I love challenges. I needed a dessert for a dietetic intern potluck. The catch – I wanted everyone to be able to enjoy it and one intern eats vegan and another gluten-free. Bring on the challenge, baby! I scoured the internet far and wide (ok, I only used Google and Pinterest) and ended up combing a bunch of different recipes to get this final product.
I got the base cake recipe from Eggless Cooking. It’s made with beets and chickpeas. I was really skeptical at first, but I decided to give it a try. Turns out you can’t even taste the chickpeas or beets! I used canned chickpeas and beets to cut down on prep-time and it turned out pretty well.
These cupcakes were soooo decadent. It’s not really cake-like. More fudge-like perhaps? They’re dense, rich, and definitely chocolatey!
(Sorry for the bad photo - I took this minutes before running out the door to get my butt to the potluck!)
Gluten-Free Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting
yields 12 cupcakes
For the cupcakes:
2 cups chickpeas, canned or freshly cooked
3/4 cup beets, cooked
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon instant coffee granules
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups vegan chocolate chips*
- Remove the thin outer skin from the chickpeas. Enlist help if you can – this will take a while! Use a food processor or blender to puree until smooth with a tablespoon or so of water.
- Puree beets into a smooth paste, using the cooking water.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a cupcake pan with liners and set aside.
- Melt chocolate chips in microwave in 20 second increments, stirring after each until completely melted.
- Combine chickpeas, beets, and sugar in the food processor or blender until completely smooth – no lumps allowed! Puree in coconut oil, baking powder, coffee granules, lemon juice, and vanilla extract until well combined.
- Blend in the melted chocolate chips into the chickpea and beet mixture and let the food process or blender run for a couple minutes to allow chocolate to distribute evenly throughout the batter.
- Pour batter into prepared cupcake pan and bake for 40 – 50 minutes.
- Remove pan from the oven and place on a wire rack. Let the cupcakes cool completely in the pan.
- Remove cupcakes from cupcake pan when cool and frost with chocolate frosting (recipe below)!
1 can regular coconut milk, opened and refrigerated overnight – do not shake!!
1 cup Smart Balance, room temperature
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 – 6 cups powdered sugar
- Scrape the thick layer off the top of the coconut milk into a large bowl. Add in Smart Balance and beat until well combined and smooth.
- Mix in cocoa powder and vanilla extract until well combined.
- Gradually add powdered sugar into frosting, 1 cup at a time, until desired consistency is reached**.
- Use immediately or refrigerate, covered.
*I used Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips and they were pretty darn tasty!
** I ended up using some of coconut milk left in the can to thin out the frosting and give it another boost of flavor. I ended up using about 5 cups of powdered sugar in addition to about 1/4 cup of the coconut “water” that was left in the can.