It was my mom’s birthday a few weeks ago. Unfortunately, I wasn’t around for it. I don’t have a good excuse. I was out of town. Terrible, I know. Fortunately, she didn’t seem too distraught over it since she was preoccupied with visiting relatives. To make up for it, we took her out for some yummy Malaysian food, even though she insisted on cooking her own birthday dinner at home instead. In lieu of cake, which my sister already got for her while I was away, I made her some chocolate cupcakes, a treat she tends to avoid. You see as her age increases, so has her sugar and cholesterol levels. As a result, she has to watch what she eats and it always tortures her whenever I bake something and bring half of it over to the house. For these reasons, the cupcakes I made were a healthier version made with a secret ingredient…
…black beans! Yes, black beans! Although this may not be your usual cupcake ingredient, beans are commonly used in Asian sweets and desserts, so it was not a stretch for me to make these cupcakes. Black beans, though small in size, are packed full of nutritional goodies. They are high in fibre, folate, magnesium, iron and vegetarian protein, but low in fat.
These cupcakes are a breeze to make. Just throw everything in a blender, blend until smooth and mix in a few eggs. These cupcakes are also made without flour, sugar is substituted with honey and coconut oil is used instead of butter.
Did you ever think chocolate cupcakes could be healthy? Did you ever think black bean cupcakes could look this good?
The only guilty pleasure is the frosting, which although made without butter, is still a bit high in sugar. But hey, one step at a time…
I tried to be smart and modify the frosting recipe to have less sugar, but it turned into one big mess. I’ll spare you the long story of the big headache this frosting caused me. Lets just say it involved an hour of adjusting amounts of the ingredients, mixing and re-adjusting some more, followed by multiple piping bag malfunctions. In the end, the frosting was a bit too soft to pipe, but I was tired of playing with it, so I just stuck it in the fridge for a bit to stiffen it up. But enough about the frosting…
You must be wondering how these cupcakes tasted. Well, as the title suggests, no one was the wiser. They were fantastic! Just like any old moist, decadent chocolate cupcake with rich chocolate frosting. Only the most discerning of palates would pick up the black beans in these cupcakes.
Don’t believe me? Give it a try. I dare you to!
Black bean chocolate cupcakes (adapted from The Accidental Huswife)
makes about 12-13 cupcakes
- 1 19 oz can black beans (about 2 cups), rinsed well
- 5 eggs
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 6 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 cup honey (I’ve used 1/4 cup before – the lack of sweetness is made up for by the frosting)
- 7 tbsp coconut oil (or butter)
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Line cupcake tin with cupcake liners.
- In a blender, combine black beans, 3 eggs, vanilla, salt, cocoa powder, baking powder and baking soda. Blend until there are absolutely no lumps.
- In a bowl, whip until smooth, by hand or with electric beater, honey and coconut oil. Add 2 eggs and whip until smooth.
- Pour honey mixture into blender with bean mixture and blend until incorporated. At this point, the batter should look glossy and smooth and very much like any traditional chocolate cake batter.
- Pour batter into cupcake tin to 2/3 full. Thump tin on the counter to smooth batter and dissipate air bubbles.
- Bake for 18 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Cool on wire rack before frosting.
Frosting (adapted from Frugal Freebies and Deals)
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- 2 cups powdered sugar (I find 1 1/2 cups is sweet enough)
- 2/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 5 tbsp 2% milk (added 1-2 tbsp at a time)
- Cream coconut oil in a mixer or with hand beaters.
- Add powdered sugar and cocoa powder to coconut oil and mix until combined.
- Add vanilla and milk to the coconut oil mixture (start with 2 tbsp of milk and add 1-2 tbsp at a time to achieve the right consistency). Mix until combined.