“You could’ve fooled me” cupcakes

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! Β 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. Β 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! πŸ˜‰


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)
  1. Preheat oven to 350Β°F.
  2. Line cupcake tin with cupcake liners.
  3. In a blender, combine black beans, 3 eggs, vanilla, salt, cocoa powder, baking powder and baking soda. Blend until there are absolutely no lumps.
  4. In a bowl, whip until smooth, by hand or with electric beater, honey and coconut oil. Add 2 eggs and whip until smooth.
  5. 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.
  6. Pour batter into cupcake tin to 2/3 full. Thump tin on the counter to smooth batter and dissipate air bubbles.
  7. Bake for 18 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  8. 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)
  1. Cream coconut oil in a mixer or with hand beaters.
  2. Add powdered sugar and cocoa powder to coconut oil and mix until combined.
  3. 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). Β Mix until combined.

64 thoughts on ““You could’ve fooled me” cupcakes

  1. Black beans in a cupcake – interesting!! πŸ˜‰ I love black beans in Asian desserts so I’d give this a try any day. It’s a first for me to come across frosting made with coconut oil, you did an amazing job! The cake looks super moist & the frosting looks as smooth as silk. By the way I love the cupcake gift box, where can 1 get hold of it?!

    • thank-you so much!! πŸ™‚ i got the box at a store in Canada called Winners/Homesense. i just took a quick look at the Michaels website and they also carry something similar. hope you like the recipe!

  2. Loved your secret ingredient! I also loved that they are flourless. Can’t wait to try these cupcakes they look and sound delicious.

  3. These look AMAZING! I’m totally going to try making these soon.

    Your frosting skills are equally impressive! They look like roses. I’m baking a cake this weekend for my stepdad’s birthday and I’m seriously stressed about the decorating portion of this – where’d you learn to do this so well?!

    Love your site, look forward to reading more πŸ™‚

  4. I’ve been fooled Yvonne! These black bean chocolate cupcakes look so moist and delicious! I’ve never thought of using black bean as an ingredient for cupcakes, so creative! The cupcakes look perfect and delicious. I’m sure your mom is very proud! πŸ™‚

    On a side note, I moved my blog to a new host and lost your subscription! Please resubscribe over at my new blog http://foodiebaker.com πŸ™‚ Thank you!

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  6. Made these, no mods, fabulous! A bonus for us, covered w/plastic, they stay moist. Do you have any idea of the nutritional values?

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  9. Wow…Looks great!!! Lucky mom πŸ™‚ Sounds yummy…i am always looking for ways to eat more beans so i Got to try this one day. Thanks for the great post!!!

  10. I wanted to like these but something went wrong with the whole recipe. First I didnt really pay attention to what you were doing with the frosting. i thought you were basically making a ganache not a coconut version of butter cream. so I made a mess there and melted the coconut oil. then something happened with the batter. They had a funny flavor and were still wet at 28 min in the oven 😦 Not sure what I did. guess it was just one of those stay out of the kitchen days!
    Thanks for the recipe nevertheless.

  11. Thanks for sharing the recipe! I’ve made these twice now and they live up to their name… they fooled everyone who ate them! I have used a different dairy-free “buttercream” made with avocado, cocoa powder, 1/3 cup of honey (and one time added cinnamon, the other added a bit of “no sugar added” raspberry jam) for a low-sugar frosting option.

      • 3 avocados, about 1/4 cup of cocoa powder, 1/3 cup of honey, splash of vanilla. Add raspberry jam, cinnamon, 2-3 tbsp. strong coffee, or a few spoonfuls of peanut butter for different flavor variations.

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