These healthy and nutritious grain, gluten, nut and sugar-free vanilla bean cupcakes are light and moist and will fool gluten lovers any day. Packed with fibre and protein, you simply can’t go past these beauties for a nourishing guilt free treat. Better still, they are so quick and simple to make and being nut-free, they are perfect for kids parties and school lunch boxes too.
This recipe also makes a fabulous ‘big’ cake too. Perfect for birthday parties (it’s been my kids cake every year since they were little). One batch makes one cake. I generally make a double batch and bake two cakes with cream or ganache in between.
Take a look at the variations (below the main recipe) for suggestions to alter the recipe to suit your specific dietary requirements.
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Vanilla bean cupcakes
- 425 g can cannellini beans -drained and rinsed well
- 5 large free-range or organic eggs (or 6 small eggs, see note below)
- 1 tbsp vanilla -powder, extract or essence
- 50 g butter -softened at room temperature
- 85 g rice malt syrup, honey or maple syrup (¼ cup)
- 40 g coconut flour please weigh this, as it really needs to be exact
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tsp baking powder (gluten free)
- Preheat the oven to 180℃/350°F.
- In a powerful blender or food processor, puree the rinsed beans, eggs, and vanilla until very smooth and set aside.
- Next, mix together the butter and honey or brown rice syrup until very well combined.
- Add to the pureed mix and combine well.
- Now add the coconut flour, sea salt, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder. Mix until combined and spoon into paper-lined cupcake moulds immediately. The batter does have a slightly thick but airy consistency that is unusual if you've never worked with coconut flour before.
- Bake for 20 minutes for large and 15 minutes for mini cupcakes, or until lightly brown on top and springy to touch (like a regular cake).
- Cool and top with your preferred icing (recommendations below).
- Preheat the oven to 180℃.
- Mix the beans, eggs, vanilla, butter and sweetener for 1 minute, speed 7.
- Add the coconut flour, sea salt, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder and mix 10 seconds, speed 4.
- As per above method.
- Don't scrimp on the eggs or let the batter sit for too long. Not enough eggs and delaying getting it in the oven will result in a much heavier batter and cake.
- I usually like baked goodies straight out of the oven, but these are actually best eaten the next day, especially if you think you can taste the beans or egg.
- They are best stored in the fridge and can also be frozen in an airtight container or snap-lock bag.
Low-fructoseChoose rice malt syrup as your sweetener (optional pinch of stevia if you like also).
Coconut-freeSubstitute the coconut flour for 100 grams of almond meal (though now obviously not nut free). I have also substituted for 40 grams of wholemeal spelt flour with success (no longer gluten-free if you substitute with spelt).
Dairy-freeSubstitute the butter with ghee or coconut oil.
Lemon or lime cupcakesAdd the zest of one large lemon or lime to the egg/bean mix.
Orange cupcakesAdd the zest of one large orange to the egg/bean mix.
Blueberry cupcakesAdd ¼ cup of fresh or defrosted blueberries, mixed through the batter very gently at the very end.
Chocolate chipAdd a ¼ cup of dark chocolate chips (I love the Green and Blacks 85% cacao chocolate). As I'm a bit of a stooge when it comes to my kids eating chocolate, I often just push a square of chocolate into the middle or place on top of the cupcake (this also saves me the effort of icing)!
Remember to make sure the cupcakes are completely cold before icing.
Fructose-free vanilla icing (gluten free too)
Cream cheese icing
50 grams cream cheese or quark
20 grams butter, softened at room temperature
1 tablespoon brown rice syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
Beat together until light and fluffy.
Cashew nut cream (dairy and gluten free)
½ cup raw cashew nuts
¼ cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon brown rice syrup or maple syrup (optional)
Soak the cashews in water for 3-4 hours. Strain and then process with the rest of the ingredients until smooth. You can add more or less water to the nuts to achieve the desired consistency. If you aren’t organised enough to soak the cashews, then boil them gently for 5 minutes, then process.
Carton cream whipped until light and fluffy
1 teaspoon vanilla
Beat ingredients together and place on top of the cupcake. You can also slice the top of the cake off, top with cream and replace the cake top with a slice of strawberry (like a butterfly cake).