Who says you can't have your cake and eat it too when you're trying to live a healthier lifestyle? These grain-free cupcakes are made with low glycemic sugar, quinoa flour and pure cacao powder making it a healthy cupcake, but no one will know it! Plus they have a beautiful green, dye-free icing perfect for the holidays.
If you haven't used quinoa flour before, it's a lot like regular flour except it's made from ground up quinoa. You might be thinking “isn't quinoa a grain”, but no, technically it is a seed. Quinoa flour has a nutty flavor to it, but it's not too over powering. My husband had no idea I didn't use normal flour when he first tasted these cupcakes.
Quinoa is a complete protein, which means that it has all nine essential amino acids that the human body needs. Besides being loaded with protein, it also contains B and E vitamins, calcium, magnesium and iron.
I'm not a fan of artificial food dyes because of the toxic effect it can have on our bodies, especially children, so I like to provide you with dye-free alternatives. To achieve this pretty, green color I threw a handful of spinach in the food processor with icing and blended it all together.
You can make this icing from scratch for a healthy alternative to regular icing. I've used this store-bought icing, which has better ingredients than most store-bought icings.
This color can also be achieved by juicing spinach and mixing the juice with icing like I've shown before. The first way is definitely a simpler version plus you get all the benefits from the spinach. And don't worry, neither way makes the icing taste like spinach. No one will know what's in it!
Even though these are healthy, they're moist, rich and you won't feel the guilt that comes with a regular cupcake! That's one of the best parts about eating them. My husband, who is a dessert fanatic, will even vouch for them. He actually requests these over regular cake for celebrations now. I mean come on, cupcakes that are grain-free, gluten-free, vegan and they don't contain any refined sugar…that's reason enough to try them out! If you don't have a problem with gluten or grains, these cupcakes are delicious too!
Festive Grain-Free Cupcakes
- 1½ cups Quinoa Flour (other gluten-free flours will work, see notes)
- 1½ cups Coconut Sugar (or date sugar)
- ½ cup Cacao Powder
- 1 cup Almond Milk (or other non-dairy milk you prefer)
- ½ cup Vegan Butter (softened)
- 2 tsp Baking Powder
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- ½ tsp Baking Soda
- ¼ tsp Salt
- 1 1/2 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
- Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Mix together almond milk and apple cider vinegar and let sit while you get everything else ready. In a large mixing bowl, add butter, sugar and vanilla and mix together with beaters until it's whipped.
- In another large bowl mix flour, cacao powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt together. Add the milk and apple cider vinegar mixture to the butter and beat until partially mixed.
- Then, slowly add the dry ingredients to wet while beating together. Keep mixing together until everything is combined with no clumps. Line muffin tin with cupcake holders and evenly divide batter filling ½ - ¾ full.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes. Use the toothpick method to make sure they're done. Let cool before frosting.
Those look great! I can't wait to try them. I love the idea of the coloring
These sound perfect!
Super fun idea! Beautiful photos!
I love quinoa, but need to try my hand at baking with quinoa flour! Love this healthier dessert!!
We love quinoa too! Cant wait to try this
These look so good! Can't wait to make some for my kiddos!
I often mix in quinoa flour in all my baking – all those extra amino acids and proteins going into my kids makes me feel good. Love the dye-free icing.
So I've never heard of quinoa flour but we love quinoa! Definitely will try!
These look delicious!
Any replacement for the vegan butter? On Esselstyn's protocol and can't have the fat/oil ?
Apple sauce or Avocado might work. I've never tried it so you'd have to experiment and see. I'd love to hear if one of those work out or what you try! :)
Can't wait to try these!
by the way your print button doesn't work.
Thanks for all of your great recipes!
I wish more people comment when they make the recipes , not just how delicious it looks . Wanted to try baking with quinoa flour but unfortunately it had a bitter aftertaste. The cupcake also crumbled too much . I followed the recipe , I rechecked . Maybe I didn’t whip the wet ingredients enough ? Anyways , won’t make again with quinoa flour. Thanks for your healthy inspired recipes .
I'm so sorry to hear this. This has not happened to me so I'm not sure where it went wrong. Gluten-free baking can be very tricky even the weather can mess it up! If quinoa flour had too strong of a taste I'd suggest using all purpose gluten-free flour or a gf oat flour. If you are not strictly gluten-free spelt flour also works great in this recipe.