Healthy cupcakes. Seriously. These cupcakes are gluten-free and sugar-free… but it tasted soooo good!
I was originally espoused to the idea that these were dairy-free too. I may have just chosen to believe that butter isn’t really dairy. If you are following a strict dairy-free diet, I’d suggest trying to make the cupcakes with olive oil and the frosting with coconut oil or a dairy-free margarine.
Ordinarily, I’m a little put off by recipes which call for you to whip egg whites for addition to batter, because my mixer only has one bowl. It’s a right pain to have to stop, transfer the mixture into another bowl, then wash up so I have a clean bowl to start whipping my egg whites. But this recipe doesn’t require a mixer to mix the mixture (try saying that 10 times fast!). You can mix the mixture in the saucepan you start out with meaning the dish dilemma doesn’t present itself.
If I didn’t know better, I would honestly think these were just run-of-the-mill delicious chocolate cupcakes. I’m stoked to have found a healthy alternative (even if I did use a bit of butter).
Ingredients – for the cupcakes
1/4 cup (60g) butter (see possible dairy-free alternatives above)
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups xylitol (or, if you’re not bothered by it being sugar-free, 1 cup caster sugar)
1 1/4 cup quinoa flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, separated
seeds from 1 vanilla bean
1/4 cup soy yogurt (or sour-cream or regular yogurt)
Ingredients – for the frosting
1/4 cup (60g) softened butter (see possible dairy-free alternatives above)
60g melted dairy-free, sugar-free chocolate (I use Plamil Foods and find it’s the closest thing to the real deal about)
3 tablespoons xylitol
1-2 tablespoon cocoa powder
seeds from 1 vanilla bean
For the cupcakes: Preheat your oven to 190°C (170°C fan forced). Bring water and butter to the boil in a medium sized saucepan. Once the butter has melted, remove saucepan from the heat and whisk in sifted cocoa powder. Then sift in xylitol, quinoa flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. This mixture shouldn’t be hot any more. But do make sure. Then add the egg yolks, vanilla and soy yogurt and beat by hand until smooth.
Meanwhile, whip egg whites until soft peaks before gently folding this through the cupcake mixture.
Spoon about a 1/4 cup of mixture into each cupcake liner (held in muffin tins is best to keep their shape). I found there was exactly enough mixture to make 12 cupcakes - awfully convenient. Bake for 14 minutes. Leave on a wire rack to cool before frosting.
For the frosting: whip softened butter and xylitol until butter become pale and fluffy. Add remaining ingredients and continue to whip until all well incorporated and fluffy. Using a piping bag with a large star nozzle, pipe frosting onto cool cupcakes. You may find it easier if you pop the piping bag full of mixture in the fridge for just a couple of minutes (no longer) to firm up before piping.
NOTE: Xylitol and quinoa flour (pronounced keen-wah) should be available at your local health food shop. In baking, quinoa flour is best toasted in an oven at about 100°C for 2 hours before letting it cool and repackaging it for future use. This seems to mellow the grassy flavour quite a bit. Also, if you’re not going to use your quinoa flour soon, best to leave it in the freezer, as it’s more likely to quickly spoil than regular flour.