Food Photography Recipes

Vegan blueberry and orange cupcakes

Vegan blueberry and orange cupcakes

It’s been a long time since I baked cakes – three years – to be precise.  I won’t go into the reasons as it is like going into a rabbit hole, and I might not emerge at all to finish the post.

Since last couple of weeks I accompany Mr.P on weekend jaunts — which in pre-COVID times would have been termed chores — to nearby shops and pick up a lot of things while the partner rolls his eyes impatiently. I picked a small packet of blueberries and Indian plums amongst other things. The plums roasted in red wine are turning into frozen yogurt as I write.

The blueberries became mini cupcakes. The berries were surprisingly delicious, eaten as such. Surprising, as blueberries we get in India are not locally grown in the country. They cross oceans (not sustainable) and the packet I bought previously seemed to have rotted in transit (wastage). Naturally therefore, I am apprehensive over spending money on fruits that aren’t locally grown. This time I am glad I gave in to temptation (I bought two more yesterday to make a tart).

Mr.P juices fresh oranges daily for breakfast and at my request juiced a dozen more one day. I made a lot of orange syrup infused with saffron, that was supposed to go into an ice cream, but never did. Since then, whenever I open the refrigerator they seem to beckon to me, even chiding me a bit over my negligence. Not able to bear their gaze, I intuitively added some to the wet ingredients that were getting whisked in the stand mixer. They practically asked to be added, I tell you!

I am sure oranges and blueberries must be best mates. The cakes bore a distinct ‘orangey’ flavour and yet, in each bite the blueberries slipped in their juices. What a tango! The taste buds proclaimed that all was not just well — it was perfect.

I was left with two in the evening and gave one to the little boy who loves to visit us often while Mr.P took the other. From the look on his face I concluded that the child loved it too.

Vegan blueberry and orange cupcakes | Harini and Harsha
Vegan blueberry and orange cupcakes | @hariniandharsha

TIP: Before starting on the recipe bring all ingredients to room temperature.

Recipe: Vegan blueberry and orange cupcakes
Vegan | Easy to prepare | Snacking ideas

Yield: Makes 18 mini cupcakes


Blueberries – 94g tossed in a teaspoon of flour
An orange to be zested (About 1-1.5 tbsps. of zest)

Dry Mix:
Cake flour or maida – 1.25 cups (extra for dusting the pan and for the blueberries to be tossed)
Baking powder – 1 tsp
Baking soda – 2 pinches
A generous pinch of pink salt

Wet mix:
Olive oil – 1 cup
Raw sugar – 1/3 cup
Coconut milk – 1/3 cup
Orange blossom water – 1 tbsp (Optional)
Orange syrup – 3 tbsp
Coconut cream – 1/4 cup
Tapioca flour – 1 tsp.


Preheat oven to 180 Deg C.

Lightly grease and flour 6 big cupcake moulds or 15 mini moulds. Tap out excess flour and set aside. If making mini cupcakes keep a few moulds handy if needed.

Toss the blueberries in a tsp. of flour as this will prevent them from sinking to the bottom of the moulds while baking.

In a mixing bowl whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt

In an electric mixer (I use a stand mixer), on medium, beat oil, raw sugar,  coconut milk, orange blossom water, and orange syrup till pale, well blended and slightly fluffed — about 2 minutes. Add the tapioca flour and beat another 2-3 minutes.

Add the flour in 2-3 batches alternating with the coconut cream and beat on low to form a thick, molten batter.

Toss in the blueberries and zest the orange into the mix. Fold gently.

Scoop into the cups leaving a centimeter on the top of the mould for the cake to rise.

Bake for 20-25 minutes till a toothpick inserted in the centre of 2-3 cakes come out clean. Time taken varies depending upon the oven and burn spots. I always interchange the places after the first 15 minutes as the cakes on the sides bake faster than those in the center in my oven.

Transfer to a wire rack and cool for another 15-20 minutes.

Serve with tea or enjoy as such when cooled completely.

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Harini is a vegan food photographer, writer and recipe developer. She also loves feeding birds, reading, watching crime thrillers, and travelling amongst other things.

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