Iron Cupcake Earth: Savory

May 5th, 2009

It was surprisingly easy for me to come up with a first concept for this month’s Iron Cupcake challenge, even though I clearly walk on the sweet side of things.

suspiciously cupcake-like thing

That's not cake, or frosting, and that's DEFINITELY not sprinkles.

Partially inspired by my recent adventures in yogurt-making, but mostly because of my love for chickpeas, I decided to make falafel “cupcakes.” They’re really just baked falafel in foil cupcake wrappers, with some homemade cucumber-yogurt sauce on top, but they’re tasty and they qualify.

you could eat them like this

Not pictured: totally awesome fluffy pitas, which do not add to the cupcake illusion, hence the non-inclusion.

Like most vegetarians (and many omnivores) I really love falafel. It’s awesome stuff. So I thought it deserved a little tribute and a little special treatment. Plus the first and only other time I’ve tried to make them at home they fell apart in the frying pan (and then exploded all over the inside of the microwave when I heated up the leftovers of what I’d managed to salvage).

fresh parsley rules

Parsley, chickpeas, cumin, yogurt, cucumber...what more could you want?

I’m going to make another batch of these in the next couple days and may season them a bit more. I don’t think I’d feel that way if I hadn’t had some crazy-flavorful falafel in New York. You can’t really buy fresh falafel around here so making my own is my only option. Fresh parsley goes a long way towards helping, as does copious amounts of cumin. And then there’s the super awesome yogurt sauce. Which I will definitely be making with every batch of falafel from now on.

Falafel “Cupcakes” with Cucumber-Yogurt “Icing”

so what is that stuff on top?

Paprika sprinkles!

First, Make the Falafel:

  1. 15-20 oz. chickpeas, cooked & drained (canned is fine)
  2. 1 small onion, chopped
  3. 1/2 tsp chopped garlic
  4. 1 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  5. 2 Tbsp AP flour
  6. 1 tsp ground coriander
  7. 1 tsp ground cumin
  8. 1/2 tsp baking powder
  9. Salt & pepper
  10. Pinch cayenne pepper
  11. 2 Tbsp olive oil

Preheat the oven to 350. Drizzle the oil in a large, shallow baking dish and set aside.

Mash the chickpeas and blend in the onion and garlic. Add the remaining ingredients to form a thick paste. Shape into golf ball-sized balls and place, evenly-spaced, inside the baking dish. Bake 18-22 minutes, turning halfway through baking. Place on a plate lined with paper towels to soak up excess oil.

Then, Make the “Icing”:

  1. 1 cup plain yogurt, preferably strained/Greek-style
  2. 1/2 cup shredded cucumber, drained
  3. 1 lime, zested & juiced, with juice divided
  4. 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  5. 1/2 tsp salt
  6. Paprika, for sprinkling

Combine all ingredients except paprika in a medium bowl and mix well. Keep refrigerated.

Place each falafel ball into a small foil cupcake wrapper and top with a generous amount of yogurt sauce. Sprinkle with paprika.

I am planning on a second entry this month (with actual cake involved!) but it’s going to take a bit of experimentation. There are components I need to make for the first time, not to mention I don’t have the proper equipment to make the kind of cakes I want. It’ll be an adventure!

Obligatory Iron Cupcake Earth Official Information:

Our May ETSY PRIZE-PACK is from artists:

Last and certainly not least, don’t forget our corporate prize providers: HEAD CHEFS by FIESTA PRODUCTS,, HELLO CUPCAKE by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson,, JESSIE STEELE APRONS; TASTE OF HOME books,; a t-shirt from UPWITHCUPCAKES.COM Iron Cupcake:Earth is sponsored in part by 1-800-Flowers,

6 Responses to “Iron Cupcake Earth: Savory”

  1. What a great idea! So original yet sounds so delicious Anna! :)

  2. Lisa says:

    That is such a creative, unique, savory cupcake! Love the flavors as I LOVE falafel!

  3. gattina says:

    it is AWESOME!!! This cup”cake” for sure is amasingly delish!

  4. Carolyn Jung says:

    That would be a fun item at a dinner party. Can’t you see your guests’ faces when you put down a cupcake in front of them for the entree course? How fun that would be!

  5. Nicole says:

    How creative! I love playful food like this :)

  6. […] A falafel “cupcake” patty with cucumber yogurt dressing as the “icing”, with a little red cumin as the “sprinkles”. Ah, so clever! (PicThx VerySmallAnna) […]

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