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Dairy-free lime cupcakes

At the weekend I became a godmother! And I couldn’t be prouder of my gorgeous (and incredibly cheeky) godson, Lorenzo.

Before he was born, Lorenzo’s parents decided on a colour for his nursery, his pram, etc – lovely lime green. His mum even later incorporated the colour into her wedding dress (which was stunning, by the way). So when I was deciding what I could make for his christening party, I knew I had to include his colour somehow. Voila – lime cupcakes!

dairy-free lime cupcakes

Lorenzo’s papa is lactose-intolerant so I made them completely dairy-free. Even the frosting is dairy-free, topped with some green ‘Ls’ I cut out of ready to roll icing (you need to make these in advance so they can dry and harden).

I was aiming for a lovely marbled green and cream effect as you bit into each cupcake, but in my haste to make them, the green hue was more like a splodge in the centre! I’m sure you can have more success than me swirling the coloured batter through. Or let your kids have fun with different colours.

dairy-free lime cupcakes

This recipe is an adaption of my dairy-free chocolate cupcakes, which I’d adapted from Nigella Lawson’s chocolate olive oil cake. Using healthier olive oil is a great way to eliminate dairy from cakes, and the unanimous decision from the people who’ve tried my chocolate and lime dairy-free cupcakes is that they taste just like ‘normal’ cupcakes!

I used this recipe as the basis for my dairy-free icing, but it’s basically dairy-free spread beaten up with icing sugar to which you then add your choice of flavouring (and colouring if you want). The quantities below make a large amount of icing which is perfect if you want lovely big mountains of piped icing on top. If you just want to spread it on like me (I must learn how to properly pipe!), reduce the quantities. Using a dairy-free spread instead of butter also means the icing will be quite runny after you’ve beaten it; pop it into the fridge for a while to cool before icing your cupcakes.

DAIRY-FREE LIME CUPCAKES

Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 15-20 mins
Makes 12 cupcakes
Uniced cupcakes can be frozen

200g caster sugar
150ml olive oil (not extra virgin olive oil)
3 eggs
2 limes, zested and juiced
1 tsp vanilla extract
140g self-raising flour

For the icing:
2/3 cup dairy-free spread
2 1/2 cups icing sugar
2 limes, zested and juiced
green food colouring (optional)

Preheat the oven to 170C and line your cupcake tray with paper cases.

Cream the sugar, olive oil and eggs quite vigorously (about 3 minutes) until you have a pale creamy texture. Turn the speed of your beater or mixer down a little. Add the vanilla extract, lime zest and juice, beating until combined.

Slowly add the flour and gently mix until combined.

Put about 1/4 cup of the mixture into a small bowl and mix through a little food colouring.

Divide the rest of your uncoloured mixture evenly between the paper cases. Add a spoonful of your green mixture to each and swirl through using a skewer. Bake for 15-20 minutes until lightly golden and a skewer comes out clean.

Leave the cupcakes to cool on a wire rack while you make the icing. Briefly cream the dairy-free spread using a hand-held beater or mixer then slowly add the icing sugar a bit at a time, beating until light and fluffy. Add in half of the zest and juice, and taste. Keep adding a little more zest and juice, tasting as you go, until you’re happy with the flavour. Mix through the food colouring if using.

Have fun decorating your cakes.

Variations:

  • for dairy-free lemon cupcakes, replace the zest and juice of the 2 limes with the zest and juice of 1 lemon;
  • for an indulgent gluten-free squidgy dessert, substitute the flour with the same amount of ground almonds and instead of the icing, drizzle with a lime sugar syrup.
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