Yes, that’s right; I put a gulab jamun inside of a chocolate coconut cupcake. I made gulab jamun cupcakes! It was really one of my finest moments in the kitchen (and painfully easy to do), and I’m pretty much going to talk about it forever. You know how peanut butter and chocolate go together, well apparently gulab jamun and chocolate cupcakes make an equally awesome pair. That’s why I decided to bring them to the virtual Eid Eats party being hosted by Sarah of Flour and Spice, Asiyah of Chocolate and Chillies, and Henna from My Ninja Naan. Growing up I pretty much knew nothing about Eid except for what I learned from Bollywood movies. It’s not a festival we celebrate in our home, and as a child I didn’t have any friends that observed Ramadan and the celebration of Eid either. However, in my adult life I’ve had the pleasure of developing friendships with lots of people outside of my immediate circle and faith, so I’ve gotten to learn about (and sometime share through their stories) the spiritual experiences of Ramadan, and the celebrations of Eid.
Earlier this month the kids went to the library for their weekly exchange and Zara brought home a book called The Night of the Moon. (Our local library is awesome about displaying culturally relevant books around festivals and holidays). She loved the concept of ‘Chand Raat’ and getting henna designs of course, but it also sparked a great conversation about Eid, and also brought up some questions she had about a friend at school that was fasting. I didn’t have all the answers, but thankfully I have a bank of good friends to turn to that are ready and willing to help out!
I feel like people don’t ask questions about a faith or culture that they are not a part of sometimes out of the fear of offending someone. Here’s what I think; learning about new experiences, belief systems, and world views make us (and by default our kids) better human beings. And you know what makes us happier human beings? Food, good food, lots of food, and from everything I’ve heard about Eid celebrations – there is no shortage on food!
When I was trying to figure out what to make for the Eid Eats 2015 link-up, I wanted to create something that was fun, easy enough for anyone with limited cooking/baking skills to make, and married traditional and modern components together. Enter Gulab Jamun Cupcakes.
Boxed cake mix (plus water, oil, and eggs as directed on the box)
1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
24 mini gulab jamuns
Icing for decorating (optional)
Start by pre-heating your oven (check the cake mix box for temperature). Mix up your boxed cake mix as directed on the package. Add the shredded coconut and mix it all together.
Add the mini gulab jamun right into the centre of each cupcake and cover with a little batter. (Don’t add more batter, just re-distribute the batter that was already in that section, otherwise there will be too much batter and the cupcakes will bake up in strange shapes).
Bake as directed on the cake mix box, and let cool. I originally planned on adding frosting to the top of the cupcakes, but I thought it might be sugar overload with the gulab jamun in the centre. I did use a piping tip and write an Eid Mubarak message on some of the cupcakes.
Wishing all my friends and readers that will be celebrating this weekend Eid Mubarak! I hope these delicious little packages of goodness make it onto your dessert table. Don’t forget to stop by and check out the other recipes linked up to Eid Eats.
Images by: Aziz Dhamani Photography