Baby Zand's Birthday Salted Caramel Cupcakes

2020 has felt like a marathon and even if the actual year is coming to an end, the effects of it will linger for a long time for me. So much has shifted, so much has changed, and I have stretched myself to limits I never knew were possible. I wouldn't change any of it though! I have grown as a person and I definitely wouldn't want to go back to January for anything. Onwards we dance!

Just before we went into lockdown I had set myself very strict social media rules. Get it all done before 3PM: after school pick-up until Baby Zand is in bed there would be no scrolling, photographing, messaging, posting, or recording of any kind. I felt like I needed to be present for the hours she was with me.

Well, and then things changed and she was suddenly with me 24/7, attached to me at every moment - awake and asleep. She has barely left my side these last few months except for a camping trip with her dad and a couple of hours here and there with grandma.

We have wiggled together into new routines.

We whip up waffles for super late breakfasts every day.

We paint, we knit, we treasure hunt (most of the time we are just looking for roly polys in the garden).

She rests her head on my lap when I steal a few minutes at my laptop.

And we go through our evening routine together every night (brushing teeth, flossing, face massage, body massage, hair combing, and some other magic potions to get us to sleep deeply).

And even though we are together all the time, I often also catch myself not being present. My mind races with the million things I still have to do to get the next ebook out. I am already choreographing my next class in my head. Or I might be thinking about all the time zones I need to consider when I want to talk to my family.

As the months at home have passed, the lines between social media and our time together have become extremely blurry to the point where Baby Zand messaged a bunch of people random posts on Instagram a few weeks ago. Yes, that happened hahaha.

And so the last few weeks I have decided to go on a little break from blogging, posting, talking, filming, all the things you might usually see me do. Every year at this time we celebrate Baby Zand's birthday for a couple of weeks and I like to be extra present for this time. And I also need to prioritize my self-care at this time. There is always so much to do (I baked 6 batches of these cupcakes this year) and honestly, her birthday also triggers a lot of trauma around her birth for me. So extra sleep, extra journaling, and extra nourishing food it is!

But now that I am back there are so many fun things to share:

The Fitness Advent Calendar 2020 is coming - you can sign up to join it for free NOW!

I have some fresh, fun, new ideas for the classes until end of the year.

And this cupcake recipe is the cherry on the icing.

You will need these plant-based cupcakes in your life - completely free from gluten, refined sugar, dairy, and eggs, and filled with all the goodness you know I love! Give them a try.

Preparation time: 1 hour plus cooling time

Makes 24 mini cupcakes (+ an extra 2 big ones)

For the cupcakes:

Wet ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup coconut milk

  • 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar

  • 1 cup Medjool dates, pitted (if they are really hard for example if it's cold outside, soak them in boiling water for 5 minutes first)

  • 1/4 cup maple syrup

  • 1/4 cup melted virgin coconut oil

  • 2 Tbsp water

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

Dry ingredients:

  • 1 cup oat flour

  • 3/4 cups almond flour

  • 3/4 cups coconut sugar

  • 2 Tbsp tapioca flour (or cornstarch)

  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder

  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

For the frosting:

  • 1 cup Medjool dates, pitted - soak in boiling water for 5-10 minutes

  • 1 cup melted virgin coconut oil

  • 1/4 cup maple syrup

  • 3 Tbsp tapioca flour

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

  1. Mix together the coconut milk and vinegar and set to the side. Check if your dates are quite hard and need a little soaking first.

  2. Pre-heat the oven to 175°C/350°F and line a mini muffin tray with mini muffin cups (plus you probably have a little extra batter to fill 2 big muffin cups so get those ready, too).

  3. Combine the coconut milk mixture, the (strained) dates, maple syrup, coconut oil, water, vanilla, and salt in a food processor and process until super creamy.

  4. Add all the other dry ingredients and mix until a smooth batter has formed.

  5. Fill the cups 3/4 full to leave some room for the cupcakes to rise.

  6. Bake the small ones for 17 minutes and the big ones for 24 minutes.

  7. Let the cupcakes cool completely before you top them with the frosting!

  8. For the frosting, place the soaked dates and 2 Tbsp of the soaking water in a food processor together with all the other ingredients. Process until super smooth and creamy.

  9. I just pour my frosting in a zip lock bag and cut off a corner to frost cupcakes. You can place the frosting in the fridge if it needs a little hardening. You can keep the frosting in the fridge for up to 1 week, but take it out about 30 minutes before you want to use it.


#coconut #oats #dates #holidays #maplesyrup #vanilla #tapioca #applecidervinegar