It's National Cupcake Week here in the UK. This week long celebration of all things cupcake features special events and promotions taking place in craft and high street bakeries across the UK, alongside a series of special programmes on Food Network. Also, a number of craft bakery and ingredients suppliers have joined in to help raise money for National Cupcake Week's partner charity CLIC Sargent, which supports children with cancer.
So, I decided to join in and make some cupcakes. These are only a little bit naughty because the ingredients themselves are pretty healthy. The ground and chopped almonds, raspberries and wheat germ are all great sources of vitamins and minerals. There is sugar in this recipe, but only a small amount compared to most cupcakes as the (local and in season) raspberries, coconut and almond extract lend it a real natural sweetness. In fact, I have even served these naked as muffins, instead of icing them and turning them into cupcakes. But today, they are dressed up and ready to go out!
Speaking of which, I like to frost these with cream coloured buttercream icing and decorate them with sprinkles. Pale pink icing is nice too. I've tried decorating them with raspberries, but not only does the juice run into the frosting, on one occasion a five year old piped up with "They look like boobies"! It wasn't his fault, it's what all the grown ups were thinking anyway!
1½ cups flour
½ cup ground almonds
½ cup wheat germ
¾ cup finely chopped almonds
½ cup desiccated coconut
¾ cup white sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1/3 cup mild olive oil (not extra virgin) or mild oil of your choice
1 cup milk
1 tsp almond extract
1 cup raspberries
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, ground almonds, wheat germ, chopped almonds, coconut, sugar, baking powder and salt.
In a medium bowl, beat the eggs. Beat in the oil, milk and almond extract.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients in the large bowl all at once. Very gently fold in the raspberries.
Scoop into greased or lined cupcake tins. The cooking time will vary depending on your oven and the size of the cupcakes, but I usually find that 20 to 30 minutes at 350℉ or 170℃ (160℃ for fan ovens) is just about right. The cupcakes are done when a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Cool on a wire rack. Once cool, frost with icing and decorate as desired.