Chocolate cupcakes (with a flexible recipe!)

These chocolate cupcakes are the perfect recipe for when you need a little bit of cake. They’re perfectly moist, decadent, and full of rich, chocolate flavor. They can be made with or without eggs, with or without ghee, or with or without gluten for whatever you have on hand (or what your dietary preferences allow).

Cacao for decadence

Cacao is the main star of this recipe. In its raw version, cacao has the most nutrients and antioxidants intact since processing can destroy many of these beneficial compounds. While raw cacao on its own has a slightly bitter chocolate flavor, mixed with the natural sweeteners we’ve chosen it tastes just like the traditional milk chocolate you love. Cacao is richer in antioxidants than green tea or blueberries, and has more calcium than cow’s milk.

Cacao is full of beneficial alkaloids, specifically, a compound called theobromine. Theobromine is thought to have a powerfully energizing and healing impact on the body, which is one of the reasons the Aztecs used the cacao plant so frequently. Cacao is also full of polyphenols that act as antioxidants in the body. They protect against free radicals, which can cause inflammation in the body, sometimes leading to chronic illness.

Magnesium – the mineral with the most

Magnesium is another micronutrient that cacao is known for. This mineral is the fourth highest mineral found in the body. More than half of the magnesium found in the body is stored in the bones. This is important to note because it means that when the body is low in magnesium it will pull stores from the bones. Magnesium is involved in many functions of the body like converting food to energy, repairing DNA, muscle relaxation and contraction, and regulating neurotransmitters in the nervous system.

Magnesium is often touted as the “relaxer” mineral and plays an important role in mental health. Magnesium deficiencies have been linked to both anxiety and depression. Magnesium has also been linked to lowering blood pressure in those with high blood pressure. To maintain healthy magnesium levels, consider taking a magnesium drink supplement.

Ingredients:

Dry Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups gluten-free baking flour
1 1/4 cups coconut palm sugar
3/4 cup raw cacao powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Wet Ingredients:

2 eggs or flax eggs* (use flax eggs, if cleansing)
1 cup almond milk
1/2 cups filtered water
1/3 cup melted ghee or coconut oil
1.5 tsp vanilla extract + 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Optional Frosting:

1 cup ghee or coconut oil, softened but not melted
3/4 cup coconut palm sugar
1/2 cup raw cacao powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
dash of sea salt


*Flax eggs combine 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed with 4 tablespoons hot water. Let sit for 10-15 minutes, or until a gel consistency forms.


Directions:

Make “buttermilk.” Combine almond milk and vinegar, stir, and let sit for 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 325. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners. Thoroughly combine dry ingredients in a stand mixer or by hand in a large bowl. 

Add almond milk/vinegar mixture, and remaining wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Beat mixture until completely smooth.

Fill each cupcake liner 3/4 full with batter. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. 

These chocolate cupcakes are delicious on their own, but also work great with our recipe for chocolate frosting. If you choose to make the frosting, simply beat together all frosting ingredients until smooth and creamy. Wait until the chocolate cupcakes are fully cooled before topping with frosting. 

Recipe and photography by Kaitlyn Noble

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