When we’re not having fleeting days of summer weather, it certainly feels like fall has arrived, and I’m enjoying every minute of it. The cozy sweaters, the nights snuggled up with your loved ones enjoying a glass of wine, the dinner parties galor. The one thing that most signifies fall to me is food. That transition into holiday spices and warm meals is one that comforts me to no end. After making an improvisational stuffing with cardamom, orange zest, ginger and honey, I found myself days later still craving the taste and aroma of cardamom. In fact, I admit that I came home nightly and sniffed my bottle of little green pods hoping for a creative idea to arise again. Then, one night it finally did. I was craving something sweet and that’s when I came up with the idea to make cupcakes using ginger, cardamom and rosewater.
I knew I wanted to go at these with a gluten-free base, but when my vegan friend decided to come for dinner, I thought I would also make these improv cupcakes dairy and egg free so he too could enjoy them. I also selfishly always love having taste testers for my experiments. I scoured the internet for cupcake and frosting recipes and finally settled on the babycakes cupcake base and a rendition on a frosting from Elana’s Pantry, adding my touches of fall flavors. When they came out of the oven and the folks in my kitchen took a bite, I was met with bright eyes and happy stomachs. These little treats were both roommate and vegan friend approved. Unfortunately, no matter how much rosewater I kept adding, the ginger and cardamom simply overpowered the delicate addition, but they were still tasty. They’re a perfect dessert for your Thanksgiving meal and best of all, they won’t weigh you down. Here’s how to make them (I left the rosewater out of the recipe as the flavor didn’t come through)…
2 cups garbanzo–fava bean flour
1 cup potato starch
½ cup arrowroot
1 tablespoon plus 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
2 teaspoons salt
2/3 cup coconut oil
1 1/3 cups agave nectar
¾ cup homemade applesauce or store‑bought unsweetened applesauce
3 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
grated zest of 1 lemon
1 cup hot water
2-3 tbs grated fresh ginger (my addition)
1 cup coconut milk (canned)
1 cup agave nectar
pinch celtic sea salt
5 teaspoons arrowroot powder
1 tablespoon water
1¼ cup coconut oil
1 tsp cardamom seasoning (my addition)
I added coconut flour to thicken and fluff
For the cupcakes:
Preheat the oven to 325°F.
Line 2 standard 12-cup muffin tins with paper liners.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, potato starch, arrowroot, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, and salt.
Add the oil, agave nectar, applesauce, vanilla, and lemon zest to the dry ingredients and combine. Stir in the hot water and mix until the batter is smooth. Mix in grated ginger.
Pour 1/3 cup batter into each prepared cup, almost filling it.
Bake the cupcakes on the center rack for 22 minutes, rotating the tins 180 degrees after 15 minutes. The finished cupcakes will be golden brown and will bounce back when pressure is applied gently to the center.
Let the cupcakes stand in the tins for 20 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack and cool completely.
For the Frosting:
In a medium saucepan, heat coconut milk, agave and salt, simmer for 10 minutes
In a small bowl, combine arrowroot and water to form a smooth paste
Pour arrowroot mixture into saucepan and add cardamom.
Mix contents of saucepan with a hand blender Whisk vigorously to combine, then bring to a boil, briefly, until shiny
Remove pot from heat and very gradually blend in coconut oil with a hand blender
Allow pot to cool for 10 minutes
Place pot in refrigerator for 30-40 minutes, until frosting solidifies and turns white
Remove from refrigerator and blend again with a hand blender, until fluffy. Here’s where I added coconut flour to fluff up the icing a bit more.
Spread over cake or cupcakes