There is nothing in the world I like better than taking a conventional sugar and flour recipe and remaking it to be low carb and gluten-free. If I am successful, nothing gives me greater satisfaction. And more often than not these days, I am successful. But that wasn’t always the case. When I started this blog, I wasn’t doing low carb or gluten free because I didn’t think I was a diabetic. And even once I realized that I was, I still put some conventional recipes on here. I figured my choices in that area where rather limited and that my readers, the handful that I had, would prefer to see decadent sugary treats. There were certain things I just couldn’t see how I could make without sugar and flour. And if I was making them for someone else, I wasn’t about to subject them to anything low carb. If they didn’t need to forego the sugar, why should I force them to?
In a few short years, my perspective has changed dramatically. First of all, I think is sugar is the root of all evil. That might be stating it a tad strongly, but really, I think sugar is bad for all of us and we’d be a happier, healthier, smarter society if it was banned entirely. And with so many great natural alternative sweeteners on the market now, it’s becoming increasingly easy to forego the sugar and still enjoy sweets. Second of all, I now see that almost anything can be made low carb and gluten-free and still be amazing. I say almost because there are a few things out there like butter tarts (a Canadian treat) that require liquid sugars like corn syrup to attain their gooey consistency. But if there is a way to makeover my beloved butter tarts, trust me, I will eventually discover it. And you know I will share it when I do!
So, this particular recipe is a do over. In my first few months of blogging, I made my sister-in-law a birthday treat that I’d had in mind for a while. It was my own invention, chocolate cupcakes with a peanut butter cream filling and a chocolate peanut butter ganache. They were AWESOME, but they were made with sugar and flour because I just didn’t know how it was possible to make them otherwise. But I’ve long since mastered low carb cupcakes, low carb peanut butter cream and low carb ganache. So it was time to give that recipe a makeover and try them the sugar-free way.
Do I even need to tell you that they were a huge success? I brought them to a friend’s for dinner and everyone devoured them. No longer do I feel that slight embarrassment subjecting others to my healthy creations, because when they are good, I KNOW they are good. My only mistake with these cupcakes was not waiting long enough for the ganache to cool before spreading it on. Patience may be a virtue but I suck at it, and it ended up dripping down the sides which was not my intention. Hardly mattered, though…it just meant we could lick our cupcake papers with relish!
Recipe Redo – Peanut Butter Cream-Filled Cupcakes
- 1 3/4 cups almond flour
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1/3 cup granulated Swerve Sweetener or granulated erythritol
- 1/3 cup vanilla whey protein powder
- 1 tbsp instant coffee
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 tsp xanthan gum
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 4 oz Greek yogurt room temperature
- 6 tbsp butter softened
- 3 large eggs room temperature
- 20 drops stevia extract
- 1/2 cup almond milk
Peanut Butter Cream Filling:
- 1/2 cup heavy cream chilled
- 3 oz cream cheese softened
- 1/4 cup powdered Swerve Sweetener or powdered erythritol
- 1/3 cup smooth peanut butter
For the cake:
- Preheat the oven to 325F and line a muffin tin with 12 paper liners.
- In a large bowl, whisk together almond flour, cocoa powder, protein powder, granulated Swerve, instant coffee, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum and salt.
- In another large bowl, beat Greek yogurt and butter together until combined. Beat in eggs and stevia extract. Beat in almond flour mixture in two additions, alternating with almond milk, and scraping down beaters and sides of bowl as needed.
- Divide batter between muffin tins and bake 25 to 30 minutes or until cupcakes are set and a tester inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool in pan 10 minutes, and then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
- For the peanut butter cream, whip cream in a small bowl until it forms stiff peaks.
- Combine cream cheese and powdered Swerve in a medium bowl and beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Add peanut butter and beat until combined.
- Fold in whipped cream until the mixture is smooth.
- Core cupcakes using a 1-inch biscuit or cookie cutter (if you lack both of these, you can do it with a sharp knife). Set cores aside.
- Place peanut butter filling into a pastry bag or a ziploc bag with the corner snipped off, and pipe filling into cored cupcakes. You may end up with a little filling left over – set aside to use for decorating the glazed cupcakes.
- With a sharp knife, cut the very tops off the cores so that you have a thin disc of cake. Place a disc on top of the peanut butter filling on each cupcake and press lightly to adhere.
For the ganache:
- Melt butter, peanut butter, unsweetened chocolate and powdered Swerve together in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring until smooth.
- Off-heat, stir in stevia and vanilla (if you find your chocolate seizing, as it sometimes does when liquids are added, add a little more butter or oil and reheat gently, stirring until it smooths out again).
- Let ganache cool about 25 minutes until thickened but still spreadable. Spread over cupcakes with a knife or offset spatula.
- Let set 30 minutes.