Tie-Dye Cupcakes

This isn't just a lemon-raspberry cupcake. There's nothing wrong with just lemon-raspberry cupcakes. But these are special. These c...

This isn't just a lemon-raspberry cupcake. There's nothing wrong with just lemon-raspberry cupcakes. But these are special. These cupcakes are for a special occasion where you want to wow someone with not just regular cupcakes. You want to show off your skills and vibrance. Yes, these cupcakes have a tart and delicious center, but the point is that they are also show-stoppingly beautiful. See?

They are so pretty that they are almost too pretty to eat.

Tie-Dye Cupcakes

1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup coconut milk or almond milk
2 tablespoons white or cider vinegar
1/3 cup oil
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 teaspoons lemon zest
red and yellow food color

1 bag frozen raspberries
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup coconut shortening at room temperature
1/4 cup earth balance, softened
2 cups powdered sugar

1 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoon arrowroot powder
1/2 cup almond milk

Preheat oven to 350ºF
Line a muffin tin with liners.
Mix together coconut milk, vinegar, oil, sugar, almond extract and lemon zest.
Sift if flour, salt, baking powder, and bakng soda. Stir until just combined. Add 4 drops yellow food color and mix in. Using an ice cream scoop, fill each cupcake to about 2/3 full. Add 2 drops of red food color to the leftover batter. Mix until batter is a nice bright orange. Drop a tablespoon of batter onto each cupcake and swirl with a toothpick to create a marble pattern. Now put 1 drop of red food color in the middle of the cupcake. Swirl it in large loops  around the edges and through the middle of the cupcakes. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.
In a sauce pan, heat frozen raspberries and sugar. Bring to simmer for about 5 minutes and strain the juice, reserving it. Push out as much juice as you can and discard the berries. Let fruit syrup cool.
Combine lemon juice and sugar in a small saucepot and bring to boil. Reduce to simmer and whisk until sugar is dissolved. Mix together in a measuring cup the arrowroot powder and almond milk. Slowly whisk it into the lemon mixture and stir until mixture is thickened to consistency of pudding. Let cool.
Make frosting by whipping coconut shortening and earth balance together in a stand mixer until fluffy. On a low speed, slowly add powdered sugar. Mix until combined and turn up the speed and pour in raspberry syrup, about 3 tablespoons, in a slow, steady stream. Turn speed up to high and whip for about 7 minutes. Frosting should be fluffy and increased in volume. 
Once cupcakes and lemon curd are cool, fill a squirt bottle with lemon curd. Insert pointy tip of squirt bottle into the center of the cupcakes and squirt about 1-2 tablespoon into each cupcake. Using a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip pipe one large star in the middle of each cupcake so that you can still see its tie-dye edges.

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