The Winter Solstice falls on December 21st this year. This is a very special day in our home as we celebrate the seasonal shift and look forward to spring and a new growing season. I always like to celebrate with citrus-flavored treats – maybe it’s because they add a pop of color and sunshine to the shortest day of the year?
It just so happens that clementines are plentiful and affordable in December, so the next time you grab a crate to snack on, try these bright beauties for breakfast. They’re kind of like a cupcake, kind of like a muffin…and all kinds of delicious.
*A note about sugar: Depending on how you practice veganism, you may wish to choose raw sugar that has not been processed for this recipe. If you choose not to eat confectioner’s sugar, these cupcakes can stand on their own without frosting, or you might want to try a simple drizzle out of melted vegan chocolate chips. Fabulous!
Vegan Clementine Cupcakes
This is a King Arthur Flour recipe, slightly adapted.
- 2 1/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
- 1 cup sugar (raw, if desired)
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 tablespoons Cake Enhancer, optional, for moist texture (I omitted this)
- 1 cup peeled, diced seedless clementines or tangerines
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1/4 teaspoon Fiori di Sicilia
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup orange juice or tangerine juice
frosting (if desired)
- 2 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- pinch of salt (I omitted this)
- 3 to 4 tablespoons orange juice
1) Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly grease and flour the wells of a muffin pan; or line the pan with paper liners, and grease the liners.
2) To make the cupcakes: Whisk together all the dry ingredients, then stir in clementines or tangerines.
3) In a separate bowl, whisk together the vanilla or Fiori, vegetable oil, and orange juice.
4) Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients; don’t over-mix, stir just until everything is moistened.
5) Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling each nearly full.
6) If you’re NOT planning on using frosting, sprinkle the tops with coarse white sparkling sugar. (Or, you could just leave them plain, but the sugar is a nice finishing touch.)
7) Bake the cupcakes for 15 to 18 minutes, until they’ve domed nicely. To test for doneness, stick a toothpick into the center of one of the cupcakes in the middle of the pan; if it comes out free of moist crumbs, the cupcakes are done.
8) Remove the cupcakes from the oven, and after 5 minutes transfer them to a rack to cool.
9) To make frosting: Whisk all of the ingredients together, adding 3 tablespoons orange juice to start. Dribble in more, a bit at a time, until the frosting is as soft as you like it. Drizzle and spread the frosting over the cooled cupcakes.
Yield: 12 cupcakes.
Do you celebrate the Winter Solstice?