Guys, we've almost survived another winter. This was my second (and most ridiculously warm) Chicago winter and it wasn't bad at all. And in only 3 months I will be halfway done with the coursework portion of my doctorate. Seriously, baby steps. Slow and steady wins the race. These are my mantras. Also cupcakes do wonders to lift and over-worked exhausted mind and body.
I love the combination of chocolate, coconut, and blood orange. Blood oranges are just so gorgeous I was determined to make something pretty with them before the winter ended. And so I might be a couple weeks late but here they are!
Adapted from: The First Mess
Makes 12 cupcakes
For the cupcakes:
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (or sub AP flour)
3/4 cup coconut sugar (or sub cane sugar)
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon packed blood orange zest
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup blood orange juice, from ~ 4 small oranges
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons dairy-free milk
1/2 teaspoon instant coffee (optional)
For the frosting:
1 can coconut cream*, refridgerated overnight
zest from 1 blood orange
1-2 tablespoons blood orange juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup powderered sugar
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Fill a muffin tin with 12 liners and set aside.
In a large bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, and zest. Form a well in the middle of the dry ingredients. Pour the coconut oil, apple cider vinegar, vanilla, blood orange juice, milk, and instant coffee into the well and mix, slowly incorporating the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Work quickly as the vinegar activates quickly. Scoop the batter into the muffin tins and bake for about 20 minutes until a toothpick come out clean.
Make the frosting (note this step can be made 3 days in advance). Open your refrigerated can of coconut cream (or coconut milk) and pour the thick creamy top layer into the bowl of a stand mixer (or large bowl). If there is liquid at the bottom of the can reserve this for use in smoothies. Using a whisk attachment beat the coconut cream, blood orange zest and juice, vanilla, and powdered sugar until thick and whipped cream-like consistency. Adjust to taste.
Let the cupcakes cool then top with frosting then top with a blood orange segment and serve!
Notes: You can also use full fat coconut milk. Once refrigerated the coconut cream will rise to the top and solidify and depending on the fat content, you may have some coconut water since to the bottom. Use only the coconut cream for the frosting.