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Caribbean recipes gluten-free coconut & Papaya cupcakes - fluffy and moist, delicious cakes

Fluffy Moist Coconut Papaya Cupcakes

A delicious guaranteed hit of a recipe, using a mix of regular flour and non-grain flours. Moist, delicious, with just the right amount of sweetness, these cupcakes are sure to be a hit!
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Caribbean
Servings 12 Cupcakes


  • 1 cup All purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup Breadfruit flour substitute Sweet Potato flour
  • 1/2 cup Plantain flour substitute Makaboo flour
  • 1 tsp Baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp Baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1 cup Light brown sugar
  • 2 large Eggs
  • 1/2 cup Light oil Sunflower or Coconut Oil - minus 2 Tbs
  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • 1/4 cup Coconut milk try to get organic without additives
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 6 oz Papaya finely chopped or mashed
  • 1/2 cup Shredded coconut not sweetened! A generous 1/2 cup


  • Preheat oven to 350 F / 180 C and prepare cupcake tins: If you're not using paper cups, grease and flour your trays.
  • Melt the butter in the oven as it's heating, then mix into the oil
  • Beat the eggs lightly and add in the coconut milk, vanilla and oil. Beat until very well combined
  • Measure flours, baking soda and powder, salt and sugar into a bowl and mix well using a hand whisk
  • Gradually mix in the dry ingredients into the wet and when combined, add in the papaya and coconut. Mix just enough to combine
    Combine mashed papaya and shredded coconut with the cupcake batter
  • Scoop into your prepared cupcake tins and give a little bump on your cooking surface to ensure there's no air pocket.
  • Cook until a bamboo skewer or toothpick, inserted into the middle of the cake, comes out clean
    fluffy moist delicious papaya and coconut muffins fresh out of the oven


I was inspired by a recipe from Lorraine Elliot over at NotQuiteNigella. I've had an abundance of papaya in my garden and they're so tasty and good for you - full of the digestive enzyme papain - that I wanted to do something different with them, and this is the first of a few recipes I'll be sharing with you. Be sure to subscribe to the website to make sure you don't miss anything!
I grew up in Saint Lucia on fluffy, sweet banana cake that my Mum taught me to make, but as I've grown older and more health conscious, I try to minimize the calories and sugar-shock in recipes by using less sugar or sweet ingredients. We're blessed in Saint Lucia to have a ready supply of frozen-fresh shredded coconut: this isn't like dessicated coconut - it has nothing added, so is less sweet and much healthier. It makes a great ingredient in many dishes, adding healthyness and a subtler, more natural taste. We're also lucky to have excellent local non-grain flours, which I use especially when making cakes: they add flavour and healthiness without making baking any less easy!
Non-wheat flours produced in Saint Lucia - plantain flour and breadfruit flour
Fresh out of the pan, these are delicious as they are. You can of course add your favourite icing. I just keep half of them in an airtight container on my table and freeze the other half so they stay super-fresh.  They freeze well and are fine to eat just thawed out, or if like me, you are a sucker for hot cakes, they are delicious reheated in the microwave for 20s :) 
I hope you enjoy making (and eating!) these cakes - and remember, you can just revert to using only wheat flour if you don't have access to the exotic plantain or breadfruit flours. You can also substitute coconut and almond flours for some of your recipe, but for light fluffy cakes, I'd advise only using 1/3 of your total recipe. I added the baking powder to give the heavier flours that little extra lift, so if you use plain flour you can try omitting it...I look forward to hearing about your delicious results!!! 
Keyword Breadfruit, Easy, Papaya, Plantain flour