March is a time of year that involves lots of birthday celebrations . Simon’s Son, Mother, Niece, and my Father, some close friends and my own too. We would usually have a few family and friends celebrations either involving a meal out , and usually involving a birthday cake or two!
This year is quite different with Coronavirus affecting our lives in so many ways. We are having to get creative dealing with staying at home in self isolation yet remaining connected virtually. This week I attended my first ever #virtualsupperclub organised by two foodie Instagram friends Rumbie a.k.a @uksupperclubs & Shona a.k.a @shonao. We were each in our little Zoom boxes on the screen, rather than round a table in person, but still able to eat, drink and chat mostly about food and what we’d been up to. We all felt that food really connects us and the experience of ‘dining together’ even virtually was really fun. So we are adapting to our new way of life which in Simon & my case still involves a lot of chat about food, cooking at home and sharing recipes on our Instagram feed and across social media. So back to birthdays….
BC ( Before Coronavirus) stopped our social interaction I wanted to create a birthday cake recipe that does not use refined sugar for a friend. The birthday boy’s request was cupcakes rather than one big cake which actually made it easier. So I based this recipe on a classic blueberry muffin recipe which I have adapted. I also ended up using a combination of blueberries and blackberries which is what I had in the fridge.
I have included two options if you would rather use caster sugar. This recipe makes 20-22 cupcakes.
I used a freestanding mixer but you can use a handheld electric whisk.
Heat the oven to 170C Fan.
- 360g Plain flour, sieved ( 12. 7 oz all purpose flour)
- 1/2 teasp. Bicarbonate of Soda
- 1 1/2 teasp. Baking Powder
- 1/2 teasp. Salt
- 225g Xylitol (8 oz) I used TotalSweet
- 145g Coconut Sugar (5 oz) I used Tiana.
230 ml Greek Natural Yoghurt (8 fl oz)
- 145ml Semi Skimmed Milk (5 fl oz)
- 70 g Unsalted butter, melted (2.5 oz)
- 2 Medium eggs, at room temperature, lightly whisked
- 1/2 teasp. Vanilla extract
- 220g Blueberries, washed & drained. I used a combo of blueberries and blackberries.
(7 to 8 oz berries)
Alternatively use 370 g of Caster Sugar instead of the xylitol and coconut sugar.
Break the eggs into a jug and lightly whisk.
Add the yoghurt, milk, vanilla extract and use a fork to mix.
Put the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, salt in the mixing bowl with paddle attachment and mix on slowest speed for 30 seconds. Add the xylitol and coconut sugar ( or caster sugar if using) and mix on slow speed for 1 minute until combined.
Slowly pour the yoghurt mixture into the mixer whilst on slow speed for 30 seconds. Turn the speed to medium and beat for 1-2 minutes until incorporated.You can stop halfway with scrape down the bowl and ensure there is no flour at the bottom that is not mixed in.
Pour in the melted butter and beat on low for 30 seconds, then medium for 1 -2 minutes until the batter is smooth. Remove the bowl from the mixer then gently fold in the blueberries ( and blackberries if using) using a spatula until evenly dispersed.
Use cupcake tins lined with paper cases and carefully spoon the mixture in until 3/4 full ensuring there are berries in each case.
Bake for 20 – 25 minutes until golden on top.
I baked mine for 20 minutes and checked using a metal skewer inserted in the top. When retracted the skewer came out clean with no batter sticking to it indicating the cupcakes were baked throughout.
My blueberry and blackberry cupcakes, refined sugar free. Happy Birthday family, friends, foodies and me!