I love cake… cupcakes in particular.
I don’t often indulge in cake, but when I do I make sure it’s quality over quantity. One slice of decadent organic chocolate cake made from REAL ingredients (not the kind of cake you find from a big chain grocery store) is a real treat.
I also love making cupcakes from scratch, but find most recipes call for waayyy to much sugar and a lot of eggs and butter. That’s why I decided to make a lighter, dairy-free and more nutritious cupcake… I also threw in some organic maca and raw cacao powder for a superfood boost!
Maca and raw cacao are a superfood match made in heaven. Both have a creamy pallet and their bitter-sweet flavour profiles complement each other perfectly.
Maca is a powerful antioxidant, high in vitamin C, and is known to help fight against free-radical damage and cancer. It’s also earned its status as an adaptogen, helping to balance mood and stress levels, as well as enhance energy and memory.
Raw cacao is also an energy, memory and mood enhancer along with being a great antioxidant, even more so than goji berries, tea and wine! This superfood is also known for its anti-inflammatory properties, including high amounts of magnesium which helps to maintain muscle and nerve function.
With all this superfood action going on, I knew I needed a nutrient-dense flour to go along with it. I used oat flour to make this recipe gluten-free and to give it a kick of whole grain nutrients. If you don’t have oat flour on hand, just blend a few cups of organic rolled oats in your food processor or blender until they reach a fine flour-like consistency. Using oat flour is also far more nutritious than plain old bleached white baking flour… Cause no one needs those empty calories hiding in their cupcakes! Lol.
For sweetener, I used a quarter cup each of coconut sugar and maple syrup. Obviously, a cupcake needs some sweetness, but I prefer to use less processed sugars like coconut sugar, cane sugar, honey, dates and maple syrup. I opted for these sweeteners as they both have a rich flavour that complements chocolate (and maca) well and they’re less processed than white sugar.
While I wouldn’t say that cupcakes, in general, are “healthy”, this recipe is definitely a step in the right direction. The perfect superfood treat to indulge in every now and then.
Vegan Chocolate Superfood Cupcakes
Vegan | Gluten-Free | Dairy-Free
1 ½ Cups Gluten-Free Oat Four
⅔ Cup Raw Cacao Powder
1 Tbsp. Maca Powder
1 tsp. Baking Soda
¼ tsp. Salt
½ Cup + 1 Tbsp. Water
½ Cup + 4 Tbsp. Non-Dairy Milk (I used coconut)
3 Tbsps. Melted Coconut Oil
¼ Cup Coconut Sugar
¼ Cup Pure Maple Syrup
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
Pre-heat oven to 350F. Prepare a muffin tin with cupcake liners and set aside.
Combine all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine.
In a small saucepan warm the water and milk. Whisk in the melted coconut oil and remove from heat. (Do not bring the mixture to a boil, you want the water, milk mixture to be just warm enough that the coconut oil doesn’t harden when added.) Add the coconut sugar, maple syrup and vanilla to the pot, whisk to combine.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir, making sure there are no lumps.
Pour the batter into your prepared muffin tins, about 3/4 full.
Bake for 15 – 18 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when poked into the centre of the cupcakes (a few specks of cake on your toothpick is ok.) These cupcakes often crack at the top once baked so don’t be surprised if this happens.
Allow to cool and top with your choice of frosting. I used the vegan chocolate frosting recipe below, but feel free to use one with less sugar.
2 ½ Cups Powdered Sugar
3 Tbsp. Vegan Butter
3 Tbsp. Non-Dairy Milk (I used coconut)
2 Tsp. Vanilla Extract
1/4 – 1/2 Cup Raw Cacao Powder
Add all the ingredients to a medium-sized mixing bowl and whip with an electric mixer until smooth.