© 2016 Green Kitchen Stories Elsas_cupcakes_01

Elsa’s Berry Cupcakes

After quite a few years of cooking and developing recipes, we have managed to build up a little bit of confidence and don’t panic over kitchen fails or people’s opinions as easily anymore. But whenever our daughter asks me to bake for a few of her friends, my palms get all sweaty and my heart starts pounding. Seriously, nothing makes me more nervous than having to bake for a bunch of five- and six-year-olds.

Elsa is finishing preschool this summer and her favourite teacher is also retiring, so last week she wanted to bake a dessert for all the children and teachers at the preschool. She started out with grand plans for a big cake shaped like a princess but (luckily for me) we landed on mini cupcakes with a raspberry frosting. We had just bought a mini muffin pan and it was the perfect opportunity to try it out as we got a lot of muffins from one batch so it was enough for all the children and teachers.


These muffins are really delicious and moist with hints of coconut, banana, almonds and cardamom. It’s one of our go-to recipes that we change slightly every time. They are only sweetened with fruit and entirely gluten free (and we are aslo sharing a vegan version below). If you are allergic to nuts, you can blend (100 g / 3 1/12 oz) sunflower seeds and use instead of the almond flour.

Whenever Elsa initiates one of these baking sessions, she always starts with lots of enthusiasm only to loose interest after about 45 seconds, leaving us to do the actual work. This time she was much more persistent. She measured, blended, worked the batter and dropped it into the muffin tins. Halfway through the batch, we also started dropping a raspberry in the centre of each muffin and they turned out even better with that little berry pocket in the middle. Piping the frosting was the hardest bit. Elsa was utterly disappointed that hers didn’t turn out as pretty as the ones she had seen on our screens. But towards the end they at least started looking better than in the beginning.

Since that first batch, we have made this recipe two more times. One time to check all the measurements and another time so we could try a vegan version. We are sharing both methods here below. You can of course also make normal size muffins and skip the frosting if you want to keep it simple.


On another note, today we celebrate Midsummer in Sweden. We are going to be enjoying the last of these cupcakes and then we are off to find a maypole covered with flowers so we can jump like frogs around it! You think I am kidding? I am not.


Banana & Coconut Cupcakes with Raspberry Pockets
Makes 24 mini cupcakes or 12 regular

Dry ingredients
100 g / 1 cup almond flour
120 g / 3/4 cup rice flour
45 g / 1/2 cup desiccated coconut
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp freshly ground cardamom
1/2 tsp vanilla powder
1 pinch salt

Wet ingredients
14 soft dates (1 cup / 150 g), stones removed (if using dried dates, soak them for an hour first)
1 ripe banana, peeled and cut into large chunks
4 tbsp coconut oil or butter, room tempered
180 ml / ¾ cup plain yogurt or plant based yogurt
3 eggs (for a vegan version soak 3 tbsp chia seeds in 9 tbsp water for 15 minutes, stir around and use instead of the eggs)

24 raspberries (fresh or frozen)

Berry Frosting (recipe below)

Preheat the oven to 200°C / 400°F. Grease a muffin tin (mini or regular size) or line it with paper or silicon cup liners. Place all of the dry ingredients in a bowl, stir together and set aside. Add the dates to a food processor and blend on high speed. When smooth, add the banana and coconut oil and blend again. Finally add yogurt and eggs and blend until smooth and entirely mixed. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with dry ingredients and stir together. Drop the batter into the muffin tins, place 1-2 raspberries in the centre of each muffin and cover it with batter. Bake for 10 minutes (17-20 minutes if you are using normal size muffins) or until golden and just set. Prepare the frosting while the muffins are in the oven. Leave the muffins to cool before piping the frosting on top. Serve immediately or store in the fridge.

Berry Frosting
70 g / ½ cup raspberries (or strawberries)
3-4 soft dates, stoned
200 g cream cheese (or vegan cream cheese)

Mix raspberries and dates in a food processor or with a hand blender until completely smooth. Whisk the berry mixture together with the cream cheese in a medium size bowl until pink and smooth. Scoop the frosting into a piping bag. Place it in the fridge for 20 minutes (or longer) to firm up before piping the frosting on top of the cupcakes.



  1. Mona
    Posted 24 Jun ’16 at 12:28 | #

    If it wasn’t around 35 degrees right now I’d go straight away to the kitchen to bake these beauties. But right now I’m rather trying not to move an inch (with a peach melba smoothie in front of me). The video was hilarious! I hope you have good weather too to enjoy the hopping and singing ;)

  2. Posted 24 Jun ’16 at 13:09 | #

    I love the way you started involving your kids in the kitchen, I strongly believe it’s the best way to teach them eating healthy and not to waste food. Anyway, these cupcakes are ADORABLE!!!

  3. Posted 24 Jun ’16 at 13:32 | #

    Elsa is adorable and I love her sweet cupcakes! These sound like perfectly lovely little treats to make for any occasion. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Posted 24 Jun ’16 at 14:07 | #

    Elsa is absolutely adorable and picking up the right skills! Look how gorgeous these are! Enjoy your midsummer party!! x

  5. Posted 24 Jun ’16 at 15:04 | #

    These sound incredible! I may bake them to take on our road trip tomorrow. Do you think they would work with strawberries? Ive got some I need to use up! Thanks for another wonderful recipe!

    • Posted 24 Jun ’16 at 21:46 | #

      Hi Chelsea, yes they work with strawberries. For the berry pockets, I would mash the strawberries and add approx 1/2 tsp into each muffin. And maybe use just slightly more for the frosting as raspberries usually have a more intense color and flavor.

  6. Kristen
    Posted 24 Jun ’16 at 15:49 | #

    Love your beautiful blog. I hope this isn’t heresy but could I use whole wheat flour instead of the others? If so how much? Thank you😀😘

    • Posted 24 Jun ’16 at 21:43 | #

      Hi Kristen, yes you can of course use other flours instead. Personally I really like the flavor from the almond flour, so if you want to you could keep that and then replace the rice flour and dedicated coconut with whole wheat flour. Or replace all the flours if you prefer. I cant give you an exact amount since it depends on what flour you use, but you should roughly replace it with the same weight.
      Good luck and let us know how it turns out.

  7. Posted 24 Jun ’16 at 16:35 | #

    These look insanely beautiful! And I loved reading about Elsa’s adventure in the kitchen :) she did a great job!!

  8. Posted 24 Jun ’16 at 17:02 | #

    So yummy! The photography is as beautiful as always, and I love the recipe for these cupcakes! Elsa is such a beauty xoxo

  9. Grey
    Posted 24 Jun ’16 at 17:07 | #

    Super charmed by the maypole song and dance! I googled the translation: The little frogs, the little frogs are funny to observe. :)

  10. Posted 24 Jun ’16 at 19:21 | #

    Oh my, Elsa’s gotten so big! Especially compared to the photos in Green Kitchen Travels. I bet her class was thrilled that you made cupcakes for them, especially cupcakes as beautiful as these! :)

  11. Pia
    Posted 24 Jun ’16 at 22:58 | #

    Your little family is really so precious, David, and the story behind these cupcakes just made me go “awww, that’s so cute!” internally. Also, despite Elsa’s slight disappointment, I think she did a fabulous job! Especially, seeing as she is so very young and it was her first attempt at piping. So in case you read this, tell her I have immense respect for her and that, should the day I try my hand at doing so for the first ever comes, I will probably be lucky if the outcome is even just half as good. Moreover, please remind her of these three important things: 1. “Comparison is the thief of joy.”, 2. “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better” and 3. “Practice makes progress.”
    And now that all of that has been said, GLAD MIDSOMMAR och jag hoppers ni har en underbar helg ;)

  12. joanne
    Posted 24 Jun ’16 at 23:09 | #

    These look so good! I have all the ingredients except for yogurt.. can I substitute something else for yogurt? Thanks!

    • Posted 24 Jun ’16 at 23:28 | #

      You can try using milk or a plant based milk (almond milk, oat milk, rice milk etc) instead.

  13. Katie
    Posted 25 Jun ’16 at 01:32 | #

    I like the part about Elsa losing interest after about 45 secs. When my daughter was little she would do the same thing when playing with her little brother. As long as she could make up the games, all was fine. When he would suggest a game to play, she lost interest in a couple of minutes! His sad little face was heartbreaking! My husband would say “get used to it mate, it’s a life lesson!” ;)

  14. Posted 25 Jun ’16 at 02:07 | #

    The cupcakes look so lovely, such gorgeous ingredients too, and it’s so nice to hear about your family life and the children growing up <3

  15. Posted 25 Jun ’16 at 06:23 | #

    These look so delicious. I love the raspberry pockets especially. And the frosting. Yum! I never make frosting but you’re convincing me I should.

  16. Posted 25 Jun ’16 at 06:36 | #

    Any sub for chia seeds??allergic to these and flax! Im vegan too. Lve raspberries so totally up my alley otherwise!

    • Posted 25 Jun ’16 at 21:55 | #

      If you are not vegan you can just use eggs. Otherwise you could try using aquafaba. It is the viscous water from cooked chickpeas. Since we haven’t tried it ourselves, we are not sure of the amount (or if it works at all) but I would probably start with roughly the same volume as three eggs. This video shows how aquafaba works: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Ri-QiDFq5U

  17. Airyfairycelt
    Posted 25 Jun ’16 at 10:08 | #

    These look so good.
    Is it possible to change dates for died prunes and have the same cake at all?

    • Posted 25 Jun ’16 at 21:45 | #

      Hi, Since dried prunes are not as sweet and juicy as fresh dates, I can’t tell you exactly how the result will be. But please go ahead and try. I would soak the prunes in water for at least an hour to make sure they soften up first. Since they are the main sweetener it is important that they get very finely mixed and not just chopped in chunks. Good luck and do let us know how it goes!

  18. Ena
    Posted 25 Jun ’16 at 11:34 | #

    Lovely, just lovely. What Could I substitute the banana with?
    Thanks and all the best!

    • Posted 25 Jun ’16 at 21:41 | #

      Hi Ena, try substituting the banana with a few more dates (3-4?) or two tablespoons maple syrup.

  19. Posted 25 Jun ’16 at 14:01 | #

    Vilka underbara bilder!

  20. Posted 25 Jun ’16 at 15:54 | #

    I always love your photos, so gorgeous! These cupcakes look amazing, the colour of the raspberry centres is just beautiful <3

  21. birgit
    Posted 25 Jun ’16 at 20:28 | #

    dear elsa
    your frosting looks very good
    if i would live next door to you i would always beg you to make the frosting on my birthdaycupcakes
    the recipe sounds so delicious
    i’ll give it a try as soon as possible
    lg birgit

  22. Posted 26 Jun ’16 at 22:48 | #

    The recipe looks really really delicious. I just want to know the substitution for dates as I am allergic to them.

  23. Posted 28 Jun ’16 at 01:23 | #

    Oh my, these look so grand. Too bad my house is already an oven this summer. My son would love these – bookmarking. Thanks so much for this fabulous recipe.

  24. Valeria
    Posted 28 Jun ’16 at 14:08 | #

    Made these with aquafaba yesterday; I went for 3tbsp to replace 1egg and beat them to soft peaks. I also replaced the banana with a combination of David’s suggestion (went for 2 dates and a tbsp of maple syrup).
    They are absolutely amazing!
    Thanks for sharing and kudos for diving into not-so-safe baking territory! :D

  25. Posted 29 Jun ’16 at 11:17 | #

    Great photography, love them. Those Pancakes looks yummy too! Would tryout some time next weekend.

    Mary from CooktopHunter.com

  26. Posted 30 Jun ’16 at 04:18 | #

    Can’t get enough of cupcakes … will have to try this recipe soon!

  27. Jessica Li
    Posted 3 Jul ’16 at 12:11 | #

    Hello David, Luise, Elsa & Isac!

    I just made these and they turned out great – but I used Medjool dates instead of normal dates, and needless to say they turned out superrr sweet – do you guys have a good conversion for medjool dates vs. normal dates?

    Also I guess I should have soaked my dates before blending them, because my blender was struggling a bit with that since they all stuck together. Could it be an idea to put the wet ingredients in first (ie yogurt & egg) and then add the dates? Or would that not work out well?

    Sending love from Oslo!


  28. Posted 5 Jul ’16 at 10:53 | #

    Wow… Cupcakes are my favorite type of cake:-) And this recipe looks absolute delicious. I will def try this soon!

  29. Posted 7 Jul ’16 at 15:26 | #

    Elsa is so adorable, yes I agree baking for the younger children in my family is nerve racking… they’re brutal but the cupcakes look gorgeous will definitely have to try them x

  30. Posted 9 Jul ’16 at 15:04 | #

    I tried this one Oh so Good ! Ty

  31. Stina
    Posted 10 Jul ’16 at 03:57 | #

    Made these the other day and I have to saw Wow, an easy and yummy recipe. I didn’t have all the ingredients at home so I made my own version, had spelt flour instead of rice flour, extra dates instead of banana and strawberries instead of raspberries (i had frozen ones that i mixed a little and dug a little whole in the muffin) ate them without the frosting :) Thanks GKS and enjoy the Swedish summer :)

  32. Farah Mirza
    Posted 11 Jul ’16 at 13:46 | #

    I’m 7 months pregnant and can’t wait to give my child your natural and tasty approach to baking! Thank you so much for sharing!

  33. Julia
    Posted 21 Jul ’16 at 09:54 | #

    Just made them this morning and my daughter absolutely loved them. Ate 5 mini ones in one go with a little bit of help from me :) Great recipe, thank you!

  34. Posted 25 Jul ’16 at 14:00 | #

    Such a mouth watering & delicious recipe!!!! All ingredients may easily available from market & you explained this recipe step by step very well. I have so much interest in new dishes so waiting for your next post.
    Thank you……

  35. Delphine Vandaele
    Posted 27 Jul ’16 at 10:20 | #

    Good morning,

    I am French and I have been struggling with icing… In fact, I don’t find any “vegan cream chesse” in France… What could i use to replace it? Something that I can bought in France… Or do you know a website who deliver vegan cream cheese in France?

    I am sad because cupcakes are my favorites and it’s been years since I eat them because of this issue…


  36. Sarah Roberts
    Posted 29 Jul ’16 at 23:08 | #

    Is that “rice flour” intended to be brown rice flour? Or white? Thanks! These look delicious!

    • Posted 1 Aug ’16 at 16:58 | #

      Whatever you prefer. We have tried both. The result is quite similar although a little lighter with the white.

  37. Emma
    Posted 11 Aug ’16 at 22:07 | #

    My cupcakes are ready but I’m worried my frosting’s not going to firm up. Tried piping it once but it just went flat instead of swirly. Anyone else had the same problem. I’ve used cream cheese as I’m not vegan. Thanks

  38. Mona
    Posted 21 Aug ’16 at 23:45 | #

    I made these today to bring something to a friend who was moving houses today. The muffins were really tasty and everyone enjoyed them. Since I didn’t have any almond flour on hand I used spelt which worked fine and it was my first time to bake with chia seeds. These are incredibly easy to make and turn out fantastic!

  39. Olivia
    Posted 4 Nov ’16 at 19:38 | #


    First, thank you for all your wonderful receipes!
    Usually, I try not to change a line of those but I really can’t find vegan cream cheese… Do you think silken tofu would work instead?

    Thank you so much for your answer!

  40. Posted 11 Nov ’16 at 23:09 | #

    These look so delicious.

    Banquetes en Guatemala

  41. Posted 1 Feb ’17 at 18:11 | #

    OMG! These cupcakes look delicious! I will definitely try out this recipe. Thanks for sharing!

  42. Posted 15 Mar ’17 at 00:14 | #

    Beautiful.. I can´t wait to start preparing my own cupcakes!

  43. Eliza
    Posted 16 Mar ’17 at 16:35 | #

    Hi there! Love this cupcake recipe and I want to make them for my daughtgher’s class for her 3rd birthday, however, she’s not allowed to bring anything with nuts in it to school (drives me nuts! -no pun intended;) what is your suggestion on the best non-nut-based flour replacement here? Thanks! Eliza

  44. Posted 28 Mar ’17 at 17:31 | #

    Obrigado pelas receitas maravilhosas

  45. Stina Gustafsson
    Posted 4 May ’17 at 08:40 | #


    I’ve tried making this with strawberries and they were a hit! Do you think it would work with apple?

  46. Posted 3 Jun ’17 at 21:05 | #

    I loved the Tips, I’ll start making cupcakes to sell in my region.

  47. Nat
    Posted 26 Aug ’17 at 12:18 | #

    Hi guys! This recipe has become a favourite at home!
    Next week is my son’s bday, and he requested a chocolate cake, have experimented adding cacao to this recipe and turn up delicious! Just wondering if would work as a cake instead of cupcake or I should change something in the recipe.
    Thanks for sharing your magic

  48. Posted 28 Aug ’17 at 21:25 | #

    These cupcakes look so delicious! I’ll try to do this recipe. Thanks for sharing, Elsa!

    My fiancé will probably love it.

  49. Posted 8 Sep ’17 at 04:32 | #

    just look at those cupcakes of water in the mouth, this and a recipes that I’ll write down here to try, thanks for sharing

  50. Posted 11 Oct ’17 at 20:16 | #

    Hey Elsa,

    Thanks for sharing this recipe. These cupcakes are so delicious. I did last week and my wife loved it!

    Sharing on Facebook right now… :)

  51. Mika
    Posted 10 Nov ’17 at 07:47 | #

    Hey, I was wondering what kind of dates you guys used. These look delicious and I want to try them ASAP, but I have a feeling Medjool dates would make the cupcakes horridly sweet. What would the ratio be if I used Medjool dates? 1/2? Beautiful recipe, and thanks in advance

  52. Posted 13 Nov ’17 at 19:39 | #

    Jesus, Mary, Joseph!
    Thanks for sharing and I can´t wait to start preparing my own cupcakes here!

  53. Posted 21 Mar ’18 at 17:13 | #

    Ola,fiquei impressionado com o que aprendi no seu site e já comentei com
    com minha esposa para ficar lendo suas dica e aprender mais com você
    como o tempinho que agente tem é apenas
    noite ela já dispensou até a novela,

  54. Payal
    Posted 22 May ’18 at 06:51 | #

    Just made these. Are they supposed to be really dense? They don’t have the same fluffy look or taste yours do so I’m wondering if I did something wrong.

  55. Posted 16 Nov ’18 at 00:33 | #

    OMG, Thank you so much for sharing it with us.
    I made it and it’s d e l i c i o u s.
    One of the best cupcakes that i’ve ever eat.

  56. maymie
    Posted 19 Nov ’18 at 08:15 | #

    hi! what can i subtitue rice flour with?
    whole flour? spelt? rye? if so, same measurements?

    • Posted 22 Nov ’18 at 16:14 | #

      Hi, Yes you can replace rice flour with the same amount of whole flour or spelt.

      • maymie
        Posted 12 Dec ’18 at 09:48 | #

        Thank you
        They are really delicious!

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