Chocolate cupcakes (sugar free, grain free, nut free, dairy free)

It was my birthday this week, and I’m old enough to feel not excited about it. Old enough even to be past the point of dreading it, preferring to avoid all momentousness around it. But, I’d still have been disappointed if no one remembered. I still needed it to be a nice cake-and-candle kind of day, and it was.

This year, the I’d ignore it if it didn’t feel so darn symbolic day unfolded with a sunshiny nature-walk-and park play date morning with lovely friends and tots that melded into a solid hour and a half to work while Little Monkey fell into a peaceful easy nap, finishing with Indian takeout. It was as close to a new gold standard for celebration as I can imagine, were there time to reflect and set one. I suppose the simplest and most honest description would be “what makes Little Monkey happy”, seeing as these days what kindles my happiness does mostly revolve around his.

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There was even cake, a healthy kind. Really–not your typical “healthy for cake” cake. This one was so light on indulgence, I half expected a disaster. The worst attempt at healthy-for cake cake ever, at least. I was delightfully wrong. Seriously…I can’t wait to make these again. I’ve even promised a whole bunch of friends that “next time” I’ll bring some for them to sample, both for excuse and accountability.

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Grain free, nut free if you choose (I used a little almond milk, but it could be coconut, soy, or your choice), dairy free, almost sugar free (I melted some dark chocolate for the top which I won’t lie,DOES make the recipe). There’s flaxmeal, mashed banana, coconut flour…did I mention that bit of scrumptious dark chocolate? No candles (counting is over-rated), but we did have countless, messy, beaming smiles. Highly toddler approved. Happy un-birthday, all.

cupcake faces

Chocolate cupcakes
Makes 12-15 cupcakes

  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used extra dark)
  • 1/4 cup flaxmeal
  • 1 ripe banana, mashed
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • dash sea salt
  • generous dash ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup liquid coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • Melted dark chocolate, for icing (about 1 cup chunks or morsels, melted with enough water to thin to desired consistency)
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Line a cupcake tin with paper liners and fill each halfway.
  4. Bake for for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  5. Cool and ice each with a spoonful melted dark chocolate.

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