<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="65001"%> chocolate-bean-cupcakes

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Chocolate Bean Cupcakes

When I first made this dessert, I was a bit skeptical about substituting black beans for flour. However, when it was done, I was pleasantly surprised - so was my family. They couldn't tell the difference. Best of all, I baked these cupcakes for my son's birthday and took them to his school. Not even the kids knew they were getting their protein and fiber!

So, you're probably wondering why I did this? Two reasons: I was really curious to see how they would turn out and, I was looking for ways to cut out the gluten. There's been growing concern that gluten sensitivity and celiac disease in humans has been on the rise. Now, the recipe below is not gluten-free because I was skeptical on how they would hold up. However, you can find a gluten-free version here.

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Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 - 20 minutes
Serves: About 12 cupcakes


1/3 cup butter (5 1/3 tablespoons, softened)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons orange zest (optional)
1 15.5 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed


1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
Almond milk (to puree black beans)


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line 12 cupcake tins with paper liners.

Put black beans in a blender or food processor and puree with almond milk (start with a couple of tablespoons) until very smooth. Using an electric mixer on high, beat butter, sugar and eggs until thick and creamy, about 3 minutes. Fold vanilla extract and orange zest into pureed beans. In a small bowl, whisk together cocoa powder, flours and baking powder. Fold egg mixture into beans, then fold flour mixture into beans by thirds.

Fill cupcake tins two-thirds full. Bake 15 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 5 minutes. Remove and cool on a rack. Decorate with matcha green tea frosting (see below) or your favorite frosting.

Matcha Green Tea Frosting - UPDATED

2 sticks butter, softened
8 oz. cream cheese
1.5 cups powdered sugar
Approximately 2 tablespoons matcha powder

Cream butter and cream cheese at medium speed until creamy. Sift 1.5 cups powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon of matcha powder into the butter/cream cheese mixture and beat to combine. Taste and add more matcha powder and/or powdered sugar, if desired.

If frosting is too thin, add a little more powdered sugar. If frosting is too thick, add a little almond milk.

Recipe for cupcake adapted from Vegetarian Times. Recipe for matcha green tea frosting adapted from cupcakeblog.com.