Friday feeling: apricot and salted caramel cupcakes

Vegan and gluten-free cake with a runny caramel centre and apricot-infused frosting

Even before your first mouthful, The Free From Bakehouse’s apricot and salted caramel cupcake is reminiscent of an active volcano. There are the flanks—a billowing tower of vegan frosting, blended with pureed apricots—and there is the crater, a pool of salted caramel sat auspiciously in the middle of the frosting. It’s ready to blow so beware when taking your first mouthful, for the volcano comparison does not stop at the cone.

Within the soft, gluten free and vegan sponge, founder Caroline’s team of expert ‘free from’ bakers have hollowed out a magma chamber, to be filled with even more salted caramel. Without careful handling—a seismometer or, at the very least, a napkin—this rich, sweet, golden lava could erupt all over your clothes.

“The apricots impart a lovely flavour, which works well with the handmade caramel,” says Caroline. “We scoop a little bit of sponge out, fill it with caramel and then drizzle more on top. We've had these gluten free and vegan cupcakes for many years and they're popular with those with a sweet tooth!” With apricots suffusing the frosting and sponge, there’s no missing the eggs or dairy—or even the gluten, thanks to Caroline’s way with alternative flour—and the ripe, summery flavours pair perfectly with an Organic Life iced tea.