Healthy Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting -These delicious cupcakes are made with a surprising ingredient that adds both protein and body. They're topped with a creamy, avocado-based frosting, making them the epitome of healthy eating!
Let me open with, this is our family's FAVORITE cupcake recipe.
Not just our favorite healthy cupcakes, but our favorite cupcakes, period.
In fact, my husband requests this recipe pretty much every year for his birthday. He adores a good vanilla cupcake with chocolate frosting!
Why we love this recipe
Not only do these cupcakes taste like the bad-for-you boxed yellow cake mixes, but they also boast a decent amount of protein.
They're allergy-friendly, in that they are gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free, and dairy-free. For our family, this recipe is great because everyone can eat them!
So, what's the protein source? Beans!
White beans, along with coconut flour and eggs, make up the base of this recipe.
I use a combination of honey and stevia to sweeten them, and the chocolate 'frosting' gives them that 'special occasion' status!
How to make healthy vanilla cupcakes with chocolate frosting
Let's start with the cake!
Blend the ingredients well to ensure the batter is smooth and that there are no pieces of bean.
Same goes for the frosting; it should be blended or processed long enough to achieve a smooth consistency.
What type of beans work best?
The two best beans for this recipe are cannellini and Great Northern. I prefer the latter, taste-wise.
Can I use an egg replacer?
No, unfortunately, egg substitutes do not work here.
Is there a substitute for the applesauce?
You can use plain full-fat or low-fat yogurt or even sour cream for the applesauce.
Tips and tricks
Begin with room temperature ingredients, as coconut oil can clump when mixed with anything cold.
For a cupcake with a taller top, fill 10 muffin cups; for a smaller cupcake top, fill 12. We make 11, which is what the photos depict.
If you'd like to lower the sugar a bit, substitute one tablespoon of water for one tablespoon of maple syrup in the frosting, along with a few drops of stevia.
Not an avocado fan? Try some of these other 'frosting' recipes!
Low Sugar Chocolate Frosting
Date-Sweetened Fudge Frosting
Coconut Oil Chocolate Frosting
Healthy Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting
- 1 15-ounce can white beans (cannellini or Great Northern) rinsed and drained
- 3 large eggs
- 3 Tablespoons applesauce
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 5 Tablespoons honey
- 3 Tablespoons melted coconut oil
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ⅛ teaspoon turmeric optional, for color
- ¼ cup coconut flour 32 grams
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- stevia as desired for extra sweetness
- 1 large, ripe avocado
- 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch sea salt
- 1-2 teaspoon(s) water as needed to thin
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- In a food processor, mix the beans, eggs, applesauce, vanilla, honey, oil, salt, and turmeric (if using) until smooth (about 30-60 seconds).
- In a separate bowl, sift together the coconut flour, baking soda, and baking powder.
- Add the dry mix into the processor and process until well combined.
- Taste the batter and add stevia as desired for more sweetness. Usually 1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon is good for us!
- Divide the batter among 10-12 paper muffin cups. I usually get 11 cupcakes.
- Bake 20-24 minutes or until the top feels firm to the touch.
- Cool the cupcakes.
- Add the frosting ingredients to the processor and blend until smooth.
- Top the cooled cupcakes with the frosting. Decorate with sprinkles, if desired.
If you have a chance to try this recipe, please leave a star rating and a comment below letting me know how you liked it!
HOLY....... 😇- they look SO good💙
Can I substitute the coconut flour for almond meal or almond flour?
I've not tried that, but coconut flour is very absorbent, so I'd worry the recipe would bake correctly. If you try and have success, please let me know.
Can you make this recipe in a rectangular cake pan instead of cupcakes or would it not be firm enough?
Yes, you can! Check out the instructions for my shortcake, which is the same recipe: https://www.oatmealwithafork.com/healthy-grain-free-strawberry-shortcake-dairy-free/
thank you for your story and recipe. can't wait to try it for my Mom on her 67th birthday!
I tried this recipe to bring cupcakes to a Superbowl party. I think my blender did poorly at pureeing the avocado for the frosting and visually, my kids didn't want to taste them. I will try with my food processor. I am hopeful I can make them look as good and tasty as yours!
Could I substitute more applesauce for the eggs? I want to make these for my family but my brother has an egg allergy.
He also has a honey allergy 🙁
Coconut flour is tricky in that it needs eggs (or a lot of starch) to bind, so I don't think it would work. I haven't tried though!
People, you have to make these cupcakes!!!!! Don't wait to try them...go get the ingredients now!!!!!! Soooooooo good, you deserve a good healthy dessert!!! Thanks for this recipe!! I used a chocolate cream cheese frosting on top instead though, will try this frosting next, now that I have avocados 🙂
Lol, thanks for the enthusiastic endorsement, Meg! I think these are my husband's current favorites too. 🙂
I made these for my dad's birthday and have had several recipe requests. I will be directing them here to you! These cupcakes are absolutely incredible.
That's great Chelsea, I'm so happy they were a hit! 🙂
Lauren, these cupcakes look delicious! I cannot eat cannelloni beans...have you tied another white bean in your dessert recipes?
Your girls are adorable!
Thanks June! You can use any neutral-tasting white bean for these. I suspect even chickpeas would work!
Ceara @ Ceara's Kitchen
What a beautiful ode to your hubby and what a delicious looking cupcake! Pinned and can't wait to try them (I love baking with beans!!).
My birthday is next week and I'm making these for myself! These look awesome! And what a great tribute to your husband.
I cannot wait to try these! Your blog is so wonderful!
Aw, thanks Maria! 😀
Your little girls are ADORABLE and this post was such a good read.
And the cupcakes look awesome. Great recipe!
I've been looking for a recipe like this for a while. Can't wait to try it! Do you know what other sweetener I could sub for the stevia?
I would try 1/3-1/2 cup of granulated sweetener (just to keep the liquid/dry ratio more even). I hope you like them if you try them! 🙂
Isadora @ she likes food
Aww! What a great post, Lauren! I loved reading this! It really takes a special guy to put up with all the crazy things that us woman do, haha! And I'm always so impressed when reading your posts that your husband not only eats all the healthy food that you make, but he actually really enjoys it. My husband is a bit of a pizza addict and I'm still trying to get him to enjoy most of the healthy food that I cook, maybe some day... haha. I hope you guys had an awesome birthday celebration and your girls are absolutely adorable!!
Thanks so much Izzy! Yes, 'crazy' defines me fairly well on certain days. 😀 My hubby still has his 'unhealthy' habits, but he is definitely a trooper when it comes to trying new things. P.s. I'm still figuring out Monday and will text you about it soon! xo
I've been a lurker for over a year and a half now. I've lost count of how many times I've read something you've written in your posts and said to myself "I'm the exact same way!" LOL (In this one it was your "wall of stone with my emotions" comment.) At least every other (non WIAW) post there's an "Amen to that, sister" uttered by me. 🙂
And I just could NOT keep my mouth shut any longer about how absolutely A-DORABLE your girls are, omg. They're so delicious I want to EAT them. 🙂 Please have another one; people who make such cute kids have a duty to procreate as much as they can. 😀
On a final note, though I don't eat eggs, this recipe SERIOUSLY has me rethinking that. ACTUAL cupcakes made out of beans?! Sign me UP!
PS I love your "confessions". The other day's admission that sometimes you don't always have the most planned or "proper" dinner was great. My evening meal is usually the one that suffers the most, as well, and, VERY often it's either fruit (in the summer, I can't get enough!) or a hodge podge of leftovers. (A year ago, this was completely reversed whereas my dinner was my most thought out and balanced meal. Funny how things change without you even realizing it. . .) Keep it all comin'! 🙂
Hahaha, your comment cracked me up Liz! I'm so happy you chose to write today. My husband and I go back and forth with having another kid (I never really thought I'd have any), but I'm still undecided. I hope you decide to try this recipe! I don't eat eggs often anymore either, but some recipes can't go without them (namely these and the honey lemon bars). Thanks again for commenting today, and I hope to hear more from you in the future! 🙂
This cupcake post came at the perfect time! I've been craving cupcakes for the last few days, but didn't want all the fat/calories/sugar from store-bought ones so I held out. Though my family doesn't have any allergies, I love your website to make most of our dinners and sweets. You keep all the Splenda fake stuff out of your food and use natural ingredients unlike most 'healthy' websites. So happy for you and your family, hope it was a great day.
Thank you so much Tammy! We had a great time. 🙂 I hope you enjoy these if you try them!
What a sweet post, loved reading it. These look sooo good too!
Thanks Matt! 🙂
These cupcakes look and super! My husband will love them 🙂
Sounds like you have a wonderful friend and soul mate. It makes my heart so happy for you. Hugs <3
Thanks so much Marianne! He is a keeper. 🙂