Super-Simple Strawberry and Banana Smoothie Muffins (Vegan!)

This recipe is adapted from one of my favourite cookbooks ‘The Naughtiest Vegan Cupcakes in Town’ by Melissa Morgan, A.K.A. Ms. Cupcake, no less. She has an impressive vegan bakery in London and an even more impressive hat with cakes on. No joke. It’s great. (Not that I’ve ever met her or the hat in person… but I’d really like to). Credit also goes to Ms. Cupcake for the photo as my last batch was eaten before I got chance to artfully arrange and capture them, but I’d already promised to share the recipe after making some for the last Ashtanga Primary Series workshop.

Please don’t be put off by the vegan factor – these delicious muffins will delight plant-fans and omnivores alike. Nobody will ever know there’s no milk, eggs or butter inside. Unless you’re showing off how healthy you’re being by telling them. And even though they’re quickly made from common cupboard ingredients, they’re definitely towards the good-for-you end of the cake continuum (yes, that is a thing).

I often skip the glaze – I’m lazy and often to be found without icing sugar. But it is delicious and pretty if you’re organised and the muffins hang around in your kitchen long enough to pour some on…

And don’t forget the ‘firm tap on the kitchen surface’! If you’re feeling a bit angsty you can even give the mixing bowl a whack before you spoon the batter out. This isn’t authoritative science, but my understanding of the tapping situation is that raising agents work fast in vegan baking (when the baking powder hits the liquid) and the tapping releases particularly big bubbles before they go into the oven and create uneven texture. It’s also when the magic happens, so don’t skip it.

Also, put some good music on before you start. Secret kitchen dancing makes cake better.

 

Ingredients:

560g of self-raising flour

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 tsp baking powder

225g golden caster sugar     (ordinary white works great, too, it’s just a little more processed)

1 large or 2 small mashed, over-ripe banana

350ml soya or almond milk     (cow milk works, unless you’re wanting healthier treats/feeding vegans)

300ml rapeseed or otherwise flavourless oil          (often supermarket ‘vegetable oil’ is rapeseed)

2tsp vanilla extract

12 medium (2/3rds of a punnet) strawberries, green bits off and diced

Optional glaze:

100g icing sugar

2 tbsp soya or almond milk (or water)

1/2 tsp vanilla

Dehydrated banana or strawberry to decorate  (very fancy)

How to:

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees and get your muffin cases ready in your tray.

Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Then add the banana, not-milk, oil, vanilla and strawberries and mix together with a big spoon. Go quickly! About 10 seconds will do – we want the ingredients to be only-just combined. A few little lumps are perfectly acceptable – over-mixing will make your muffins tough and chEWy. Spoon into muffin cases, until about 2/3 – 3/4 full.

That’s it! Give the muffin tray a firm tap on your kitchen counter, then pop them into the pre-heated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes. Then tip onto a wire rack to cool. Ideally for at least 10 minutes, but at least until the strawberry pieces aren’t so lava-hot they’re going to burn your mouth.

If you’re going for glaze, use the cooking and cooling time to mix the icing sugar, vanilla and not-milk/water together. Add more liquid or icing sugar to make it runnier or less runny, to personal preference – going for more of a crunchy-chic wash than a full-on white ice. Spoon onto the warm muffins, cool and enjoy!

And feel free to comment below if you have any good vegan-baking tips or cake-based excitement you’d like to share!

 

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