These light coconut sponges are a great alternative to the traditional festive treats – and they’ll keep your vegan friends happy, too
If you fail to see the appeal of dried fruit and you’re not keen on chocolate, Christmas can be a tough time, especially when the desserts make their grand entrance.
And if you’re a vegan to boot, it can be downright miserable to see everyone tucking into pies, cakes and puddings that you can’t partake in. Okay, you may lose a few pounds – but that’s not what Christmas is about, is it!
Soft and light, these triple-coconut cupcakes are free from eggs and dairy, and there’s not a currant in sight. Topped with a coconut cream icing, sprinkled with desiccated coconut and arranged on a rustic board or pretty glass cake stand, they’ll make an eye-catching centrepiece to your indoor winter wonderland.
Preparation and cooking time: 1 hour, plus cooling time
You will need a 12-hole muffin tray and 12 paper cupcake cases.
For the coconut icing:
1 x 400ml can full-fat coconut milk (we used Marks & Spencer’s)
140g icing sugar, sifted
½ tsp vanilla extract
For the cupcakes:
100g coconut oil
200g caster sugar
275g self-raising flour, sifted
1 tsp baking powder
200-300ml unsweetened coconut drink (we used Marks & Spencer’s)
1 tsp vanilla extract
50g desiccated coconut
- The day before, shake the can of coconut milk vigorously for a few minutes then turn upside down and place in the fridge to
- The next day, preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas 4. Line the muffin tray with paper cases.
- In a large bowl, beat together the coconut oil and caster sugar for 5 minutes with an electric whisk, until creamy and light.
- Fold in the flour, baking powder, 200ml coconut drink and vanilla extract until well combined. Hold a spoonful of the batter above the bowl. If it doesn’t fall easily off the spoon, add more of the coconut drink – a little at a time – until it reaches dropping consistency.
- Spoon the batter into the paper cases then place the tray on the middle shelf of the preheated oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the cakes are pale golden and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Allow to cool on a wire rack.
- Once the cakes are completely cool, remove the can of coconut milk from the fridge. Turn the right way up, open and carefully spoon the thick cream into a large bowl. Discard the remaining liquid.
- Add the icing sugar and vanilla extract and whisk until smooth.
- Spread the icing on top of the cakes with a palette knife. Sprinkle over the desiccated coconut until completely covered. Shake off
- Store in the fridge and eat within a couple of days.