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January 10, 2013

Bittersweet Chocolate Quinoa Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting

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I've gotta admit, I'm not really a fan of bittersweet chocolate.  I agree with Ina Garten who always says on her show, Barefoot Contessa, that bittersweet chocolate is too bitter and semisweet chocolate is too sweet (except I don't think anything is too sweet!)

As I made these cupcakes I was expecting them to have a super sweet chocolate flavor, like the cupcakes you can buy at a bakery.  But as I sunk my teeth into the first cupcake, I realized that these weren't your typical sugary baked good.  These were bittersweet, sophisticated, and left me wanting more...  to my surprise.

I like sweet cupcakes, you know, the kind that make your teeth twinge and stomach ache.  Why did I like these cupcakes so much?  I think it's because these cupcakes were just sweet enough where you wanted (needed?) to grab another one.  Kind of like eating potato chips, where each chip is just salty enough where you want to grab another few hundred.

These cupcakes are fluffy, springy and packed with chocolate flavor.  It's tough to tell that they are made with healthy ingredients such as quinoa flour, flax and yogurt!

Bittersweet Chocolate Quinoa Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting:  [sugar free, low fat, high fiber/protein, GF, V]
(makes 11 cupcakes)

       136g (1 cup) Quinoa Flour
       80g (1/2 cup) Brown Rice Flour
       27g (1/3 cup) Regular Cocoa Powder (unsweetened)
       13g (2 tbs) Ground Flaxseed
       2 tsp Baking Powder
       1/2 tsp Baking Soda
       1/4 tsp Salt
       241g (1 cup + 1 tbs) Plain Amande "Yogurt" (other yogurts will probably work, like dairy, soy...)
       1/2 tsp Instant Coffee (I used Starbucks VIA Italian)
       1 tsp Vanilla Extract
       1 tsp Stevia Extract
       1+1/4 cups Unsweetened Almond Milk

       24g (2 tbs) Non-Hydrogenated Vegetable Shortening (I used Spectrum Organics)
       1/3 cup Light Coconut Milk, canned
       1/2 tsp Stevia Extract
       10g (2 tbs) Regular or Dark Cocoa Powder (unsweetened)
       75g (2/3 cup) Powdered Erythritol
       42g (2 scoops) Chocolate Brown Rice Protein Powder (I used SunWarrior)

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a cupcake tin with parchment liners (or spray with cooking spray... the cupcakes tend to stick to the paper liners since they are so low fat)
2.  In a small bowl, whisk together the quinoa flour, brown rice flour, cocoa powder, flax, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
3.  In a large bowl, whisk together the yogurt, coffee and extracts, then whisk in the almond milk.
4.  Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet.  Whisk batter for ~20 seconds, or until batter is fluffy and even.
5.  Scoop the batter into the cupcake tins (level out the batter if needed) and bake for ~20 minutes, or until surface springs back when tapped.  Take cupcakes out of pan immediately after removing from the oven, let cool on a wire cooling rack.
6.  For the frosting-  In a medium-sized bowl, add the shortening and coconut milk, microwave at 30-second intervals, stirring between each one, until shortening has melted.  Stir in the stevia, then the cocoa powder, then the protein powder.  Frost the cooled cupcakes and serve!

The nutrition label on the left is for cupcakes alone, the label on the right is for the cupcakes + frosting:


Can you believe it?  Nutritionally balanced cupcakes!!  Of all things...

These don't look healthy and sure don't taste healthy, but they are  :)


  1. STOPIT!

    I can't even handle your extreme level of awesome.

    These cupcakes....just....whoa.

  2. I usually don't like cupcakes because they're too sweet, but these look perfect! The nutrition facts are amazing too. I never would have guessed that label belonged to a chocolate cupcake.

  3. I love the look of your blog. What template are you using?

  4. Cute cupcakes.. Im gonna try 'em!

  5. You know that show, "Sweet Genius" on the Food Network? are THE Sweet Genius! ;)

    Thanks for such a tasty looking (and I'm sure delicious - I will find out tomorrow) recipe!


    1. Sophie, you are SO nice! I hope you like the cupcakes :)

  6. Oh wow, an easy vegan & gf recipe for delicious (and healthy!) cupcakes :)) I may whip up some Vanilla Sun Warrior frosting... thanks for sharing!

  7. tasty and healthy, it just can't be better.I've featured this recipe on my blog, hoping that you don't mind, but if you do, please contact me and I'll remove it. All the best.


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