Pomegranate Cupcakes with Avocado Frosting

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“We go together, like Avocado and…literally everything”

…including pomegranate! You guys…I think you will love these cupcakes! Pomegranate is in season right now and not only is it delicious, but it also has a ton of health benefits. I used to be one of those people that was iffy about eating the whole seed, but it turns out there is a good amount of fiber in the seeds, so you can totally enjoy the whole thing and feel good about it. Plus, once it’s in a cupcake, what’s not to like? The slightly sour flavor of the seeds adds a fun burst to your bite!

And lets just take a minute to revel in the beauty that is an avocado. I don’t know about you, but I just eat these with a spoon, with nothing added. Sooo imagine adding some sugar, vanilla, lemon juice, and maybe cream cheese to an avocado, and you have yourself an amazing butter-free frosting that tastes sooo good! Also, did you know that avocados, among the many vitamins that you always hear about them having, also have a component called lutein in them – which contributes to eye health and helps fight diseases like Macular Degeneration?!? It’s a win-win with this cupcake!

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Pomegranate Cupcakes

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup buttermilk

1 egg

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp almond extract

2/3 cup flour

1/3 cup sugar

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

pinch of salt

1 pomegranate, seeds removed and all loose peel taken off

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Preheat oven to 350F and prepare 16 mini cupcake liners (Double the recipe for about 16 regular size cupcakes – I prefer mini). In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the oil, buttermilk, egg, and extracts and mix until just combined. Meanwhile in a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients (except for pomegranate seeds) and whisk together. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients in 3 parts, mixing in between adding. Next you’ll want to toss the pomegranate seeds in a little bit of leftover flour in your bowl – this will help the seeds stay suspended throughout the cupcakes instead of sinking to the bottom. Add about 3/4 of the seeds from a whole pomegranate to the stand mixer bowl and mix in by hand. Reserve the rest of the seeds to decorate the tops of the cupcakes. Fill mini cupcakes liners about 2/3 full and place in oven for about 12 minutes (about 16-18 minutes for regular size) or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean. Remove and let cool before frosting.

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Avocado frosting

1 large, ripe avocado

2 tsp lemon juice

3-4 cups of powdered sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

8-oz cream cheese (optional)

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Remove pit and peel from avocado. Place avocado in stand mixer and beat until as smooth as possible – this may take a few minutes and you may still have a few chunks – that’s okay. Add the lemon juice and vanilla and continue to beat. Now begin adding the sugar. The more sugar you add, the stiffer it will get. The frosting is very soft at this point, and you won’t be able to pipe it. This is because there is no butter in it, and avocado is your only fat at this point (albeit an all natural one 🙂 ) . I frosted a few cupcakes like this – and they were tasty, but a bit runny. If you would like the frosting a little stiffer and easier to work with/more presentable, you can add the cream cheese and continue beating in the stand mixer until smooth. The end result also tastes amazing! Once you’ve frosted the cooled cupcakes, garnish with 5-6 pomegranate seeds on top and enjoy!

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