Whole Living Gal

A Healthy Cupcake Recipe

A few months ago I was on the search for a healthy cupcake recipe. Well, first I was on the search for a cupcake recipe for my youngest daughter’s first birthday, but when I came across a recipe I thought I liked and discovered that between the frosting and the cake, there were 6 sticks of butter, I thought:

There has to be a better way!

I ended up using a pumpkin cupcake recipe that was delicious and had pretty good ingredients. I definitely limit the amount of sugar and white flour altogether in our diets, but I’m not a stickler, so when it came to a birthday party, I thought a little flour, butter and sugar (and cream cheese frosting) was okay.

But then when I came across today’s cupcake recipe in a cookbook I’ve been using for years, I just had to make it. Then I made it, and I had to share it.

Really, I wish you could have been at my kitchen table this afternoon as my friend Brooke and I ate away at these cupcakes… Because, frankly, I wish you could taste them before I tell you what is in them – they’re delicious and not even in the, these-are-good-for-being-healthy kind of way. They’re just delicious in the: these-must-be-naughty way.

But they’re not naughty. They are sweetened with natural sweeteners, vegan, gluten free, and guess what’s in the frosting? Oh, I won’t tell…you’ll have to read on…and give it a try…

Trust me? Okay, then let’s continue…

Chief Cloud’s Cupcakes
from Healthy Cooking for Kids by Shelly Null

2 Cups whole-wheat pastry flour (I used gluten-free, all-purpose flour)
1 Tbs baking powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
3/4 cup spectrum spread*
2/3 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup well-mashed banana
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup soy milk or rice milk (I used almond milk)
1 cup flaked coconut (optional)

1 lb silken tofu, well drained
1, 10-oz package dairy-free carob chips (I used dark chocolate chips)
1/4 cup honey
1 Tbs vanilla

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a muffin tray with paper cups.

In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk together until well combined.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine spectrum spread, maple syrup, banana, and vanilla. Mix with an electric mixer on medium speed until creamy (about 1 minute. Gradually pour in the milk, increase speed and beat for 30 seconds. Reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually add the flour mixure (in 2 batches), beating for 20 seconds after each addition to incorporate the ingredients. When the ingredients are fully incorporated, increase the mixer speed to high, and beat for 1 minute to aerate. Pour in the coconut and beat for 10 seconds until well combined. Scrape off any excess batter from the side of the bowl. Spoon the batter evenly into the prepared tins (the wells will be full).

Bake in the middle of the preheated oven for 30 minutes. For uniformity in baking, rotate the tin halfway through the baking. Remove from tin and let the cupcakes cool.

To prepare the frosting: In the food processor (w/ the medal blade), process tofu for 2 minutes until smooth. In a double boiler, combine chips, honey and vanilla until the chips are a fudgy consistency (about 5-6 minutes), stirring consistently. Restart the food processor and add the chocolate through the feed tube and run until smooth and creamy (about 2 minutes). Scrape off excess frosting from the sides of the food processor and transfer to a medium bowl. Cover the surface directly with plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour, or until firm.

Spread frosting on the cupcakes and serve immediately.

*Spectrum Spread is the name brand for the non-dairy (but not margarine!) buttery spread substitute you can find at the health food store. I used Earth Balance.



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  1. * Lisa says:

    Well this sounds very promising!
    My niece has been brought up to be a junkfood junky unfortunately (and she’s only 3) and I’m slowly trying to get her parents to incorporate some healthier options. If this is truly as good as you’ve made it sound, this will be very helpful!!

    Thank you for posting!

    | Reply Posted 6 years, 10 months ago
  2. * brooke says:

    i’m obviously going to make these myself one day.
    yes, readers, they were VERY good. in fact, as i write this, i am actively trying to resist the urge to get up and eat another one.
    thanks for sharing them with me, heath!

    | Reply Posted 6 years, 10 months ago
  3. * Lorna Dobson says:

    I hope there’s a bite left for me so I can fully judge whether I want to take time to make these someday…of course, i’d probably eat all but one!

    | Reply Posted 6 years, 10 months ago
  4. * Pat says:

    sounds yummy, thanks, Heather. I have everything in the pantry except tofu and Earth Balance and it’s too late to make a grocery run!

    | Reply Posted 6 years, 10 months ago
  5. * alli says:

    oh my goodness! thank you! finally a cupcake recipe that excites me! i’ve been searching for DAYS for a healthy cupcake recipe for my son’s first birthday party. i’m making these today to try out! thanks!!!

    | Reply Posted 6 years, 6 months ago

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