Gluten-Free Quinoa Chocolate Chip Cupcakes with Sunbutter Mousse Frosting

I am having a hard time listening to my own voice lately.  The words are all the same … “Eat over your plate, please. Do not get in the pool until your sunscreen is on.  Why did you just get in the pool without sunscreen? It’s not too hot. It’s summer.  Don’t come back inside.  You are not bored.  No, we can’t get donuts.  Get along.  I have no idea what we’re having for dinner.  And I don’t know when it will be ready.  Clean up the Playmobil or I’m throwing it away. Hang up your towel.  Hang up your bathing suit.   No, we are not watching TV.  If that little asshole spraying us with the water cannon doesn’t stop, I’m going to lose my shit.”

Well maybe I just *thought* the last one.  OK, I actually said it out loud just yesterday, but it was under my breath.

But I’m doing this all without beer, people.  Because, once again, I am not eating/drinking gluten and wheat (with the exception of a few I couldn’t turn down).  And it’s working — miraculously, or perhaps, predictably — and my sinuses and ears have never felt better.  I won’t bore you with the boring details though.

I haven’t done much gluten-free baking and was a little overwhelmed with the combination of flours and ingredients that one must use in order to approximate wheat flour.  Sorghum, potato, corn, xanthan gum … just not your normal pantry ingredients.  I’m starting to stock up, but I really liked the idea of a one flour, whole grain solution when I saw a chocolate cupcake recipe on the back of the Bob’s Red Mill Quinoa Flour.  I’m sure I’ll get into the science experiments eventually (when I have  a huge pantry), but for now I’m going to try to keep it simple.

Beyond, I’d prefer to take a more whole foods approach to gluten-free.  As much as I like some of the substitute products, some of the ingredient lists are terrifying.   The cookies might be good, but I think we learned our lesson with Snackwells, didn’t we?  These cupcakes utilize only quinoa flour, which is a complete protein and closer to a vegetable than a grain.  I’ve modified the recipe to include chocolate chips and frosted them with a sunbutter mousse frosting.   The texture is great and I think the quinoa flavor (which can be somewhat stronger than normal flour) is tamed by the chocolate.

And I do appreciate the irony of discussing healthy foods as I type up a recipe for cupcakes with chocolate, butter, cream cheese, sunbutter, and sugar.  It’s still not every day food — but it’s an improvement. And forgive me, a girl needs a good chocolate treat when she’s not drinking beer.

Quinoa Chocolate Chip Cupcakes with Sunbutter Mousse Frosting

Cupcake recipe modified from Bob’s Red Mill

Makes one dozen with some leftover frosting

Cupcakes:
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/4 cups quinoa flour
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
2 eggs, separated
1 1/2 t vanilla extract
1/4 cup sour cream
1 cup of chocolate chips or mini chocolate chips

Frosting:
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1-8 ounce package of light cream cheese (Neufchatel), softened
6 T butter, softened
1/2 cup Sunbutter (or other nut butter of your choice)
1 t vanilla extract

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line a muffin or cupcake tin with twelve paper liners (or grease well).

2.  In a medium saucepan, combine the butter and water over medium heat, stirring until melted together.  Remove from heat and whisk in cocoa powder.

3.  In a large bowl, combine the sugar, brown sugar, quinoa flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Add in the cocoa mixture along with the two egg yolks, the vanilla, and the sour cream.  Mix batter until combined well.  Stir in chocolate chips.

4.  In a separate medium bowl, beat the two egg whites with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form.  Fold the beaten egg whites into the cupcake batter with a rubber spatula.  You want it to be well combined, but you don’t want the egg whites to deflate too much.

5.  Pour batter into prepared cupcake liners, making each cupcake about 2/3 full.  Bake for about 15 minutes until nicely puffed and crackly on top.

6.  While cupcakes are baking and/or cooling, make the frosting by creaming together the butter, sunbutter, and cream cheese until well mixed using an electric mixer.  Add in the powdered sugar and mix slowly until incorporated and then turn up to high and mix until very light and fluffy.  Mix in vanilla extract.  Pipe or spread onto cooled cupcakes.

 

3 thoughts on “Gluten-Free Quinoa Chocolate Chip Cupcakes with Sunbutter Mousse Frosting

  1. Marcella

    I think I’m having the same summer. Today my boys used the pop out light saber on my almost 2 yr old daugher and got her right between the eyes. Sigh.

    I like the idea of using sunbutter in a frosting. We can’t have peanuts, milk, egg, wheat or pineapple just but an extra pain. I saw a recipe for a peanut butter frosting recipe with coconut milk. I never thought to switch out the nut butters. I can’t use your recipe but thanks for the inspiration!

  2. Kristin Post author

    Marcella … I have a really good chocolate cupcake recipe that is dairy and egg free. It does call for wheat flour, but I am pretty sure quinoa flour (or a combo of others would work.) Then you could try some variations on the frosting with sunbutter/coconut milk/soy cream cheese (if you can do soy), etc… The basic recipe is:

    1 1/2 cups flour (your choice or combo)
    1 cup sugar
    1/3 cocoa
    1 t baking soda
    1/2 t salt
    1 t vanilla
    1 t vinegar
    1/3 c oil
    1 c water

    Combine dry ingredients. Add in oil, water, and vanilla. Stir to combine. Stir in vinegar. Bake in one round greased cake pan at 350 for about 25 minutes. (I’ve added berries or dairy free choc chips to this w/ great success — it’s a great basic cake and I’m pretty sure we could get around the wheat flour. I’ll do some experimenting at some point.)

  3. kelly

    Hi Kristin,

    I like the sound of these cupcakes and have been looking for a recipe with quinoa. Thanks for posting, and I will try to update after I have made them. Just in case you didn’t know, Wegman’s carries a nice variety of gf beer. I just recently noticed them after being gf for more than a year. I’ve only tried one gf brand, Redbridge. It’s made from sorghum and amazingly, I think it’s pretty good. More expensive, though, so nice if you could try it first.

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