My chocolate cupcakes now have a best friend. Apparently the only thing I’m capable of successfully baking are paleo treats. I’m notorious with my family for royally screwing the pooch attempting to follow the Toll House cookie recipe, yet with my experimental attempts at Paleo Cupcake Nirvana, I’m batting 1000 (that’s good, right?).

With another Whole Life Challenge up and running, it’s that time that I start playing around trying to figure out  compliant recipes.  Now that I’ve managed to wrangle even more of my friends into it with me, I have some partners in crime to bribe with the promise of ‘Yes list’ baked goods if they hang out with me.

So, the first Friday night of WLC has come and gone. I spent it at my friends brandy-new apartment enjoying a compliant dinner for three (with a glass of point-costing-but-so-worth-it wine).  We had zoodles with shrimp and pesto and a caesar salad. The big finish, though, was a big old plate filled with chocolate and vanilla cupcakes. The vanilla ended up stealing the show. I topped them with a raspberry buttercream that took all of five min. Here’s how things went down:

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For the cupcakes (makes 12):

1/2 cup coconut flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp cinnamon
6 eggs, yolks and white separated
1/2 cup butter, room temp
1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup date puree
2 tbsp Vanilla extract (or 1 tbsp ground vanilla bean)

Preheat oven to 350 F.

1) Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl (coconut flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon).

2) Beat egg whites in a large bowl until frothy (not SUPER frothy, you just want to incorporate some air). Now add the yolks, butter, coconut oil, date puree, and vanilla extract. Beat until the mixture is a uniform texture.

3) Slowly add the dry to the wet, and mix on low until everything is evenly incorporated.

4) Line a cupcake pan with those paper liners, and fill eat one about 3/4 way up.

5) Bake for 20-25 min, until a toothpick comes out of the center cleanly. Allow to cool COMPLETELY before icing.

For the buttercream:

1/2 cup unsalted butter (Kerrygold!)
1 tbsp vanilla extract (or insides of 1 vanilla bean, or 1/2 tbsp ground vanilla bean)
Pinch salt
1/4 cup almond butter
1 cup raspberries (pureed)

1) In a medium bowl with a hand mixer, beat the butter, almond butter and salt for 1.5 minutes. Yes, 1.5 minutes. I set a timer.

2) Add vanilla extract and 1/4 cup of raspberry puree. Continue mixing for another 15 seconds. Then add another 1/4 cup, mix another 15 seconds. I think you get the idea. Basically, if you dump the raspberries all in at once, you run the risk of the butter getting beady. I don’t know why it happens, but it does.  When you add it slowly, yo can keep an eye on it and make sure it retains that creamy, fluffy consistency.

3) Once all of the raspberry puree is added, mix for another 30 seconds.  Fill a pastry bag (or just slap it on with a knife) and ice up your cupcakes. Top with a fresh raspberry and try not to eat them all in one sitting.