Strawberry Orange Cupcakes

Strawberry Orange Cupcakes | gluten-free, lower-carb | FitCakery.com

Dear Springtime,

I thought it would be great if I could let you know what you mean to me.  It’s really delightful when you’re around, and not every season makes me really want to go outside like you do.

Sure, there tends to be a lot of wind, pollinating flowers that make my nose itch like crazy and my eyes turn red, and some extra anxiety concerning taxes, but it’s really all worth it when I think about all the fabulous benefits you bring us.

Strawberry Orange Cupcakes | gluten-free, lower-carb | FitCakery.com

Besides lovely picnic/ hiking weather, a plethora of outdoor festivals (I love festivals!), and baby animals, all the fresh fruits and vegetables that spring up (pun intended) in farmers’ markets/ gardens/ stores/ etc. make me want to really get baking!

These fresh strawberries you’ve brought have been a complete inspiration.  I mean, eating plain strawberries is great, don’t get me wrong – but there is a LOT you can do with strawberries.  Of course I had to make something fun with them!  And those oranges still on the tree were also begging to made into something other than juice, you know?  So Strawberry Orange Cupcakes pretty much had to happen.

Okay, they weren’t always going to be Strawberry Orange Cupcakes… I was thinking more along the lines of a fluffy Strawberry Orange Cookie.  But sometimes the recipe takes you where it wants to go instead.  Because the way I develop recipes is probably more like the way most people do abstract paintings or write novels.  You kind of know the way it’s supposed to go and have all the right components, but then you just… do the thing and come up with a result. 

Right?

Well, that’s how that went for me this time.  The would-be cookie came out way too moist, but it looked perfecto for cupcake batter.  I’m not one to mess with a good thing, so these cupcakes became what they really wanted to be.

Strawberry Orange Cupcakes | gluten-free, lower-carb | FitCakery.com

So now they’re a nice little spring-y expression of the wonderful stuff you provide, in a gluten-free and added sugar-free form!  I must say I was a little bit overly pleased.

Spring, I have you to thank for my motivation to make these, I couldn’t have done it without you! (Though I could still do without the pollen-induced itchy-sniffle-itus.)  

Still, I’ll probably be making these all throughout the summer (and maybe fall) to hold onto the spring air when you’re gone.  Let’s be real – you always leave here far too quickly, leaving us to the mercy of summer’s wrath.  In the meantime I’ll just have to make the most of spring’s delights… and freeze some extra of those Strawberry Orange Cupcakes so they last longer.

Bon appetit!

Strawberry Orange Cupcakes

Gluten-free, lower-carb {makes 12-14 muffins}

Strawberry Orange Cupcakes | gluten-free, lower-carb | FitCakery.com

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cup almond flour
  • ½ cup tapioca flour
  • 1 packet sugar-free lemon pudding mix
  • 1 cup sweetener*
  • 1/3 c. vanilla protein powder**
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 ½ tsp. baking soda
  • 1 cup (140 g) chopped strawberries (reserve ¼ cup for topping, if you like)
  • 1 large orange, zest and juice (1/2 cup orange juice)
  • ½ cup melted butter

*I used Erythritol, but you can use sugar or stevia as well

** I used MuscleTech’s Phase 8 Vanilla

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. In a food processor or large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients first, and then add in the wet ingredients.  If you’re not using a food processor, be sure to puree the strawberries that are going into the batter first before adding to the mix.
  3. Divide the batter into 12-14 muffin cups in a muffin pan coated in cooking spray, and top with reserved chopped strawberries if you like.
  4. Bake the muffins in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until the muffins are nicely browned on top and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  5. Allow the muffins to cool for a few minutes before running a knife around the edges and transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.  Store in a sealed container at room temperature or in the refrigerator… but, of course, best if eaten right away!

Nutrition for 1/14 recipe: 140 calories; 9 g fat; 11.4 g carbs; 1.5 g fiber; 1.6 g sugar; 4.6 g protei