Vanilla Cupcakes with Strawberry Chia Filling and Lucuma Frosting (Vegan, GF, Refined Sugar Free)

IMG_0430I have never been a baker. I always thought that because baking requires precision, it just wasn’t for me. Therefore, it is quite rare that I improvise when making desserts. This time, however, there were too many elements involved that would have allow me to follow an actual recipe by the book.I was forced to improvise…and it turned out wonderfully!

  1. First off, my husband (politely) asked me to make a dessert that isn’t chocolate (how he can not love chocolate and all things chocolate related is beyond me…but…)
  2. Secondly, I had leftover strawberry chia jam from the morning’s porridge and I HATE waste.
  3. Lastly, I had purchased lucuma powder (lucuma what??!?) at the health foods store a few months back and not really knowing what it was, I had never used it. I realized that it was nearing the expiration date and decided to try it out in a frosting.

Thus, vanilla cupcakes with Strawberry Chia Jam and Lucuma Frosting were born.

And they were AWESOME.

Maybe, after the mega success of these delicious cupcakes, I can actually begin to refer to myself as a baker after all.

Vanilla Cupcakes with Strawberry Chia Jam Filling and Lucuma Frosting


For the cake batter:

  • 1 cup almond milk (I used spinach infused almond milk because I had some leftover and it worked really well. The cupcakes had a green hue though!)
  • 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 ¾ cup gluten free flour blend (do it yourself or use store bought, but make sure its for baked goods)
  • 1 cup raw coconut sugar
  • Seeds from 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. Himalayan salt
  • 1/3 cup sunflower seed oil (cold pressed organic)

FullSizeRenderFor the strawberry chia jam (filling):

  • ½ cup frozen strawberries
  • ½ tbsp. date syrup
  • ¾ tbsp. chia seeds

For the lucuma frosting:

  • ½ cup lucuma flour
  • ½ cup powdered raw coconut sugar (I used a coffee grinder to turn the sugar granules into powder)
  • ¾ cup vegan margarine/butter
  • Seeds from 1 vanilla bean


For the cupcakes:

  • Preheat oven to 190C (350F) and line a cupcake/muffin pan with liners (or use silicone cups)
  • Sift the flour blend, baking powder, baking soda and salt together into a large bowl
  • In another bowl, mix together the almond milk and vinegar. Let sit for 1-2 minutes until it curdles. Add the sugar, oil and vanilla.
  • Once mixed, whisk in the flour mixture and beat for at least a minute. (I used my Kitchen Aid standing mixer but it can be done by hand)
  • Pour batter into the cupcake liners filling to ¾ full and bake for about 18 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  • Cool completely. While cooling prepare the filling and frosting.

For the filling:

  • Heat the strawberries over medium heat in a small pan.
  • Once they become soft, turn off the heat and mix in the date syrup. Blend with an immersion blender (or you can transfer to a regular blender) and pour into a dish.
  • Mix in the chia seeds and wait ten minutes

For the frosting:

  • Beat the vegan margarine in a mixer until creamy and a bit fluffy.
  • Add the lucuma powder and sugar tablespoon by tablespoon, alternating one by one while the mixer is still on medium.
  • Add the vanilla and mix well until evenly distributed.


  • Once the cupcakes have fully cooled, scoop out a bit of the center (not too deep though) with either a melon baller or apple corer (or if you don’t have either, carefully use a knife to cut around and pull the cake out with a small spoon).
  • Fill the holes with the strawberry jam using another small spoon
  • Frost! (If you have a piping bag, fill it with the lucuma frosting and pipe onto the cupcakes. Otherwise just spread it on with a knife!)
  • Decorate (I used edible flowers), serve and Enjoy!


*A little information about lucuma powder: Lucuma is a fruit native to Peru. It has a fruity caramel flavor that can be used as a sweetener. Lucuma is a fantastic source of potassium, iron and zinc, amongst other nutrients.

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