Mini Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Fudge Frosting

Hi everyone!  I started the story of the munchkin’s birthday cupcakes in this post, but decided the chocolate cupcakes needed a post of their own!

Whereas I was happy with a modified muffin for the vanilla version, I needed to try 2 chocolate recipes to find a winner.  The first one was from Weelicious (with whole wheat pastry flour subbed for the all-purpose).  They looked great when they came out, but were a little dry (definitely could be the result of my whole wheat substitution) and didn’t have quite the chocolatey taste I was hoping for.  The second recipe from Sweet + Natural, however, was delicious, even without frosting!  They came out moist, light, and really chocolatey – almost like a souffle consistency, which makes sense given that the recipe has 3 eggs in it!  As an added bonus for some of you out there, this recipe is also gluten-free.  I am not concerned about gluten, but I did like that these muffins used high protein and high fiber coconut flour instead of whole wheat for a change.

I used the coordinating chocolate frosting recipe from the same site, but with a few modifications (see my rant on frosting here for more details!).  First, I eliminated the peppermint since I was going for a more traditional flavor.  I also decided to lighten it a bit by reducing the sugar and using neufchatel cheese (already in my fridge from the vanilla version!) in place of half of the buter.  I don’t generally harp on nutrition calculations, but I think it’s noteworthy that neufchatel cheese has less than half the calories and 1/4 the fat of butter, so this makes a big difference with what I would consider no compromise in taste or texture!  Let me tell you, this frosting is delicious, and so easy.  I generally don’t like chocolate frosting altogether, but I could not get enough of this one, and the feedback from others was just as positive!  As some final inspiration for the skeptics out there, I’ll share a conversation between two of the mommies at the party, which was overheard by hubby:

Mommy 1: Did Alissa make these cupcakes?
Mommy 2: Yeah, which probably means they’re all organic and healthy…
Mommy 1: I don’t care what’s in them, they’re delicious!

Which is exactly the reaction I was going for 🙂

 

 

 

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Mini Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Fudge Frosting
adapted from Sweet + Natural

Cupcakes:
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup agave nectar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 375.  Spray mini cupcake pan with cooking spray or line with mini-cupcake papers and set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together coconut flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking soda. In a separate bowl, mix together eggs, oil, agave and vanilla extract until well-combined. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until well blended.  Pour or scoop 1 tablespoon batter into each muffin cup and bake for about 10 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean (note: the first time I made these 10 minutes was perfect, the second time I needed 15 – no idea why, so be sure to test for doneness!).

Frosting:
1/4 cup butter, softened (1/2 stick)
2 oz neufchatel cheese
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons milk (any kind, dairy or non-dairy, should work)
1/4 cup cocoa powder
dash of salt

While cupcakes are cooling, prepare frosting by blending together all ingredients with an electric hand mixer until smooth.

Once cupcakes cool, spread frosting on top.

Do ahead: I made the cupcakes a couple of days in advance and froze them in a plastic bag until the day of the party.  I also made the frosting the day before, covered it tightly with plastic wrap, and left it in the refrigerator.  Right before the party, I frosted the cupcakes straight from the freezer – they were defrosted by the time I got through the batch and everything tasted perfect!

Makes 22 teeny tiny cupcakes with extra frosting for snacking after the party another use 🙂

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