Gluten-Free Dark Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes

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Dark Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes (with All Natural Purple Whipped Frosting)

Tender, moist and delicious cupcakes with hidden veggies. Perfect for a morning birthday party or anytime you want to sneak in some extra veggies! They will never know…not to mention that ALL natural colored light and airy whipped frosting. What?!

Makes 12 cupcakes


1 cup sorghum flour
¼ cup potato starch (not the same as potato flour)
¼ cup tapioca starch (same as tapioca flour)
1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
3 ounces vegan dark chocolate (85% dark or more)
½ cup coconut butter (room temperature)
1 ½ cups date paste
½ cup full fat coconut milk mixed with 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar (makes a vegan buttermilk)
½ cup finely grated zucchini
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Purple Whipped Frosting:
2 tablespoons very cold date paste
top cream layer of 1 can full fat coconut milk (stored in refrigerator for 2-3 days or freezer for 2-3 hours)
1-2 tablespoons juice from frozen blueberries (depending on how dark you want it)

Note from the chef: I made many trials to get the consistency I wanted with these cupcakes, using a variety of flours that would make them nut free but still use a flour with some health benefits, along with being very soft, fluffy and moist. The measuring method I used was to spoon the flours into the measuring container then even it out with a knife. If you pack in the flour you may get a different result. Also, take note that the ingredients for the frosting, except the blueberry juice, are also in the cupcake recipe. Just measure out enough for both when measuring those ingredients. You can buy coconut butter or make it yourself by purely blending unsweetened, preferably not dehydrated, shredded or flaked coconut in a food processor or blender. It takes a while but will eventually turn into smooth coconut butter. There are many sources for directions online. The coconut milk I used was the Thai Kitchen brand. Although it has some guar gum in it, which isn’t my favorite, it is high in fat and creamier than most other brands out there. Make sure the coconut milk and date paste are very cold for the whipped frosting. The very cold date paste helps maintain the structure of the frosting.

1. Preheat oven to 350. Mix together coconut milk and vinegar to allow it to settle into a buttermilk and set aside. Make date paste if you haven’t, put 2 tablespoons in the freezer to get very cold for the frosting.

2. Combine flours, baking soda and salt in a bowl and set aside. Make sure you break up any clumps, using a whisk works well.

3. In a small bowl melt the dark chocolate with the coconut butter, making sure to melt slowly so you don’t burn it, and mix well. If using the microwave, melt for 30 seconds, then in 10 second increments until fully melted. It took me about 45 seconds. Once melted, add it with the date paste into a large bowl and using a stand or hand mixer, whip until mixed well. Add in “buttermilk,” zucchini and vanilla extract and whip again.

4. Using the paddle attachment on your stand mixer or a spoon, mix in dry ingredients putting in half first, then the rest. Make sure everything is combined well.

5. Place large spoonfuls of the batter into muffin tins lined with baking cups. Fill to just below the top of the cup. I use foil baking cups as they don’t stick like paper does. I also smoothed the batter down on the top by using a moistened finger, this helps them rise evenly as they bake.

6. Bake at 350 for 21 minutes. Depending on your oven, your baking time may vary by a minute or two. Start checking them at 17 minutes and take out when the tops begin to get firm and have a spring to the touch. Let cool in the muffin tins for about 10 minutes. Once cool to the touch, remove and continue cooling on racks until completely cool, about an hour.

7. While cupcakes are baking, take about ½ cup frozen blueberries and defrost enough to be able to squeeze the juice out of them. You still want them cold, if they are warm it will affect the structure of the frosting. If you accidentally get them too warm, just put the juice in the freezer to get cold before putting it in the frosting. Make frosting by placing all ingredients into a large bowl and whipping well using stand or hand mixer. Keep whipping until light and fluffy. The frosting will come out best if both the coconut cream and date paste are very cold. A few hours in the freezer works best. You want it just before it freezes.

8. After cupcakes are cooled, put frosting in a plastic bag, cut off a bit of the corner and squeeze out to frost each cupcake. Enjoy! It’s best to frost right before you eat them because the frosting will soften if it’s too warm outside. If storing, store in the fridge to maintain the frosting.

Sophia-Veggies-Don't-BiteSophia DeSantis is the author of Veggies Don’t Bite, a vegan, gluten free and refined sugar free food blog targeted to all types of eaters. She is the mom of two beautiful boys and wife to an amazing husband. Her and her family live a vegan, gluten free and refined sugar free life 90% of the time because she believes that the stress of having to be perfect shouldn’t overpower the benefits that their healthy lifestyle brings. Through her website, she hopes to reach anybody interested in making a positive health change in their life.


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