Tender coconut cupcakes topped with fluffy chocolate peanut butter frosting are the home-baked version of candy aisle bliss. However, unlike candy, these treats have a hidden healthy twist!
Chocolate and peanut butter are an inspired match. So are chocolate and coconut. These cupcakes fuse all those crave-worthy flavours together in each tender bite. And the frosting is both sweet and healthy! How can anyone resist it? (Only those who hate chocolate, which includes my three-year-old. She loved the cupcakes though!)
Making delicious cupcakes from scratch is even more worthwhile knowing that they contain wholesome ingredients without sacrificing great taste. Why add lentils? They are rich in fiber and minerals like iron, in addition to being a very frugal whole food ingredient. For me they are a locally grown product, with most of the lentils in Canada being grown in Saskatchewan, where I now live. Interestingly, the lentil flavour disappears into the frosting, while their fiber and protein help stabilize the texture.
Thanks to the smoothing power of a food processor or high-speed blender, the lentils blend beautifully into the silky chocolate buttercream. To maximize efficiency, I like to start mixing and baking the cupcakes while the lentils are simmering. I was amazed at how all the ingredients came together so quickly to yield a lovely buttercream frosting. You really have to try it to believe it!
If you’d like to see more amazing lentil recipes, head to the 2015 Lentil Recipe Revelations Challenge board on Pinterest.
Coconut Cupcakes with Chocolate Peanut Butter and Lentil Frosting
For the cupcake batter:
- 1/2 cup butter or margarine
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup unbleached flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 cup unsweetened fine coconut flakes
- 1/2 cup light coconut milk or dairy milk
For the chocolate lentil buttercream frosting:
- 2/3 cup cooked red split lentils (measured after cooking)
- 3/4 cup golden yellow (light brown) sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup salted butter or margarine
- toasted coconut flakes, optional
- Preheat oven to 180 C (350 degrees F). Cream together butter and sugar. Using an electric mixer, beat in vanilla extract and egg until smooth. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and coconut in a separate bowl. Combine wet and dry mixtures with an electric mixer for about 1 minute. Add milk and beat again for another minute, until a creamy batter forms.
- Spoon batter into cupcake liners in a muffin tin. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until tops are light golden and middle tests done. Place cupcakes on a wire rack to cool completely before adding frosting.
- To make the frosting, purée lentils, sugar, vanilla, and cocoa powder in food processor until very smooth. Heat chocolate chips in microwave for 30 second increments, stirring frequently, just until the chocolate has melted. Stir in peanut butter and transfer the warm chocolate to the food processor. Puree with lentil mixture until smooth.
- Add to the chocolate lentil mixture in the food processor and blend until very smooth.
- Transfer frosting to a bowl and let cool to room temperature. Add butter to the frosting and beat with an electric mixer until a lighter, fluffier texture is achieved.
- Transfer frosting to a pastry bag fitted with a decorative tip (or spread generously with a flexible spatula). Decorate cupcakes with frosting. Sprinkle with toasted coconut or decorative sprinkles if desired. Serve immediately or refrigerate cupcakes until serving time.
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