I’ll happily admit that I have an obsession with putting veggies into desserts. Spinach cake, parsnip spice loaf, chocolate beetroot cupcakes…I could go on and on. In fact, I haven’t baked a dessert without any vegetables in it for years. I don’t hide them; the veggies stand loud and proud in desserts in this house! I’m mum to two toddlers (who never go in the same direction) and I try to give them healthy fresh food. My love of veggie desserts started with the cake for my son’s first birthday. It would be his first taste of chocolate and I wanted it to be a bit healthier for him. I baked a cake with one layer of beetroot chocolate and a layer of chocolate butternut squash. Since then, I’ve had ups (parsnip lavender cupcakes) and downs (beetroot custard), but there is one certainty – no vegetable shall ever rot in my fridge. While the little ones sleep I clatter about in the kitchen coming up with new concoctions.
KALE AND ORANGE CUPCAKES WITH ORANGE ICING
FOR THE CUPCAKES:
- 100g (2 cups, packed) raw kale leaves, woody stalks discarded
- 150g (½ cup) unsalted butter, softened
- 150g (3/4 cup) granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 orange, zest and juice
- 200g (1 ½ cups) plain flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
FOR THE ICING:
- 75g ( 1/3 cup) unsalted butter, softened
- 250g (2 cups)powdered icing sugar
- 2-3 tablespoons orange juice
- Preheat oven to 170C/325F. Line or grease a muffin tray.
- Tear kale leaves into bite-sized pieces and boil or steam for a few minutes until tender. Refresh in cold water, drain and puree (it will still be a bit stringy). Set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and then beat in the kale, vanilla, orange juice and zest.
- Sift in the flour, baking powder and salt and stir to gently combine.
- Fill the muffin cups ¾ full with the batter and bake for 20 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool in the tins for 10 minutes then remove and allow to cool completely on a wire rack. Frost with the buttercream when cold.
FOR THE ICING:
In a large bowl, cream the butter until fluffy. Sift in the icing sugar and beat until thick. Add enough orange juice to make it a frosting consistency. Store in the fridge until ready to use.