There is something so nostalgic about baking, filling the home with warmth and sweet smells. I love that about baked goods but I don’t really love how they tend to make my body feel. As someone who promotes the awareness and practice of health and wellness, I wanted to share a recipe that brings the same warmth and sweetness with some good ol’ fashioned food awareness and nourishment thrown in.
I don’t know how you feel, but baking has always been a bit intimidating to me. I’ve always known it to have the reputation of a precise, scientific practice. So, when I decided I wanted to re-create carrot cake (my favorite) using whole-food, plant-based ingredients, I’ll admit I had my doubts. After the first try at creating this recipe, my doubts were totally gone. Thanks to my intuition and these amazing plant-based ingredients, I realized I was on to something delicious. With a little tweaking and some extra love, I’ve got a truly incredible recipe for you.
Once I had whipped up the perfect cake recipe I decided to make cupcakes because who doesn’t like cupcakes?! & YES, I will be bold enough to say that these cupcakes are HEALTHY! Instead of being full of bleached flours and refined sugars they are made with nutrient-dense, gluten-free flours and sweetened with the natural sugars from fresh carrots and pineapple as well as low-glycemic, unrefined coconut sugar + 100% pure maple syrup. Topped off with a protein rich, nut-based, totally divine frosting, they taste truly incredible and leave you feeling nourished without a stomach ache or sugar headache.
I think it is pretty common to overeat baked goods because 1. They are sweet and many of us are addicted to the refined sugar & 2. They have little nutritional value, leaving our bodies asking for more fuel. But these sweet carrot cupcakes are a whole different experience, my friends. They are densely nutritious, made with REAL food, and they fill the role of sweet comfort without bringing the other unhealthy baggage with them.
I mean really, what more do you need than a sweet treat that combines energy-promoting carbohydrates, fresh fruit, carrots (that’s right, a vegetable!) and truly healthy fats?
These beauties are not only plant-based but they are vegan, and free of gluten and refined sugar. Eat ‘em up without the guilt, and love your food and your body in the process!
- 1 cup oat flour
- 1 cup buckwheat flour
- 3 T arrowroot powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ cup coconut sugar
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ cup walnuts, finely chopped
- 1½ cup grated carrots
- 1 cup fresh, ripe pineapple, finely chopped
- ½ cup pure maple syrup
- 2 flax eggs (2 T ground flaxseed + 6 T water)
- 1½ tsp vanilla extract or powder (or seeds of 1 vanilla bean)
- ½ cup coconut oil, melted
- 1 inch piece of fresh ginger (about 1 T), peeled and finely chopped
- ¾ cup cashews, soaked 4-8 hours
- ¼ cup macadamia nuts, soaked 4-8 hours
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
- 3 tsp lemon juice
- Combine the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl
- Mix the flax and water in a small bowl to make the flax eggs
- Combine the wet ingredients including the flax eggs in another mixing bowl
- Combine both wet and dry ingredients together, mixing well
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Line a muffin/cupcake pan with cupcake papers or lightly grease with coconut oil
- Divide the batter evenly between the 12 sections
- Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 mins or until a knife comes out clean
- Remove from oven, let cool
- Rinse the cashews and macadamia nuts that have been soaking
- Combine all ingredients in a high-speed blender (preferred) or a food processor
- Scrape into a bowl and place in the freezer for 15 min or so to allow to firm up a bit
- Once cupcakes have cooled, frost them and enjoy!
These cupcakes are so nourishing that you can even eat them for breakfast! Also, this recipe is super versatile in the sense that you can leave off the frosting and call them muffins! Or… bake it in a cake pan (may take 10 min or so longer in the oven) and make a cake, or double the recipe and make a layered cake! Endless possibilities to enjoy this deliciousness.
Part of my mission with this blog is to not only inspire but to educate so if you ever have any questions about ingredients or the processes I use (how or why) please reach out to me- I would love to chat. Happy baking friends!
With health & heart,