I’ve been working feverishly to come up with a basic chocolate cupcake that could be used as the foundation for a multitude of frostings. I hesitate to call anything this tasty work, but I did labor over this one for awhile. It needed to be light and fluffy, yet moist. It couldn’t fall apart when the paper was removed, yet didn’t need to be solid like a brick either. After testing more versions than I’ll admit to, I’ve finally nailed it!
For a couple of years, I’ve relied on my Chocolate Ale cupcake for most of my chocolate cake needs. Sometimes I’ve substituted root beer for the ale when serving wee ones, as I’m not sure all of the alcohol bakes off and I’m a bad enough influence without that hanging over my head. Really, just serving sugar to kids these days is enough to have some folks whispering impolite things about me. So I’ve made these without refined sugar. I also made them without eggs. Without gluten. Without Dairy. Without soy. My friend Tina might say all that’s left is pre-digested protein from space and she might be right. Tasty, tasty pre-digested protein from space.
Ok, so I didn’t really make them with anything from space. I did make them with coconut sugar, coconut milk and the super delicious, always-in-my-fridge So Delicious Greek Style vanilla cultured coconut milk. We call it coco-yo here, short for coconut yogurt, which I guess it technically isn’t, but it is one of my favorite treats right out of the cup and even better when used to bake cupcakes.
I know you’ll enjoy these…so rich and chocolate-y. Here’s the recipe. Enjoy!
My Favorite Chocolate Cupcakes
Makes 18 regular sized cupcakes
1 cup of my favorite gluten-free flour blend
1 cup of almond meal
2 cups of blonde coconut sugar (I use Madhava.)
2/3 cup cocoa powder (don’t skimp on this, buy a good one. I like Askinosie.)
1 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1 t. fine sea salt
1 t. guar gum
2 T. flax meal, added to 6 T. hot water to make a slurry (this is an egg replacement)
1 container, 6 oz., So Delicious Greek Style Vanilla cultured coconut milk
1 1/4 cups So Delicious unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 cup liquified coconut oil
2 T. vanilla (I know it sounds like a lot, trust me on this one)
2 t. instant coffee powder (I use the Trader Joe’s variety)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tins with liners for 18 cupcakes.
In bowl of stand mixer, mix the flax meal slurry, So Delicious cultured coconut milk (the yogurt-y stuff), coconut milk, liquified coconut oil, vanilla extract and instant coffee. Mix just until well combined.
In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together my favorite gluten-free flour blend, almond meal, coconut sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt and guar gum.
Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in the stand mixer bowl. Mix on low until combined. Repeat two more times, incorporating the dry ingredients into the wet. There’s no need to over-mix, just mix until it’s combined.
Fill each well of the muffin tins with a scant 1/3 cup of batter. Place in oven that has been pre-heated to 350 degrees. Close the door. Turn the temperature down to 325 degrees. Bake for 20-22 minutes. A cake tester or toothpick inserted in the center will come out clean when they are done. (The temperature instructions will result in a slightly better dome on top of the cupcake. If you like a very flat or concave cupcake top, bake at 350 for 18-20 minutes.)
Top with your choice of frosting. I’ve shown them here with a chocolate caramel buttercream, but I also like them with basic buttercream frosting, a smear of Justin’s chocolate hazelnut butter, even unfrosted. I’ll eat these any way I can get them!