My youngest child turns one in a few days and so we had a little birthday party for her this weekend. We kept it small and simple, with just one other family sharing in the festivities. After all, one year olds hardly know what the fuss is all about and we figure we have years ahead of us where she is asking for the hottest new toys and wanting to have a big bash in her own honour. Might as well keep it low key while we can get away with it. We did, however, follow one time-honoured tradition in our family. We stripped her down to her diaper and let her dive into her birthday cake while we sat back, laughing hysterically and snapping hundreds of pictures.
The cake we fed our baby, along with everyone else, was full of sugar, flour and, obviously, carbs. It was gorgeous, and by all accounts, it tasted pretty great too. I, however, was abstemious. As much as I would have liked to partake, I simply don’t think my pancreas would have been able to rise to the challenge. So I planned ahead. I wasn’t about to let my daughter’s first birthday go by without raising a forkful of some sweet treat or other.
I had in my head to do coconut flour cupcakes again, but I wanted them to be chocolate. And this time, I didn’t want to play up the coconut flavour, I really just wanted it to taste like a regular chocolate cupcake, so that I could then pair it up with an interesting frosting. In addition to my own Coconut Flour Cupcake recipe, I searched for chocolate coconut flour cake online and found a few recipes to use for basic guidelines. All of these recipes called for sugar, and I was using my usual combination of erythritol and stevia so I had to adjust the other ingredients accordingly. Since stevia is a sweetener with no bulk, you can’t simply substitute it in for sugar, or your baked goods will be leathery and dry. “Bulk” has to be added in the form of additional liquid or other substance with volume and moisture (applesauce, yogurt, etc.)
For frosting, I knew I wanted a coffee flavour. Coffee and chocolate go together like, well, coffee and chocolate. I know the expression is supposed to be “peas and carrots”, but I don’t like cooked peas and I can’t see how these two vegetables go together any better than coffee and chocolate!
The Results: I had thought I’d done pretty well on my previous foray into coconut flour cupcakes, but these puppies blew those ones out of the water. They are virtually indistinguishable from regular chocolate cupcakes. They rose beautifully when baking, and they didn’t end up overly dense like many coconut flour products. The crumb is nice and light. When I took them out of the oven, they smelled almost identical to the layers of chocolate cake I’d just made for the “real” birthday cake. You honestly would not know that these were made with any coconut products at all, as the coconut flavour was completely masked just as I had intended.
I almost don’t even know what I did right with these cupcakes. I think it is both a combination of the actual ingredients, and the method in which I put it all together. I wrote it all down very quickly after they came out of the oven because I could tell I had nailed it right away. To say I am pleased with the outcome is something of an understatement.
They pair beautifully with the intensity of the espresso buttercream, but you could put whatever flavour of frosting on these that you wanted. It does make an odd amount of cupcakes (7), and for that I apologize, it’s just the way it worked out. If you wanted to make layer cake, you would want to double the recipe and pour it into two 8-inch round pans that were greased and line with parchment on the bottom. And you would need to increase the baking time by 5-10 minutes.
Chocolate Coconut Flour Cupcakes
1/4 cup butter
3 tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 tsp instant coffee granules
1/3 cup coconut flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3 tbsp granulated erythritol
1/4 tsp salt
12 drops stevia extract
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup almond milk
Preheat oven to 350F and line 7 muffin tins with paper liners.
In a small saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Whisk in cocoa and instant coffee and set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together coconut flour, baking soda, baking powder, erythritol and salt. Be sure to break up any clumps.
In a larger bowl, beat eggs with vanilla and stevia until frothy. Add butter/cocoa mixture to eggs and beat until combined. Add half of coconut flour mixture and beat on low for a few moments, then add almond milk and beat in thoroughly. Add remaining coconut flour mixture and beat on low, then use a rubber spatula to stir and make sure all ingredients are well combined.
Divide batter among prepared muffin tins and bake in center of oven for 18-20 minutes. Cupcakes are done when the top is set and a tester inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool in pan for 5-10 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
1 tbsp hot water
1 tsp instant espresso powder (or instant coffee)
1/4 cup whipping cream
3 tbsp butter, softened
2 oz cream cheese, softened
2 tbsp powdered erythritol
6 drops stevia extract
In a small bowl, stir together hot water and espresso until coffee dissolves. Set aside.
With an electric mixer, whip cream until it forms stiff peaks. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, beat butter, cream cheese, erythritol and stevia together until creamy. Add coffee mixture and beat until combined. With a rubber spatula, fold in whipped cream carefully until well combined.
Spread frosting on cooled cupcakes with a knife or offset spatula, or pipe on with a decorating bag.
Serves 7. Each unfrosted cupcakes has a total of 13.7g of carbs and 4.4g of fiber, but only 8.6g is you subtract erythritol. Each serving of espresso buttercream has a total of 4.3g of carbs, but only 1g of carbs if you subtract erythritol.