Recipe: Vegan Blueberry No-jito Cupcakes

I was planning on making my lemon and raspberry vegan cupcakes this weekend, but the supermarket lemons were all imported and expensive, and the limes were local and cheap. Lime and coconut are a pretty safe combination, and then I had a sudden memory of an incredible gelato I had last year at Miinot, which combined coconut, fresh mint and lime. And blueberries felt like the sort of thing that would go with that.

And then I went, hey, these are basically Mojito cupcakes, except that I forgot about the rum part, so I guess these are No-jito cupcakes, and yes, I know that’s as cheesy as hell (for a variety of cheesy that uses, of course, only non-dairy, coconut-based cheeses), but that’s totally what these are called now.

Flavour-wise, what I wound up with was a lovely blueberry and coconut muffin sort of cupcake, with a good tangy flavour from the lime zest and a nice freshness from the mint. I topped it with a lime and coconut buttercream which tastes a lot like those lemon slice bars they used to have in the school canteens when I was young – you probably don’t need the icing, but it does add a luxurious touch.

I’ll admit, I’m not absolutely satisfied with the texture of these little cakes – I always find my vegan cupcakes to be a little less light and fluffy than I would prefer, and the fresh flavours don’t mask that as well as a heavier ginger or chocolate flavour would. Still, they really do taste delightful, and very summery.

(If sadly lacking in rum.)

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1 cup light coconut milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup canola oil
1/2 cup caster sugar
Zest of three limes (save the juice for the icing)
1 1/2 cups flour
pinch of salt
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarb of soda
1/3 cup finely chopped mint leaves
125 g blueberries
60 g coconut butter, softened
250 g icing sugar
key lime oil and mint water if desired

Now what will you do with it?

Put the coconut milk in a bowl with the vinegar, and leave to curdle for a few minutes.

Preheat the oven to 180°C (165°C fan forced), and line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper cases.

Zest your limes, and juice two of them for later.

Whisk the canola oil, sugar and lime zest into the coconut milk, and add the flour, salt, baking powder, bicarb and mint. Stir until just combined.

Fold in the blueberries, and divide the mixture between the cupcake cases.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until well risen and passing the skewer test. Cool completely on a wire rack before icing.

For the icing, beat together the coconut butter and the icing sugar. Add a tablespoon of lime juice, then add lime juice a teaspoon at a time until your icing has a spreadable consistency. If you want a stronger flavour, add a drop or two of key lime oil and/or mint water (this is an unsweetened infusion of mint, similar to rosewater). Or you could add rum!

Spoon the icing over the cakes, let set, and serve.



Sorry. I have apparently become a little obsessed with rum. Must be turning into a pirate.

Anyway, these cakes are vegan and nut-free, and can easily be made gluten-free using my gluten-free flour mix. Flavour-wise, have I mentioned rum?

… I really am sorry, I have no imagination today, but apparently I need a drink.

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