Everyone loves pumpkin-based desserts around the holidays, and these are definitely no exception! While I am not on the "pumpkin spice everything" bandwagon, I do like to have a few pumpkin desserts during this season. Pumpkin, warming spices and dark chocolate chips combine to make this delicious grain-free cupcake. These are really simple to make, and are a hit with anyone who is following a gluten-free or grain-free diet. These cupcakes are sweetened with maple syrup, but you could use raw honey to make them GAPS friendly for folks on the full GAPS diet.
The base is almond and coconut flour, so these are full of fiber, minerals and protein, and the pumpkin is a great source of beta carotene and anti-oxidants! Basically, these are healthy, right? I use organic canned pumpkin, but you could go above and beyond by roasting and pureeing your own pumpkin.
My favorite part of this recipe is the frosting, made with organic cream cheese that has live active cultures, as well as grass-fed butter that provides healthy fats, CLA and vitamin K2, but these are also very easy to make dairy-free if necessary. If you are non-dairy, just substitute coconut oil for the butter in the cupcake, in the same amount. To make the frosting dairy-free, you can easily use organic palm shortening (I like Spectrum brand) and add a dash of lemon juice to get the tang you'd miss by omitting the cream cheese. It won't be exactly the same, but it will still be great.
Other modifications could include omitting the chocolate, or substituting the chocolate with 1/2 cup of raisins or chopped walnuts.
I often make these for grain-free baking classes and they are always a huge hit! These would be a great grain-free addition to your Thanksgiving table next week, or any time you need to bring a dessert to a potluck.
Grain-Free Pumpkin Cupcakes with
Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
Makes 12 cupcakes
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/3 cup maple syrup or raw honey
1 Tbs raw apple cider vinegar
2 Tbs melted butter or coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 ½ cups almond flour
2 Tbs coconut flour
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cardamom powder
1/2 tsp ginger powder
¼ tsp each nutmeg, allspice and cloves
¾ tsp sea salt
¾ tsp baking soda
2 oz dark chocolate chips or unsweetened baking chocolate, chopped
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a cupcake pan with liners.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, eggs, maple syrup, butter and vanilla extract. Mix until smooth.
Sift in the flours, spices, sea salt and baking soda and stir until well combined. Add the vinegar.
Using a sharp knife, cut the baking chocolate into small chunks, if using instead of chocolate chips.
Fold into the cupcake batter to evenly distribute.
Portion out into lined cupcake tins, until they are almost completely full of batter; these will not rise very much, so no need to worry too much about them getting too big.
Bake for 25 minutes. Check with a toothpick to make sure they are done; if the toothpick comes out clean, they are ready. If not, add 5 more minutes to the baking time.
Let cool completely before frosting.
8 oz. Full fat organic cream cheese
¼ cup butter, softened
¼ cup raw honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbs cinnamon
Using a mixer or by hand with a strong fork, cream together the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Mix in the honey, vanilla and cinnamon, and stir well until creamy and well combined.
Use a piping bag or a n icing spreader, top the cooled cupcakes with the frosting.
For dairy-free frosting, use 1 cup organic palm shortening and ¼ cup coconut oil, both softened, to replace the cream cheese and butter. This will require extra mixing time but will get creamy.
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Brine & Broth
I am a gut health-focused nutritionist and online health coach based in Southwest Wisconsin. My recipes and philosophies center around traditional, nutrient-dense foods that support robust gut health.