Coconut and Lemon Cupcakes (makes 12-16)


Coconut and Lemon Cupcakes by The Fat Foodie

Ever since I’ve been cooking with coconut oil I’ve wondered what it would be like used in a cake instead of butter. I feared that it would make the sponge heavy, but it actually works really well and gives the cake a light texture while retaining its moisture. Coconut oil tastes quite strongly of coconut though, so I knew it’d have to be a cake which used coconut as one of its main flavour profiles. I figured incorporating lemon zest would work well with it and it does, creating feather-light, fruity, fluffy coconut and lemon cupcakes. (And if you’re feeling particularly self-indulgent, two cupcakes is a low FODMAP portion.)

This coconut and lemon cupcake cake mix is one of those brilliant ‘chuck all of the ingredients into a big bowl and whisk’ mixes, taking next to no time at all to prepare and with the aid of an electric whisk it’s easy to whip up a light and tasty buttercream with which to top the cakes. The real difficulty lies in stopping yourself from eating more than one at a time. Well, maybe two…


140g coconut oil (melted, but not hot)

200g sugar

2 tbsps lemon juice

2 eggs

a pinch of salt

120ml rice milk

4 tbsps dessicated coconut

The grated zest of 1 lemon

1 tsp coconut essence

200g gluten-free self-raising flour (I use Dove’s Farm G/F flour because it’s made with low FODMAP ingredients whereas many other gluten-free flours are made with high FODMAP options.)

1 tsp baking powder

For the buttercream icing:

70g soft non-dairy butter

1 1/2 tsps vanilla extract

180g icing sugar

1 tbsp lemon juice

3 tbsps of desiccated coconut (for decoration)


Preheat your oven to 180°C/160°C Fan/Gas 4.

Place your empty cupcake cases in a cupcake tray or, if you don’t have one, just on a flat tray.

With the exception of the flour and baking powder, put all of your ingredients into a large mixing bowl and whisk together.

Add the flour and baking powder and whisk. (Gluten-free flour can be really absorbent, so add a couple of tbsps more rice milk, if necessary.)

Spoon the cake mix into the cupcake cases, but don’t overfill them. (I normally fill them to roughly halfway.)

Bake them in the oven for 12-15 mins until they’re golden brown. You can tell they’re cooked when a skewer pushed into the centre comes out completely clean. Leave to cool on a cooling rack.

Put all of the buttercream icing ingredients in a bowl and whisk together until the icing is pale and fluffy.

When the cakes are cool top each one with a dollop of the buttercream icing and sprinkle with desiccated coconut.

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Coconut and Lemon Cupcakes by The Fat Foodie


Coconut and Lemon Cupcakes by The Fat Foodie


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Custard Creams (makes 8-10)

Custard Creams by The Fat Foodie

Custard Creams by The Fat Foodie

Last Wednesday night was filled with joy for me because it heralded the return of The Great British Bake Off. I love Bake Off. I love its huge tent that I imagine must be filled with tantalising aromas of delicious bakes cooking all day long. I love its two hilarious presenters. I love its good cop/bad cop judging duo that is Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood. But most of all I love watching the bakes that the contestants produce and the acknowledgement that sometimes a bake just simply doesn’t go to plan, however much you practice it. I think that, ultimately, it’s a show that reminds us that it doesn’t mean you’re a total failure if you make the odd mistake. But, maybe I’m overthinking it. Maybe it’s just a show about cake.

This week the Bake Off bakers were faced with the challenge of making biscuits so I thought I’d share one of my favourite biscuit recipes with you. It’s a recipe for custard creams that I used to make with my Mum when I was a kid. Shop-bought custard creams never fill me with much joy. They’re too boring (being a stalwart of the biscuit tin when I was a kid) and rarely have the rich buttery, creamy taste that my adult palate has come to expect from a decent biscuit nowadays. However, these homemade custard creams are a different story from pre-packaged biscuits altogether.

The inclusion of Bird’s Custard Powder, with its fine-textured vanilla flavoured cornflour base, results in an incredibly crumbly and delicately textured biscuit while the use of real butter adds a sweet richness that could never be imparted through the use of margarine or baking fat. I like to add a little less plain flour than most custard cream recipes ask you to use, substituting the loss with cornflour. This results in melt-in-the-mouth buttery, crumbly biscuits sandwiching a sweet, light buttercream filling. In my opinion, they’re sheer perfect biscuit heaven.

This custard cream recipe is unbelievably quick and easy to make, especially if you chuck all of your ingredients into a food processor, but if you don’t have one it’s really easy to make them by hand. Either way, they’re well worth giving a go.


For the biscuits:

100g butter (or non-dairy version)

80g gluten-free plain flour (I use Dove’s Farm G/F flour because it’s made with low FODMAP ingredients whereas many other gluten-free flours are made with high FODMAP options.)

20g cornflour

50g custard powder (I’d recommend using Bird’s)

50g sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

For the filling:

150g icing sugar

75g butter

1 tsp hot water


Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas mark 6.

Line a flat baking tray with greaseproof paper.

Mix all of your ingredients together in a food processor or mixing bowl until it forms a ball.

Take heaped teaspoons of the biscuit mix and roll them into balls before placing them on the baking tray with a good space between each of them. (Don’t worry if you’ve got an unequal number of biscuits at the end, you’ll just need to eat the odd one out. It’s a hardship, I know.)

Flatten them slightly and then use the tines of a fork to make an impression on the top of them.

Bake for 10-15 mins or until they are lightly golden brown.

While they are baking, mix all of your icing ingredients together until blended.

Once the biscuits are cooked, let them cool and then sandwich them together with the buttercream icing.

Try not to eat too many at once.

Custard Creams by The Fat Foodie

Custard Creams by The Fat Foodie

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