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Orange Cardamom Cupcakes With Orange Yogurt Icing

Orange Cardamom Cupcakes With Orange Yogurt Icing
Eve Turow for NPR

When I first came across this recipe, I could not believe that these ingredients could create a cake-like consistency. I was wrong. The cake is fluffy and light, and I cannot wait to try it with other citrus fruits. In this recipe, oranges provide vitamin C and antioxidants. Each egg provides approximately 5.5 grams of protein, adding substance to the cake. Lastly, almonds are high in vitamin E and magnesium, acting to lower cholesterol. This cupcake is gluten-free and adapted from one by New York Times food writer Martha Rose Shulman. The oranges can be prepared the day before and refrigerated overnight.

Makes 2 dozen cupcakes

For Cake

2 medium-size, thin-skinned oranges, preferably seedless*

6 large eggs

1 cup sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 cup finely ground almonds or almond meal

1 teaspoon ground cardamom (approximately 8 green cardamom pods)

For Frosting

1 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt

1 tablespoon honey

2 teaspoons orange zest, plus more for garnish

1/4 cup confectioners' sugar

Candied orange peel, optional

* This recipe would also work with 4 to 5 clementines, or 15 to 20 kumquats; or, if you skip the cardamom, 3 lemons

The seedless oranges are simmered in water, then pureed whole.
Eve Turow for NPR /
The seedless oranges are simmered in water, then pureed whole.

Scrub the oranges and place them in a pot with enough water to cover them. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer. Cover and simmer for 2 hours, adding more water if necessary. Drain and, when cool enough to handle, cut the fruit in half and remove all of the seeds (otherwise the cake will be bitter).

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Put the oranges, peel and all, in a food processor fitted with the steel blade or blender and puree. Measure out 1 1/4 cups.

Then, with a food processor, beat the eggs with the sugar and baking powder at medium-high speed until thick and lemon-colored. Add the ground almonds and cardamom and mix well. Slowly mix in the pulped orange. Spray or add liners to your cupcake pan and pour the batter in, about 3/4 full.

Bake for 30 minutes or until a knife inserted into the cake comes out clean. If the top begins to get too brown, cover loosely with foil. Place cakes on a rack to cool.

Combine all frosting ingredients in a bowl, mixing with a spoon until smooth and thoroughly mixed.  Spread frosting on top of cooled cupcakes with knife or spatula. Top with extra orange zest or candied orange peel. For children, orange jelly beans or sprinkles can be fun garnishes.

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