Persian Love (cup)Cakes
Valentine’s day is tomorrow. Yet another day for consumers to buy sub-par boxes of chocolates and expensive roses in the name of love. So maybe I am a bit cynical when it comes to this “holiday”, but seriously why must we have a specific day to celebrate love? Not just any love, romantic love. I think that is what really bothers me. I am all for celebrating love but would like to see it more inclusive, otherwise it can do some real psychological damage to a person who may not be with that special someone on Valentine’s Day.
OK, enough of my rant.
As much as I may not like the modern version of Valentine’s Day I like the idea of making something for others in the name of love and kindness and what is the best way to proclaim this? Cupcakes!
I randomly found a recipes for a Persian Love Cake and was intrigued as I had never heard of this before and I grew up with many Persian friends and ate tons of Persian food, but never came across this cake. Once I did a bit more delving into the internet and after checking out the ingredients list I realized that this cake is not actually Persian, but rather uses spices and flavours that are commonly found in Middle Eastern recipes. I love the flavour combination and with a few tweaks I came up with a delicious vegan and gluten free version.
I have a few notes that may interest you before you choose to use this recipe. Firstly, if you are a strict vegan or will be sharing these with someone who is please note that not all white granulated sugar or powdered sugar is vegan-friendly. In fact, I found out while doing this recipe that bone char is often part of sugar processing. Just check the package to see if it states it is certified vegan, or if there is no information on package try looking up the company. I use Rogers Sugar, and according to their website sugar that is stamped with a serial starting in 22 is vegan-friendly, but a serial starting with 10 uses bone char.
Also, the frosting I use is a vegan buttercream and has powdered sugar in it which contains corn starch, so be aware if anyone has a corn allergy. It is also a sweet frosting and may not be suitable for diabetics or anyone on a low sugar diet.
Makes 10 small Cook time: 20 minutes Total time: 1 hour
2 Tsp baking powder
1/2 cup white sugar (remember to check if it is vegan!)
1/2 Tbsp ground cardamon
Dash of salt
1/4 Cup vegetable oil
3/4 Cups non-dairy milk, I used coconut milk
1/2 Tsp vanilla
1/2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 Tsp lemon zest, finely grated
1. Preheat oven to 365 degrees. Line muffin tin or spray with oil.
2. Combine all dry ingredients in bowl of stand mixer or large bowl. Whisk to together to combine.
3. Add in liquid ingredients and beat for several minutes until smooth and no lumps are present.
4. Scoop 2 tbsps of the batter into cupcake tin. Tap down on counter to release air and shake slightly to ensure the tops are somewhat flat.
5. Place in centre of oven and cook for 20 minutes. Remove and let cool on top of stove for 10 minutes, then remove and cool completely on a rack.
6. Decorate however you like, or use my buttercream recipe.
Vegan Buttercream Frosting
2 Cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/4 Cup vegan butter
1 Tbsp rose water
1 Tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp non-dairy milk
Pinch of saffron
Food dye (optional)
Pinch of lemon zest (optional)
Crushed unsalted pistachios (optional)
1. Heat up milk in microwave and add saffron strands. Steep for 15-20 minutes. Let chill.
2. Combine powdered sugar, butter, vanilla and rose water and beat together either by hand or in stand mixer. Add in saffron milk and beat to combine. You want the frosting to be rather stiff, so you may need more or less powdered sugar.
3. Dye buttercream whatever colour you like. I did mine in two tones. Pipe onto cupcakes. Add pistachios and lemon zest to garnish. Either serve immediately or chill in refrigerator. Will last up to 3 days.
Note: If you wish to learn how to do two-tone frosting and the rose piping, I suggest Rosie Cake-Divas youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_8SYhPFLYEA