A healthier birthday (or any day) treat – Vanilla Quinoa Flour Cupcakes with just 7 ingredients and creamy pink coconut berry frosting on top!
This one is going to be short but SWEET. Because it’s seven forty-something p.m. the night before, but I am determined to share these pink-frosted fluffy little cakes with you tomorrow. So that means less rambling and more let’s get to the recipe already.
I must admit this cupcake recipe took a bit longer to test than anticipated. While I do love quinoa flour, it’s not quite as familiar for me yet as oat or almond. But it makes for a killer cupcake crumb, so every batch was very worth it.
Plus a recipe that requires frosting throws a whole host of extra decisions into the mix – coconut or cashew? spread or pipe? white with pink sprinkles or pink with white sprinkles? in a house or with a mouse?
And then there’s the part where you have to let the cupcakes cool COMPLETELY (or speed up the process…I see you my fellow cupcake freeze-ers) so the frosting doesn’t melt right off in a tragic drippy blob.
And then there’s the part where you have made so many test batches you can’t remember which one is which anymore, so you have to do one last trial run just to be sure.
And I’m already rambling…
Okay but about these cupcakes (a.k.a. why you will LOVE them):
- Only 7 ingredients.
- Vegan and gluten-free and oil-free.
- Only ONE kind of flour. No starches or fancy flour blends. Just quinoa flour (and you can even make your own!)
- Low-fat. The only fat source in this recipe is the coconut milk. I actually tried a batch with almond butter – because most things in life are better with almond butter – and they were no good (gasp!)
- Exactly zero dates. Okay this is maybe love/hate. But many of you have been asking for a non date-sweetened cake for a while now. If you are all about the medjools, THIS recipe is for you.
- The texture. Oh the light, fluffy, perfect-crumb insides.
So much to love. And that moment when you take the first bite and all those bullet points meld into one perfect mouthful of cake, that is a very good moment.
I mean they don’t NEED frosting per say. The world doesn’t really NEED frosting per say. But without it cupcakes would just be muffins and birthday parties would just be sad, so thank you frosting for gifting us with your colorful creamylusciousness.
The frosting is made with coconut butter, (optional) maple syrup, non-dairy milk, and freeze-dried raspberry dust for color. It is important to have all your ingredients at room temperature before combining, otherwise the coconut butter will seize up. It works best to make it in a blender, adding milk slowly until it is thick and creamy.
I personally think the coconut butter is sweet enough, and the tart raspberry flavor next to the sweet cake is yummy as is. But if you want to add a few tablespoons of liquid sweetener go for it. Just know the color will be slightly less vibrant.
It just so happens that freeze-dried raspberries make for a very pretty pink shade of frosting. And it just so happens that Valentine’s Day is coming up soon. So you could make these for you or your boo for Valentine’s Day. Or you could make them tomorrow because waiting is hard.
Yep, this is my new favorite way to eat quinoa ♥︎
A healthier birthday (or any day) treat – Quinoa Flour Cupcakes with just 7 ingredients and creamy pink coconut berry frosting on top. Vegan, gluten-free, easy!
- 3/4 cup (190g) unsweetened applesauce
- 1/2 cup (160g) maple syrup
- 1/2 cup (120g) light coconut milk (*)
- 2 tsps vanilla extract
- 2 tsps baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- 1 3/4 cup (200g) quinoa flour (**)
- 3/4 cup (180g) coconut butter
- Optional: 2 tbsp maple syrup ((at room temperature))
- 1/4–1/2 cup non-dairy milk ((at room temperature))
- 1–2 tbsps ground freeze-dried raspberries
- Preheat the oven to 325F.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the applesauce, maple syrup, milk, and vanilla. Whisk.
- Add the baking powder, salt, and flour. Whisk/stir to combine.
- Line a cupcake pan with paper liners. (These cupcakes are low-fat so consider lightly spritzing the liners for easier removal.)
- Divide the batter between 6-8 cupcakes, filling each 3/4 of the way.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes at 325F. The centers should be firm and bounce back when pressed.
- Remove from the oven and cool completely before frosting, or even chill overnight.
- For the frosting, melt the coconut butter until soft and pourable (I microwaved it for 5-10 seconds).
- In a blender combine the coconut butter and liquid sweetener. (Make sure all the ingredients are at room temperature!)
- Blend adding milk slowly until creamy and smooth. It will seize up initially but keep going and it will smooth out. Don’t add too much milk or it will turn into a glaze.
- Add the freeze dried raspberry dust. Blend/adjust to desired color.
- Once the cupcakes are cool, frost them and top with freeze dried berry “sprinkles”.
- Keep leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container. They can last 3-4 days, but will dry out with time. The frosting will become quite firm in the fridge so warm sightly before serving.
* I recommend light coconut milk from a can. Coconut milk from a carton or almond milk will make them less moist.
Keywords: baking, birthday, cake, vegan, gluten-free
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