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Making Time For Tea & Lemon Coconut Cupcakes

Lemon Coconut Cupcakes

I hope everyone is having a great start to the New Year and feels refreshed and ready to enjoy 2011 to the fullest. B. and I don’t really make resolutions as we know what works and what does not, what needs to go and what needs to be and always keep those in mind. Not just because it is the New Year. It’s refreshing to think of beginnings though. Possibilities.

This past Sunday, we pulled out the big calendar and jotted down our respective commitments so far. We got to July and looked at each other with a big smile and circled August three times and wrote with capitals "vacances a deux". There’s been a lot of traveling but it’s been too long since we traveled just the two of us and we absolutely love it. We’d love to go to Ireland and Scotland where he is from. It’s not a definite yet but we’ll work hard to make it happen. Got to dream big right? Right!

Lemon Coconut Cupcakes

The second thing I wrote down in my internal calendar was to make an effort to put myself on pause for tea time. I’ve mentioned this family tradition before where would gather at the dinner table around 4 or 5 o’clock and have a cup of tea and a couple of cookies or a slice of pie. It was a good way to talk about anything. It was the perfect way to breathe and make plans, laugh and banter.

The cooler days in Winter are perfect just to curl up on the sofa, and take a little time to just be. No disturbance or interference. I am all about a sweet little nosh with my tea and I love making our favorite family treat back home, a simple lemon and olive oil yogurt cake. Everyone, boy or girl, in the family has been taught this cake as soon as they were able to handle a mixing spoon. So easy, so good, so comforting.


This time I changed it up a bit and turned the cake into cupcakes with cream cheese frosting left over from making carrot cake macarons. I also used desiccated coconut as part of the gluten free flour mix I used for no the reason that although he likes the flavor of coconut, B. can’t stand the shreds. I bumped the citrus for good measure and the cupcakes were a hit.

Perfect with a hot cup of tea on a sunny Winter afternoon…

Lemon Coconut Cupcakes

Lemon Coconut Cupcakes:

Makes 14

For the cupcakes:
2 large eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup olive oil (don’t skimp on the quality)
1 cup plain yogurt (low or full fat)
zest and juice of a lemon
1 cup rice flour
1/2 cup millet flour
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
1 tablespoon baking powder
pinch of salt
shaved coconut to decorate (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350F and line cupcake tins with cupcake liners, slightly brush the inside olive oil.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar for about 2 minutes. Add the olive oil, yogurt, lemon juice and zest and whisk again so that everything is well mixed. Add the rice flour, millet flour, coconut, baking powder and salt and mix until the batter is smooth. (You can do this in a stand mixer if desired)
Divide among the muffin tins, filling no more than 2/3 of the way up. Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out free of crumbs.
Let cool completely before frosting. Once frosted, add a few pieces of shaved coconut if desired.

Cream cheese frosting:
From this post.

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Krafted by Kelly January 4, 2011 um 9:46 pm

Beautiful as usual! And mmm…

Would you mind explaining what millet flour is?

Barbara January 4, 2011 um 9:48 pm

My family always had an afternoon tea tradition. It was around 3.30 after we were home from school and before my father headed off to milk the cows. I think it is a typical even for farming families.

Brian Samuels Photography January 4, 2011 um 9:53 pm

I'm not much of an "Afternoon Tea" kinda guy (more of the "Afternoon Cocktail" type) but I don't think I could resist brewing a few cups just for these wonderful treats!

Anonymous January 4, 2011 um 9:54 pm

your photos are very beautiful!
I like your muffin-form to:)

Nikki (Pennies on a Platter) January 4, 2011 um 10:00 pm

I'm not much of a "tea time" girl, but your photos may make me a convert! πŸ™‚ Glad you get to enjoy a few weeks in August to yourselves!

Helene January 4, 2011 um 10:03 pm

Nikki: it's not sure yet that we'll go but we'll try!

Lana @ Never Enough Thyme January 4, 2011 um 10:17 pm

It would be so lovely to have time for afternoon tea. Just a tiny little nibble with a perfect cup of tea. Makes me relax just thinking about it πŸ™‚

Caroline January 4, 2011 um 10:22 pm

Oh man, you have me drooling on my keyboard! These sound delicious! I love coconut! If I am to make any resolution this year, it's to eat these!

shaz January 4, 2011 um 11:56 pm

What a wonderful tradition of a cake recipe that is taught to the little ones. Might make that a resolution for this year (even though I don't do resolutions either).

Have a great year ahead!

oneordinaryday January 5, 2011 um 12:23 am

Oh, I need to start making time for tea. Your lovely photos are inspiring me.

Anonymous January 5, 2011 um 12:40 am

ooh i might have to make these right now.

Molly January 5, 2011 um 12:44 am

These look AMAZING!

Allie January 5, 2011 um 1:14 am

These are so beautiful I wish I could make them rightaway. Love reading about your reflections and goal to travel. It's definitely good to dream and I pray that yours will come true :).

marla January 5, 2011 um 1:51 am

Sweet little cupcakes & I love the idea that you are going to take the time for tea πŸ™‚ Splendid! xo

Unknown January 5, 2011 um 2:00 am

That looks lovely.

notyet100 January 5, 2011 um 3:40 am

amazing can i substitute millet flour with abything else,…?

Helene January 5, 2011 um 3:52 am

notyet 100: if you want to remain GF, you can use more rice flour, corn flour, tapioca starch, cornstarch, potato flour, gf oat flour, teff, spelt, sorghum, any that are gluten free.

Unknown January 5, 2011 um 4:35 am

Gorgeous cupcakes! Lemon and coconut is perfect!

Katherine January 5, 2011 um 6:31 am

Hi Helen,
Sorry to bother you with this, but some of your macarons' recipes didn't work (grapefruit, coffee ones for example) when I clicked on it. πŸ™ can you please help?

kamana January 5, 2011 um 6:37 am

i love tea time traditions. i must try these for the weekend.

Sanjeeta kk January 5, 2011 um 7:46 am

Love the cream cheese frosting on those cute cup cakes. Would love to have them with my tea any time.

Liesl January 5, 2011 um 12:32 pm

These are beautiful. Do you mind sharing your source for those gorgeous cupcake liners? Thank you.

bunkycooks January 5, 2011 um 1:49 pm

Afternoon tea is such a nice tradition and one that I wish we embraced more here in the U.S. The cupcakes look like a breath of Spring in the middle of this Winter!

Helene January 5, 2011 um 1:52 pm

Katherine: the blog url has changed so the links are taking a bit of time to change also. Replace "mytartelette" with "tarteletteblog"

Liesl: Wilton

Ankita January 5, 2011 um 2:10 pm

it is surely a recipe that i'm going to try out someday..

bethebel January 5, 2011 um 2:13 pm

was anyone able to find these particular cupcake liners on the Wilton site or anywhere else? I would love to buy some, but can't find them. Anyone with a link, please post, thanks!

CathWren January 5, 2011 um 3:09 pm

The photography (and baking) (and styling) is breath taking! What gifts you possess. I need to drop by more often for some inspiration.

Andi of My Beautiful Adventures January 5, 2011 um 3:25 pm

I'm seriously drooling!

A Canadian Foodie January 5, 2011 um 4:00 pm

Helene –
Only YOU would even THINK of using taste demonstration cups to bake in – and ONLY you could make them look this gorgeous!

Cookin' Canuck January 5, 2011 um 4:27 pm

Happy New Year, Helene! It sounds as though you have a busy, exciting year ahead of you.

Tea time was also a tradition in our house when I was growing up, too and now my boys and I sit down for a snack every afternoon when they come home from school. It's a great way to reconnect. These pretty cupcakes would be a very welcome treat!

Sam Breach January 5, 2011 um 7:05 pm

This is a good thinking. I feel like I need to make room for tea too. But I wish I had someone like you to bake for me! That said, my NY resolution is not to eat any cookies or cakes type things unless I bake them myself or they are homemade (as a way of discouraging me from reverting to an easy sugar fix from the work snack machine).

T and T January 5, 2011 um 7:55 pm

Happy New Year! I'm looking forward to another great year of pictures and posting πŸ™‚ Can't wait to try out this lemon and olive oil cupcake recipe.

I hope you make it to Ireland! My husband and I spent Thanksgiving in Dublin and it was lovely. Do check out Queen of Tarts. Yay to the sweet tooth in all of us!

Anonymous January 5, 2011 um 8:28 pm

Lovely. Just so lovely. And delicious looking. BTW, you'll find, I understand, lots of gluten free options in Ireland.

Gen January 5, 2011 um 8:34 pm

Beatiful and delicious! J'aime beaucoup ces cupcakes parfumΓ©s!

Linda Vandermeer McCubbin January 5, 2011 um 8:47 pm

Beautiful cupcakes and photography.

Amy | She Wears Many Hats January 5, 2011 um 10:08 pm


Diet? What diet?

The InTolerant Chef β„’ January 6, 2011 um 12:00 am

What a lovely traddition, and what a lovely tin. I have some gorgeous antique cake tins like that too, and just want somewhere nice to display them. So pretty!

SMITH BITES January 6, 2011 um 12:17 am

It's a shame that more people don't take the time for an afternoon tea or coffee break – we all need to slow the pace down just a bit. And Ireland/Scotland?? The Professor and I dream to go there one day – and we'd love to take a cooking class or two, roam the countryside and take lovely photos . . . sigh . . . yes, dream BIG Helene!!

Culinarian January 6, 2011 um 12:24 am

These look so amazing. I can't wait to make them!

Colleen January 6, 2011 um 1:08 am

those cupcakes look divine!!! what a brilliant combination, lemon and coconut! πŸ™‚

Amanda January 6, 2011 um 3:14 am

Your photos always make food look enticing. And I love tea. Constant Comment is my favorite.

phoenix January 6, 2011 um 4:48 am

Lemon and coconut! 2 of my favourite things! Will definitely be trying this recipe soon. πŸ™‚

GΓ©raldine de Papillehot January 6, 2011 um 5:38 am

TrΓ¨s beau…comme toujours !!!

Maria Vladimiru January 6, 2011 um 10:49 am

They do look awesome, Helene πŸ™‚ I love drinking tea in the afternoon, although I'm not a big fan of cupcakes… but as my better half loves them, I am wondering whether these cupcakes would go well with a filling of lemon curd? πŸ™‚ Have a nice day!

Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen January 6, 2011 um 1:48 pm

Le gouter de quatre heures is special to me as well, it reminds me of my granparents who would always take their afternoon pause for a cup of coffee and a sweet treat. I learned how to make gΓ’teau au yaourt from my grandmother as well, who would use the little yogurt pots as measuring cups for the ingredients!

MandyM January 6, 2011 um 4:29 pm

Mmmm, I really do love coconut & am a sucker for anything with cream cheese frosting, these look delicious! My problem is that I wouldn't just nibble on one πŸ™‚

Enjoy your holiday in August! I moved to Ireland about 2.5 years ago and have loved every day of it. Drizzling or not, it's absolutely beautiful here, always green and fresh and so many different types of scenery to enjoy.

Jess January 6, 2011 um 10:20 pm

The recipe for these looks delicious, where do you get millet flour and rice flour?
Jess : )

Helene January 6, 2011 um 11:21 pm

Jess: a good grocery store will have rice for sure, maybe millet but any health food stores will carry them.
I generally can find both at my regular grocery store in the flour/baking section.

The Therapist in the Kitchen January 7, 2011 um 2:56 am

I love that you are showing how tasty and divine creations can be created with alternative and healthy flours.

So Very Domestic January 7, 2011 um 3:09 pm

Looks wonderful! I love the afternoon pause. I have small children, so we do it around 4pm when the school bus drops them off. We have a little snack and a chat about the day before homework and supper prep begins! It's a lovely tradition. πŸ™‚

Jen January 7, 2011 um 4:03 pm

was it *REALLY* so unreasonable to hope that you were going to say you guys were coming out to Cali to visit??? πŸ™‚

ChichaJo January 7, 2011 um 5:00 pm

The cupcakes are lovely as always! I agree…tea time, a time to pause and take a breath with something delicious, is an important time for every day πŸ™‚ Happy 2011 Helene! Looking forward to more of your signature deliciousness πŸ™‚

Adeline January 7, 2011 um 6:08 pm

Hmmm these look delicious, thank you for the inspiration!

And oh, if you make it Scotland and Edinburgh, I must tell you where to go. πŸ™‚ It took me a few years but boy have I discovered some wonderful hidden gems here..

nadege January 7, 2011 um 8:16 pm

Une fois de plus une merveilleuse photo qui me transporte du ciel neigeux de Pittsburgh a ma provence natale et a cet indispensable gateau au yaourt du mercredi apres-midi. Ce blog est un pur delice et un petit voyage vers la maison a chaque nouveau billet.
Petite question technique : ces party nut cups sont-elles "unwaxed" pour supporter la cuisson ?

Christina of Form V Artisan January 8, 2011 um 3:01 am

Very lovely. Love coconut.
Check me out sometime:


Darla @ Bakingdom January 8, 2011 um 3:52 pm

These look so wonderful!! It's so warm where I live all year round, so lemon coconut is the perfect treat to serve here! Can't wait to try them!

Sophie January 8, 2011 um 4:30 pm

Beautiful beautiful recipes and pictures, am so happy to have come across your website…. better late than never!
Will become yet another to add you to my blogroll.

Easy peasy organic January 8, 2011 um 4:58 pm

What an absolutely beautiful idea – tea time. My little girl's often ravenous about that stage of the day, so what better time to take a breath, have a chat.

And have an excuse to bake together, too!

Charles January 8, 2011 um 8:54 pm

Thos paper cupcake cases are delightful – do you have any idea if they're available to buy anywhere online? They make a nice change to the fluted paper ones I normally get.

veron January 8, 2011 um 9:17 pm

I got into drinking tea when I married the hubby, they're big on tea, now I can't wait to brew myself a pot whenever I'm busy and want to have a break with tea time. Hope your plans push through with the vacation, you and B deserve it!

Anonymous January 8, 2011 um 10:13 pm

They look awesome! I've only recently discovered that gluten free cupcakes don't have to be tasteless and dry, I gotta give these a try! Thanks for the lovely recipe

Teresa January 9, 2011 um 1:20 am

These cupcakes look amazing. I do enjoy tea and something sweet with it as well. Again, the pics are beautiful.

Martina@spicyseasons January 10, 2011 um 3:30 pm

I love the beautiful muffin tin, it has got a pretty nice pattern! πŸ™‚
I think lemon and coconut is a delicious combination of two flavours, gonna try it soon.

Nice greetings from Austria,

Laureen @FoxKitchen February 16, 2013 um 7:29 am

Oh my goodness I want one of these cupcakes! Yum

Twstdlgnce March 10, 2013 um 2:22 pm

Can you please tell me if you used sweetened or unsweetened coconut in this recipe? Also can this recipe be made using all purpose gluten free flour?

Gwen February 15, 2015 um 7:01 pm

Delicious cupcakes
A tradition we all should not forget

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