Homemade-ish Vanillla-almond cupcakes with raspberry sauce

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With the holidays approaching, there is sure to be no shortage of sweets. I try not to be a Grinch, but I also try to not offer too many sugary treats over the holiday season (its a delicate balance). I also try SO HARD to squeeze in fruits and veggies during this busy time.

Today, we whipped up some cupcakes. Instead of using heavy frosting, we chose to make a simple raspberry sauce to drizzle on top. These are not as sweet as traditional cupcakes, but are also not as high in sugar and junk. Making mini-cupcakes instead of the full-sized ones also helps keep portions under control.

OK I will fess up…the base is a boxed mix that we doctored up. Don’t tell my house guests who are arriving tomorrow :)

Recipe: (makes 48 mini-cupcakes)

for the cupcakes:

1 box vanilla cupcake mix (shoot for one that is made with real vanilla beans) PLUS any ingredients suggested on the box of the mix

1 Tbsp Almond extract

1/4 cup roasted almonds-crushed

Olive oil to replace butter in the recipe

1 Tbsp Milled flax (I use Manitoba Milling)

for the sauce:

12 oz bag frozen organic raspberries

1/4 cup water

1 Tbsp maple syrup

juice from 1/4 lemon

1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (or whichever temp is instructed on the cupcake mix box)

Mix the cupcake mix according to the instructions on the box, replacing any butter with olive oil (not being lazy by not providing steps…each brand has different ingredients!). Mix flax seeds, almond extract and crushed almonds into the mix.

NOTE: If the recipe calls for one stick of butter, use 6 Tbsp olive oil. If it calls for 1/2 stick of butter, use 3 Tbsp olive oil. If you need help doing the math, just email me ;-)

Bake the cupcakes according to the box instructions.

To make the sauce:

Put all ingredients in a saucepan, boil, and then simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally and breaking raspberries apart with the spoon. Turn off heat and let cool.

To serve:

Top each cupcake with 1/2 Tbsp raspberry sauce (or more according to preference).

Shortcuts are key during the holidays, and this recipe is no exception. Your guests will be impressed with the flavor combo and happy to sneak in some antioxidants from the real raspberries and flax. Hope you enjoy! xo

Lauren ManakerComment