Tuesday, November 18, 2008

November 15, 2008: Salad dressing cupcakes

After giving away most of my carrot and peanut muffins, I consulted to my to-cook list again for inspiration. Though I'm not a regular reader of Smitten Kitchen, I'd wandered by a couple of days earlier and bookmarked her recently posted olive oil muffins - not only did they contain olive oil, but also balsamic vinegar! The stuff of salad dressings, I couldn't quite imagine how this would taste, though I suspected I would like it.

I did. These cupcakes (let's reclaim the word for the neglected un-iced ones out there!) are moist and lively with citrus and flaked almonds; you probably wouldn't guess the secret ingredients, but they have their roles to play. The one that Michael and I shared, still warm from the oven, was blissful. Since then I've noticed that they have a whiff of egginess at room temperature and I'd be interested in reducing or replacing the eggs in a future incarnation. Deb reckons that, on their own, they're "nothing to compose sonnets over" but I reckon they're actually pretty close! I enjoyed another one later with a bowl full of strawberries, lightly dressed in more balsamic vinegar.

Salad dressing cupcakes
(recipe from Smitten Kitchen)

1 3/4 cups plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoons grated orange rind
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons milk
3/4 cup olive oil
2/3 cup flaked almonds, toasted

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Fill a muffin tray with paper liners.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. In a separate mixing bowl, beat together the sugar, eggs and orange and lemon rind for a few minutes. Add the vinegar and milk while still beating and then the oil, gradually. Stir in the flour mix until it's all just combined.

Spoon the batter into the muffin tray and bake for 20-25 minutes, using a skewer to test whether they're done.


  1. It never ceases to amaze me what makes sense in baking to taste no matter what the mind might think! This idea reminds a me a little of mayonnaise chocolate cake - am intrigued but think i would prefer less eggs

  2. They would taste awesome with some fresh strawberries and cream!

    But I do agree, it does seem like alot of eggs. I've heard you can substitute egg with arrowroot flour, or maybe even buttermilk. Dont know if they would turn out as fluffy though.

  3. Johanna, I once read about mayonnaise chocolate cake, I think, and was a bit put off! I'm sure it would taste fine though. :-)

    Thanks for those egg replacement ideas, Maria! I've actually just bought a box of powdered egg replacer and will be interested to give it a go - will probably try it on a recipe with less eggs to replace first. :-)