Valentine to a Golden Birdie

It wasn’t love at first sight, not even second sight. My “date” was quite verbose, but I was seduced by his vulnerability, the ease with which he stripped his….heart bare (clothes stayed on). Once I fell into his grasp, I fell hard for him. My husband knew of this love affair, and was fine with it because the object of my affection is a book, The Goldfinch. I devoured it for hours at a time, good thing I don’t have kids, otherwise I would surely have Child Services knocking on my door. I was swept away by the raw beauty of Donna Tartt’s writing, and how the main character wooed me into his inner life. The story unwound itself page by page and wrapped itself around me in sensurround. The Goldfinch in the title of the book refers to an actual painting that became very dear to the main character, but please go read it for yourself if you haven’t already.

I wanted to make an edible Valentine to The Goldfinch, and thought something lemony would be fitting. I decided to create golden cupcakes that are tart and sweet, which is one of the book’s messages, that is – even though your life may be sour, sweetness can still be found. Because the book is so substantial in content and length I wanted my cupcakes to be dense and substantial, almost like a pound cake quality.  For the love of The Goldfinch, below is my Valentine cupcake recipe.

Sweetheart Muffin Kake2Kale

Superfoods in my cupcakes:

Lemon and Orange– Citrus fruits contain vitamin C, folic acid and a range of phytochemicals (under the antioxidant family). One orange contains over 170 different kinds of phytochemicals, these all support one another in anti-cancer activity, and strengthening cardiovascular health, amongst a host of other benefits.

Almond flour – Good source of vitamin B’s, magnesium, vitamin E and zinc. It also contains some Omega 3’s. The B’s and magnesium both help with feeling calm and collected because they help the body produce serotonin, which is sometimes called the happy hormone. Serotonin affects many functions of the body like, sleep, appetite, aging, memory, just to name some.

Eggs – Nature’s near perfect food. Contains a wide range of vitamins, such as vitamins A, D, E, choline, B12, as well as protein, lutein and zea-xanthin. Try to purchase Omega 3 eggs, to make it even more of a superfood.

Cashews – These nuts contain monounsaturated-fatty acids which may help lower the bad LDL-cholesterol while increasing good HDL cholesterol.  They are also a good source of B vitamins and with minerals such as copper, iron, magnesium, zinc and selenium.

Sweetheart Muffin 2 Kake2Kale

Goldfinch Lemon Cupcakes makes 6

Dry Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ c. plus 3 T.  almond flour
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • ¼ t. salt
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • 1 t. baking powder

Wet Ingredients:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 c. lemon juice
  • 1/3 c. coconut sugar
  • 1/3 c. plus 1 T. coconut milk
  • 2 t. vanilla extract


  • Place all the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl and mix thoroughly.
  • Beat the eggs in a medium bowl for 1 minute until fluffy, add the rest of the wet ingredients and mix well.
  • Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and fill 6 cupcake liners.
  • Bake at 350 F for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown.  Insert toothpick into centre and if it comes out clean then cupcakes are ready.
  • Frost with the cashew cream from below, and decorate with raspberries and strawberry Pocky sticks as I have.  Or else shredded coconut or shaved white chocolate curls would be nice too.

Cashew Cream Topping makes 1 cup

  • 1 c. cashews soaked (for 2 hours) and drained
  • Juice of half lemon
  • 1 mandarin orange peeled
  • 4 drops liquid stevia (or 2 T. sugar)


  • Place ingredients into blender and blend until smooth.

Happy Valentine’s Day to you dear readers!

Eat well, live great! {Kake}

Sweetheart Muffin 3 Kake2Kale