I just turned another year older, so I baked cupcakes to celebrate. Birthdays do only come once a year, after all! However, to make sure the desserty treats were at least a tiny bit better for everyone to enjoy, this cupcake recipe uses whole-wheat pastry flour and chia seeds. It’s free of butter and eggs to please any vegan, too. Now I’m sharing my recipe—with its hint of wholesomeness—for all of you to enjoy.
Calories saved: 110
Why it’s better for you? Whole-wheat and chia seeds! Unless you need to be following a gluten-free/wheat-free diet, embrace wheat … it’s full of health protective benefits, including the potential to improve intestinal and metabolic health and lessen chronic inflammation. And chia seeds help to punch up heart-healthful omega-3 fatty acids.
Disclosure Note: I attended an excursion sponsored by the Wheat Foods Council and I’m a member of their Media RD Group. I was not paid to write this blog post. The recipe and opinions expressed in this post are my own.
- 1/4 cup white chia seeds
- 1 cup plain unsweetened almond milk or coconut milk beverage
- 1 1/2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
- 2 teaspoons double-acting baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup organic granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup grapeseed oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
- Vegan Cupcake Frosting:
- 2 teaspoons virgin (unrefined) coconut oil, liquefied
- 2 cups organic powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons plain unsweetened almond milk or coconut milk beverage, room temperature
- 1 1/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon pure peppermint extract (optional)
- 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
- To make the cupcakes, grind the chia seeds until powdery using a coffee grinder or powerful blender. Stir the ground seeds with the almond milk; set aside for at least 15 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line a muffin tray with 12 muffin/cupcake liners.
- Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside. Using an electric mixer, blend together the sugar and oil in a large bowl until combined. Add the chia mixture and extracts and blend until evenly combined. Add the flour mixture and blend until well combined.
- Evenly fill each cupcake liner, about 1/4 cup batter each. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the cupcakes comes out clean, about 45 minutes. (Note: The top of the cupcakes will not have a smooth appearance due to the chia; but you won’t notice this once frosted!)
- Cool cupcakes in the tray on a rack for about 15 minutes, then remove from the tray and cool cupcakes completely on the rack.
- To make the frosting, blend together the oil and powdered sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until combined. Blend in the almond milk, extract(s), and salt until creamy, about 2 minutes. If you prefer a colorful frosting for kids, use natural food coloring, such as Color Garden brand.
- Frost when cool and serve. Garnish with tiny fresh mint sprigs or edible flowers, if desired. Store frosted cupcakes in the refrigerator.
Per serving (1 cupcake): 300 calories, 11g total fat, 1.5g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 270mg sodium, 48g total carbohydrate, 2g dietary fiber, 37g sugar, 2g protein
The “Before” Recipe
Inspired by: Magnolia’s Vanilla Cupcake
Per serving (1 cupcake): 410 calories, 17g total fat, 10g saturated fat, 0.5g trans fat, 75mg cholesterol, 115mg sodium, 63g total carbohydrate, 0g dietary fiber, 52g sugars, 3g protein
- Consider a plant-based milk instead of regular milk to cut calories but not flavor in cake
- For an extra burst of flavor in cake when not using butter, up the pure vanilla extract and, for still more flavor interest, add pure almond extract
- When making buttercream-style frosting without butter, balance the sweetness with a pinch of salt