Recipe supplied by Catherine Speedie of Gingko , an organic wholefood restaurant & deli with garden & kids play area

Many of our kids are suffering from food intolerances and allergies, and
this becomes especially difficult to manage when there are parties to give
and attend, as the standard party table is a nightmare of sugar, wheat,
colourants and preservatives! The problem of course is that most of us
believe there are no alternatives and it seems especially mean to deny
little Johnny his moment of sugary bliss on his birthday:). The trick is to
combine delicious with nutritious, so that even though they’ll take something of a sugar hit, there should at least be some nutritional value along the way. The recipe for cupcakes below can be made dairy free or not at your discretion. It is gluten free, the bananas are a good source of
dietary fibre, Vitamin C, potassium, manganese, and Vitamin B6 and the
almonds deliver riboflavin, magnesium and manganese, and are also a very
good source of Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol).

 Makes 12 cupcakes

1 cup almonds

1 cup brown rice flour or rice flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

½ teaspoon allspice

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

2 large organic or free-range eggs

1/3 cup light olive oil

2 tablespoons brown rice syrup  or raw agave syrup

1 1/3 cups organic light brown sugar, fructose or xylitol

4 medium very ripe bananas, cut up and mashed into puree

1 1/2 teaspoons bourbon vanilla extract

Simple Coconut Milk Icing:

450g icing sugar

1/2 cup olive oil ‘margarine’ (or butter if you don’t mind the dairy)

2-3 tablespoons coconut milk

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla or coconut extract

How to make the cupcakes

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Prepare a cupcake/muffin pan by lining it with paper inserts (Kids love to peel off the paper and you can get very pretty ones at baking specialists such as Linda’s Bake & Pack in Westdene).

3. Process the almonds in a food processor by pulsing on and off until a fine almond meal is formed. Don’t overdo it as the oils in the almond will release as they are pulverised and you don’t want it to get to the sticky stage. Pour the almond meal into a dry mixing bowl.

4. Add in the rice flour, baking soda, baking powder, sea salt and spices and whisk to combine.

5. In a clean mixing bowl beat the eggs; add the oil, syrup, brown sugar, banana puree and vanilla. Beat well.

6. Add the dry ingredients into the wet, and beat for two minutes.

7. Spoon the batter into the prepared cupcake pan and bake in a preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes until done. Check the centre for doneness with a wooden tooth pick. The cupcake should appear slightly golden brown at the edge, yet still be moist inside.

8. Cool cupcakes completely on a wire rack before frosting.

9. To frost, sift the sugar into a mixing bowl and add the butter with 2 tablespoons of the coconut milk.

10. Start beating and continue to beat to incorporate the butter and coconut milk. Add more coconut milk a teaspoon at a time, until you achieve the consistency you like. Crank up the mixer and beat the heck out of it until the frosting is smooth and glossy. Frost each cake and allow icing to  settle a little by chilling before serving.

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