Lemon, Olive Oil & Black Tea Cupcakes (Vegan, Gluten Free)
I wake up early -- my body overheated -- and kick my heavy duvet off, pull my socks off, attempt to shut my eyes. The sheet alone of course is too cold. My shoulder aches from sleeping on my side with it shoved up too high alongside my neck. I turn over to face my husband, putting my hand on his bearded face. I stroke his cheek, rub at his shoulder. I like the texture of his wiry beard hair and his smooth skin. He half flutters his eyes and groans and tries to pull me in to sleep closer. I squeeze him, but quickly flick off all of the covers and launch out of bed to find something to occupy my mind.
I've been having rather frenetic dreams lately. Unusual for me. Where I'm waiting in line or impatiently waiting for a cashier to fill my milk crates up with soup (not possible) or just yelling at someone who's doing something sneaky. This happened last year too, when I was having some unspoken conflict with a friend (we worked it out eventually).
Pretty much the only way I can deal with subconscious stuff is to move my body and talk with someone until I've figured it out. And you know what I realized today after yoga and a walk? I've taken on too many projects. I've got at least 10 projects on the horizon for this year, not the least of which are this blog and getting the bean-to-bar chocolate company I've been dreaming about off of the ground. Not to mention playing in two bands and taking on more photography and freelance writing/design work. That's just the tip of the iceberg. Where's my time-turner when I need it?!
When I'm not attempting to vinyasa-flow meaning out of my dream-speak, there's the kitchen. Baking treats serves as a mad experimental wash, cooling my thoughts. Flour, sugar, oil marry and pacify my anxious mind. It's all groovy feels and hands in the dry mix. Watching gold-green olive oil glug from the tip of my favorite new kitchen accessory (olio!) makes my feel like some lucky golden kitchen princess.
It's true. These aren't you're typical cupcakes with a high dome on which to pile mounds of frosting. But, I have to say, there is nothing I would change about them. Punchy lemon, buttery olive oil, and the soft scent of chai tea; Plus a perfect crumb and tart-sweet icing to top it all off. I think I ate about 5 of these in a row before I realized what I was doing. As much as I love chocolate (my heart!), a bright lemony confection can totally erase my need for anything else in the world for just a moment. Simple pleasures.
- 1/2 cup brown rice flour
- 1/8 cup sorghum flour
- 1/8 cup oat flour
- 3/4 cup coconut sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon psyllium (whole or powdered)
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 tablespoon finely minced lemon zest
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1/4 cup best quality olive oil
- 1 chia egg (1 tablespoon chia seeds + 3 tablespoons water)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/2 cup strong brewed chai or earl grey black tea
- lemon zest (optional)
- Lemon Icing
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 teaspoons lemon juice, or more if you want a runnier consistency
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Fill a muffin tin with cupcake liners.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients: brown rice flour, sorghum flour, oat flour, coconut sugar, baking powder, baking soda, psyllium, and sea salt.
- Add the lemon zest and, using your hands, rub it into the dry ingredients.
- In a separate medium bowl, combine the almond milk, olive oil, chia egg, vanilla extract, lemon juice, and tea.
- Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until you have an even mix.
- Cool for 10 minutes in the fridge.
- Fill the cupcake liners 3/4 full with batter.
- Bake on 350F for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 325F and bake 8 minutes further, or until a sharp knife can be inserted in the center and come out clean.
- Cool completely.
- Top each cupcake with 1-2 teaspoons of icing. Top with zest! You can eat them immediately, but cooling the cupcakes in the fridge further helps the icing to set so that your lemon zest garnish sits atop the icing, as opposed to sinking into it.
- Combine powdered sugar, vanilla, and lemon juice in a small bowl until you have an even, glossy consistency.