 1 cup cane sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup almond milk, plain
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup coconut oil, softened
- Lemon Curd Ingredients:
- ½ cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons finely grated fresh lemon zest
- ½ cup sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into bits
- Coconut Buttercream Ingredients:
- 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ½ cup coconut cream
- 6 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tseaspoon pure vanilla extract
- shredded coconut, for topping
- For the Cupcakes:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tray with liners.
- In a bowl, whisk together the vinegar and almond milk. Let sit aside for 5 minutes.
- Add the coconut oil and vanilla extract to the same bowl. Whisk to mix.
- In another bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry, mixing until batter is smooth.
- Fill each muffin tin ½ way full. Bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Set aside to cool.
- For the Curd:
- Whisk together juice, zest, sugar, and eggs in a 2-quart heavy saucepan. Stir in butter and cook over moderately low heat, whisking frequently, until curd is thick enough to hold marks of whisk and first bubble appears on surface, about 6 minutes.
- Transfer lemon curd to a bowl and chill, its surface covered with plastic wrap, until cold, at least 1 hour.
- For the Frosting:
- Add butter, vanilla extract and coconut cream to a large mixing bowl. Beat until smooth. Add powdered sugar, one cup at a time so that it does not spill over.
- To Assemble:
- Once cupcakes have cooled, cut a hole in the tops with a knife. Remove the center of the cupcakes and stuff with 1 tablespoon of lemon curd. Frost with frosting and sprinkle with shredded coconut. Repeat with remaining cupcakes.
Have you ever had lemon curd before?
What do you think about cupcakes before breakfast [or for breakfast!]