Zucchini Cupcakes with Avocado Buttercream Frosting (Vegan)
First of all, happy Sunday!
I hope daylight savings isn’t kicking your butt as much as I know it’s going to kick mine once my better senses kick in and realize I’ve lost a sweet, sweet, precious hour of sleep! Hoping this gorgeous, sunny, blue sky weather we’ve been having lasts and helps me through this…with a teeny bit of help from the most giant mug of coffee of all time! =)
Anyway, if this post doesn’t do it, I’d like to make it clear that I’ve taken it upon myself to use March as an excuse for baking with more green foods! It’s a Leprechaun’s world and I’m just living in it, St. Patty’s Day style.
When you hear “green foods,” there’s a good chance your mind immediately snaps to thoughts and images of leafy greens, herbs, green peppers, and zucchini – rarely ingredients that you’d see featured in dessert foods – but stay with me here. My biggest concern here was keeping things yummy, somewhat healthy, green-colored, and yet FREE from ARTIFICIAL COLORING! So the wheels started turning…
At the risk of blog readership plummeting big time, I ruled out spinach brownies (though I’ve heard those are good!), avoided celery ice cream, and didn’t even let my mind wander to a place where I’m 100% sure I’d be spending my entire post trying to convince you to try green onion pie. You’re welcome. Also, there’s no possible way I could even convince myself of that, so I’ve also spared myself the guilt of lying my way through an entire post. I’m welcome? Nevermind.
Anyway, I did, however, wrap my head around the prospects of zucchini and avocado, and found the idea to be promising! Afterall, I’ve featured zucchini prominently in several recipe posts like this and this, waxing rather poetic about the versatility and ease with which it blends into sweet treats. Avocados hold a special place in my heart, too, and though featured here as a savory Super Bowl snack, it’s still a fruit, dangit!
Zucchini bread and coffee cake inspired zucchini cupcakes seemed like the perfect choice! Avocado could have been more challenging, but thankfully its creamy smooth texture practically begs to be made into frosting. Ideal. I wouldn’t recommend the frosting if you don’t like avocados, but then again if that’s the case I’d recommend you start liking avocados because they’re super delish and healthy!
And so, zucchini spice cupcakes with avocado buttercream frosting were born – TA DA!
Somewhat healthy? Let’s be real, these are still cupcakes, but made with nutrient-packed plant-based ingredients.
Since we’re talking avocados, I think it’s important to note just a few of the awesome health benefits these powerful little green guys boast. Not only are they high in vitamins and minerals such as folate (for heart health and prevention of birth defects), B-6, and potassium (helps to regulate blood pressure), they are also host to nutrients that combat oxidative damage, cholesterol levels, inflammation, and even cancer.
So again, healthy? Ya, check!
Green color without any artificial coloring? Yessir – Check.
Yummy? Duh. I mean, check.
I’ll be the first to admit these aren’t the sexiest little cupcakes – they’re sorta more like the homey looking little sweethearts that have a great personality, ha! No, really. Love them!
Zucchini Cupcakes with Avocado Buttercream (Vegan)
Lightly spiced, zucchini-laced cupcakes with a super tender crumb – you’d never guess they were vegan if I didn’t blatantly tell you – really! Perfectly accompanied by an unexpectedly smooth, delicious buttercream frosting packed with healthy omega-3’s and vitamins. Double the recipe if you want to make a dozen.
*7/8 cup all-purpose flour
*½ tsp baking powder
*½ tsp baking soda
*½ tsp ground cinnamon
*½ tsp ground nutmeg
*¼ tsp salt
*¼ cup granulated sugar
*¼ cup brown sugar
*½ cup non-dairy milk of your choice
*¼ cup canola oil
*1 Tbsp vanilla extract
*½ Tbsp white vinegar
*½ cup grated zucchini
Preheat oven to 350*F. Line a cupcake pan with 6 cupcake liners.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a bowl.
In a separate bowl, stir together the granulated sugar, brown sugar, and canola oil.
In another bowl or cup, stir together the non-dairy milk, vinegar, and vanilla.
Pour the milk, vinegar, and vanilla mixture into the sugar and oil mixture. Add grated zucchini and mix. Gradually stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, until just combined. You don’t want to over mix.
Fill lined cupcake wells to just about full. Bake for 15-18 minutes, rotating the pan half way through, until tops slightly spring back when pressed on. Remove pan from oven and allow to cool about 10 minutes before removing cupcakes and placing on a wire cooling rack to finish cooling. Allow to cool COMPLETELY before frosting.
This frosting is thinner than a typical buttercream frosting because of the softer texture of avocados compared to margarine or butter, but has just the lightest, yummiest hint of avocado vanilla flavor!
*2 small avocados
*½ stick non-dairy margarine
*3-4 cups confectioner’s sugar
*1 tsp vanilla
*Dash of salt, to taste
Peel avocados and remove pits. Cream together the avocado and non-dairy margarine in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add vanilla extract. Slowly add confectioner’s sugar, ½ cup at a time until consistency is as desired. Add salt to taste. Frost your little heart out! Go to it =)
Happy March! Happy St. Patty’s month!