Citrus Cauli Cupcakes

Zesty, chewy and moreish, these little cupcakes will be a total winner for your entire family. Hand these cupcakes out to waiting hands and get them to guess the secret ingredient! Cauliflower is a fabulous veg to add to cakes as it gives a moistness and a great soft texture.  Trust me, the lovely orange flavour shines through so they don’t taste at all ”cauliflowery”!

I use spelt flour in this recipe. Spelt is a type of ancient wheat grain that is easy on the gut and highly nutritious. It does contain gluten, but you can easily substitute for a gluten-free version if needed. These cupcakes are also naturally dairy-free. Coconut sugar is a made from the sap of the coconut palm and is lower GI than normal sugar, so it doesn’t give such a big sugar rush and then crash.

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Citrus Cauli Cupcakes

5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Baking, Lunch Boxes & Picnics, Snacks & Treats
Servings 12 cupcakes
Suitable for Special Diet (or adaptable) Dairy-free, Gluten-free, Sensory, Vegetarian


Icing (optional)


  • Preheat the oven to 170°C (fan) and line a muffin/cupcake tray with 12 paper cases.
  • Break the cauliflower into florets, and blitz it on pulse mode in a blender until finely chopped and looking like couscous.
  • Zest the oranges into a mixing bowl. Squeeze the juice into a separate small bowl or jug and set aside.
  • Into the mixing bowl, add the coconut sugar, eggs and vanilla extract and whisk well. Add the finely chopped cauliflower, 4 tbsp of the reserved orange juice and olive oil and whisk again.
  • Sift the flour and baking powder into the mixing bowl, and fold through to combine.
  • Divide the batter between the paper cases, and bake for 20 minutes, until golden, springy and cooked all through (test with a cake tester). Allow to cool for a couple of minutes, then transfer onto a rack to thoroughly cool.
  • Optional – for the icing, mix the icing sugar with 2 tsp of the reserved orange juice, then drizzle over the cooled cupcakes.


  • Suitable from 12 months without the icing.
  • If you don’t have coconut sugar, you can substitute with golden caster sugar or light soft brown sugar. Reduce the added sugar by 1 teaspoon every time you bake these cupcakes to wean your family off over sweet foods. Let me know how low you can go to keep them sweet enough to satisfy!
  • For a gluten-free version swap the spelt flour for a gluten-free alternative such as sorghum flour or a good quality gluten-free flour blend. We have not successfully recipe tested this for an egg-free version yet.
  • These can be kept in an airtight container for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months.
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5 from 2 votes

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Recipe Rating

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  1. 5 stars
    Delicious! My daughter loved them but then looked a little puzzled and horrified when I told her the secret ingredient! Didn’t stop her having another though!!

  2. 5 stars
    These are a favourite and after testing the recipe on friends and family, no one guesses that it contains cauliflower! I think it has a sticky toffee pudding flavour