Green Tomato and Fig Cupcakes

I have really grown to love my shadowy, lonely cupcake photos...

I have really grown to love my shadowy, lonely cupcake photos…

Right now I am mourning the end of summer. It’ll take me a few weeks to accept the return of Autumn and get excited to bake Pumpkin bread, enjoy the leaves changing colors and break out some warmer clothing. But not yet, please, nature! I needed some super summer recipes badly, and this cupcake was the ultimate pick-me-up. A birthday request, it used seasonal ingredients that were readily available at the market: sweet, plump figs and beautiful, green heirloom tomatoes. I cried a little bit on the inside when I had to puree the tomatoes up–they were so pretty!

I had no idea how these were going to turn out. I rough chopped the pecans and figs because I wanted to taste big chunks of the ingredients. I also used a gluten-free flour which may have changed the consistency slightly. And because I don’t think they even make GF cake flour, I added 2 tbsp of cornstarch to each cup of flour to make my own cake flour. The cake was pretty dense in the end, so I guess it worked???

With a dollop of low-fat cream cheese icing on top, it added the perfect sweetness to a cake that was more on the savory side, I thought. I couldn’t taste the green tomato once  the cupcakes were baked but the batter smelled like an entire tomato farm resided in there! They were moist, chunky, sweet and savory, so basically perfect. Make these! If for nothing else than to shock people that they were made with tomatoes!

Recipe via Cooking Light

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces green tomato, cored and quartered (about 1 big tomato, 2 smaller ones)
  • 2 cups cake flour, sifted
    GF variation: 2 cups gluten-free flour, plus 4 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange rind
  • 4 ounces fresh Black Mission figs, stemmed and chopped (about big 5 figs)
  • 2/3 cup chopped pecans
  • Cooking spray
  • 4 ounces 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
  • 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Dash of salt
  • Sliced fresh figs (optional)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350°.

Blend tomato in blender until smooth.

If using GF flour, sift together 4 tbsp of cornstarch with 2 cups of flour.

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a bowl. Place sugar, oil, and eggs in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until blended. Stir in tomato puree and orange rind. Add flour mixture to egg mixture; beat at low speed just until combined. Stir in chopped figs and pecans.

Place muffin cup liners in muffin cups; coat liners with cooking spray. Spoon batter into cups. Bake at 350° for 17 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs clinging. Cool in pans 5 minutes. Remove from pans and cool on wire racks.

Place cream cheese in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until smooth. Add powdered sugar, vanilla, and dash of salt; beat until smooth. Spread frosting over the top of each cupcake. Garnish with sliced figs, if desired.

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