I realized we haven’t been doing much paleo borderlining around here so I decided to whip up these banana chocolate cupcakes… or muffins? I can’t really tell you whether they’re muffins or cupcakes since the distinction is sort of blurred in the paleo baking world (since we sort of live a lie ie. spaghetti squash tastes just like pasta!). But since cupcakes sound more indulgent I think I’ll run with it. Besides, the first time I got these right and called them muffins I ate half the batch in a day. Yea…
Since I always need an excuse to trash things up, I topped these little cakes with a goat cheese frosting. If goat cheese isn’t your thing, you can sub it in with cream cheese. But they’re also perfectly good (very good) naked with a good hot beverage.
If any of you have a banana hoarding problem like we do in this house, make this!
Grain-Free Banana Chocolate Cupcakes with Goat Cheese Frosting
Makes 18 cupcakes
Ingredients for cupcakes:
- 1 cup raw cashew butter (homemade or this one by Artisana)
- 1 cup very ripe bananas, mashed (about 2 large bananas)
- ¼ cup honey
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ cup 85%+ cacao dark chocolate chunks (I chopped up my favourite dark chocolate bar)
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Ingredients for goat cheese frosting (optional):
- 150 grams unripened goat cheese, at room temperature (usually one small log)
- 3 tablespoons liquid honey (raw honey doesn’t incorporate very well)
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- raw cacao nibs or chocolate shavings to top (optional)
First, preheat your oven to 350°F. Next, in a large mixing bowl or stand mixer throw all the ingredients for the cupcakes in except the chocolate and vinegar.
With a hand mixer or stand mixer beater attachment, beat the ingredients until they are fully incorporated.
When your oven is ready, add your chocolate chunks and vinegar and mix very well. It’s important to add the vinegar right before baking because the vinegar activates upon contact with the baking soda which helps achieve a fluffier crumb.
Distribute your batter into a muffin mold lined muffin tray, filling it 3/4 way up. Make sure to scoop the batter from the bottom of the mixing bowl since bigger chunks of chocolate tend to sink.
Bake them in the oven for 20 minutes (or until a toothpick comes out clean) with the rack set to the lowest level.
While you wait, add all the ingredients for the frosting to a stand mixer or a small mixing bowl.
Mix the ingredients with the beater until frosting is smooth and creamy.
This is what you get at the end of the 20 minute waiting period. If you want to take a picture, take it now! These cakes deflate a little.
After the cupcakes cool down completely, pipe them very conservatively with frosting and top with cacao nibs (the goat cheese is very strong-tasting so they can overpower the cake).
Or not – your choice.