Chickpea Chocolate Cupcakes (Low Carb/Gluten Free)

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Hello Peeps!  I’ve got some serious chocolate for you today!  So. Much. Chocolate!!!!!  Enough chocolate that you won’t even mind that I snuck some garbanzo beans into this cupcake!  And though it may sound wacky, it’s not the first time I’ve experimented with chickpeas in gluten free baked goods.  Last year I made this Chocolate Orange Garbanzo Bean Cake and also a comforting, fall-flavored Apple and Garbanzo Bean Cake which can both be made low carb by replacing the sugar with granulated sugar substitute.  I wanted to try the same technique in a low carb cupcake and it worked great.  What’s also nice is that I made these in my blender and then poured them into the cups – super easy and fast to make! These are so chocolatey and decadent on their own that they can be eaten like a brownie with no frosting.  But oh the frosting!  It’s so smooth and rich that you’ll want to eat it by the spoonful!  This frosting is no joke people – I used 90% Cocoa Lindt bars to make it and it’s amazing!  If you want a less intense chocolate flavor (wuss!) then you can substitute 85% or even 70% (seriously?) cocoa but be aware that you will increase the carb content exponentially as you lower the percentage of cocoa.

Makes 12 cupcakes

For the cupcakes:

15 oz can of garbanzo beans
1/3 cup almond milk or water
4 eggs
2 Tbl coconut oil
1/2 cup premium cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup granulated sugar substitute

For the frosting:

3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
4 oz 90% cocoa Lindt chocolate bars
1 Tbl sugar free hazelnut syrup
2 Tbl coconut oil
1/2 cup granulated sugar substitute

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees (F).  Drain and rinse your chickpeas.  Add the chickpeas and almond milk (or water) to a blender or food processor.  Puree until very VERY smooth.  Add eggs one at a time, blending after each.  Add the coconut oil, cocoa powder, baking powder and sweetener – blend until smooth.  Pour into greased muffin tins or cupcake liners and bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.  Cool.

Meanwhile, to make the frosting, break up the chocolate and place it in a microwave safe bowl.  Add your cream and coconut oil.  Microwave on high for one minute.  Stir.  Microwave on high for another 30 seconds.  Stir.  If not completely smooth, repeat one more time.  Stir in the sugar free hazelnut syrup and the sugar substitute.  Cool in the refrigerator for at least half an hour or until firm.  Remove from the fridge and whip until fluffy (I just used a fork).  Then add to a pastry bag with a star tube on it and pipe onto the cupcakes.  Store any uneaten cupcakes (as if!) in the refrigerator.

Approximate nutrition data per naked cupcake:  85 calories, 5g fat,
5g net carbs, 5g protein
Approx. nutrition data per frosted cupcake:  217 calories, 18g fat,
7g net carbs, 6g protein
And finally, one last picture because who doesn’t love gratuitous photos of chocolate!
For more great recipes check out my new e-cookbook The Gluten Free Low Carber!





  1. Dawn
    Dawn07-21-2012

    Yum yum yum! I have got to try these out! Congrats on the cookbook, by the way! ;)

    • Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)
      Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)07-22-2012

      Thanks so much Dawn! We had company for dinner last night and they liked the cupcakes – never would have known they were sugar free or low carb if I hadn’t warned them! Hope you like them!

  2. liam @ the low carb recipes
    liam @ the low carb recipes07-22-2012

    Those look delish! and from the look, you wouldnt be able to tell they were low carb.

    • Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)
      Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)07-22-2012

      Thanks Liam, they came out great! They didn’t rise as much as I would have liked so I’ll have to work on that for future recipes. They have a nice, soft texture though and the frosting is out of this world! Hope you try them out and report back!

  3. Sara
    Sara07-22-2012

    they look so delicious!
    Congratulations

    sara

  4. Andrea Johnson
    Andrea Johnson07-22-2012

    Hello! The cupcakes look amazing I can’t wait to try them! Did you use Dutch process cocoa or natural?

    • Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)
      Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)07-22-2012

      I used Ghirardelli premium cocoa powder which isn’t dutch processed but my favorite cocoa when I can find it is Saco which is dutch processed and has a great flavor. Any higher end powder will work – the better quality chocolate you use the better your cupcakes will taste! Enjoy!

  5. sensualappeal
    sensualappeal07-22-2012

    Holy wow, these look amazing and only ~80 calories each!?!?!? WOW!

    • Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)
      Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)07-22-2012

      Using a no calorie sweetener and the chickpeas instead of flour makes a big difference in calories as well as carbs. They taste pretty good without the frosting but for me it was worth the extra calories to eat them with the frosting! :)

  6. Kitchen Riffs
    Kitchen Riffs07-22-2012

    The garbanzo beans are a neat trick. Definitely have to try it! Really good stuff – thanks.

  7. Spencer
    Spencer07-22-2012

    Looks absolutely delicious! I have never previously considered putting chickpeas in a cake but it sounds amazing.

    • Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)
      Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)07-22-2012

      Thanks Spencer, it works surprisingly well! Just have to make sure they are really well pureed so that there are no chunks and you’ll never know they are in there! :)

  8. Cool Design Shelties
    Cool Design Shelties07-23-2012

    Yummy, I have to try these! Congrats on the cookbook :o)

  9. Anonymous
    Anonymous07-23-2012

    I just made these today and they were great. True, they don’t rise but they are yummy. I did not frost them. However, I found there was a slight after-taste using Splenda. Is that what you used Mellissa? If not, then what did you use as a sugar substitute to keep them low-carb.

    • Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)
      Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)07-27-2012

      I used Ideal, which is a blended sweetener that includes xylitol and sucralose. I think that of the artificial sweeteners I’ve tried, that it tastes the most like sugar – even my husband doesn’t mind it and he really hates the flavor of most sugar free things.

  10. Kim Bee
    Kim Bee07-26-2012

    This looks fabulous Mellissa. I would never know this is a healthier version of a cupcake. You are so creative. And your piping skills rock.

  11. Javelin Warrior
    Javelin Warrior07-26-2012

    I love the use of chickpeas in these cupcakes! They look fantastic and yet healthful all at once… I’m featuring this post in today’s Food Fetish Friday (with a link-back and attribution). I hope you have no objections and I can’t wait to see what you create next…

  12. Anonymous
    Anonymous07-28-2012

    I made these today. The cake got stuck to the cupcake liners. I followed the recipe exactly. Don’t know how to fix. Please help.

    • Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)
      Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)07-30-2012

      Sorry they stuck for you, some of mine did too! I think it’s the thin paper liners that are the problem, if you use the foil liners it shouldn’t stick. And you can always spray a little oil on them if necessary…

  13. Dionna Mash
    Dionna Mash07-30-2012

    These look so amazing! I must try. Maybe vanilla or peanut butter version?

    • Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)
      Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)07-30-2012

      I think the basic recipe would lend itself to almost any flavor – just not too delicate or you might still taste the chickpeas which probably wouldn’t be great.

  14. Anonymous
    Anonymous08-06-2012

    Being on Weight Watchers, I calculated the points plus values… The plain cupcake came out to 3 points, and the cupcake with frosting was 7… not too bad for an occasional sweet treat.

  15. j3nn
    j3nn08-07-2012

    Chickpeas are an awesome base for baking! And the frosting looks PERFECT! Drool. :)

  16. Bridget from Refined Vintage
    Bridget from Refined Vintage08-08-2012

    This looks like a real chocolate Iced cupcake! I can’t wait to try it. I am loving all your recipes, but I read in another post that using a vita mix could be a problem, and I wondered if that would be a problem with this recipe? I do not have a food processor or regular blender. I figured I would just do it on low, maybe quick on & off pulses? Thanks!

  17. Mark
    Mark09-19-2012

    Who knew chickpeas could be make into a dessert? Thanks for the recipe. If I’m feeling courageous, I’ll try it out!

    • Mellissa Sevigny
      Mellissa Sevigny09-24-2012

      Thanks Mark, let me know if you try them and what you thought of them!

  18. Anonymous
    Anonymous10-01-2012

    I just made these, they turned out pretty good. I only used 1/4 cup of sugar, I did not want to use a sugar substitute as that is a very unhealthy alternative. I think for the next batch I will add a banana and a little bit of peanut butter. I skipped the frosting as well. Who would have known chick peas and chocolate together, thanks for the great recipe!

    • Mellissa Sevigny
      Mellissa Sevigny10-09-2012

      Thanks for the feedback! I have cut out sugar substitutes as well and I will also try sweetening with mashed banana next time! Glad you liked them!

      • DEBBIE
        DEBBIE08-13-2013

        DID YOU EVER TRY THE MASHED BANANA I JUST TRIED THESE AND THEY WERE REALLY GOOD, ALSO PUT CINNAMON IN IT. .

  19. Elbow
    Elbow10-30-2012

    I am interested in your choices of sweeteners. What is your preference for avoiding sugar in baked goods? Could stevia be used in this recipe? Thanks for your insight!!

    • Mellissa Sevigny
      Mellissa Sevigny11-02-2012

      I used to use stevia all the time – especially commercial brands that are formulated for cooking, but I developed a sensitivity to it (and all plants related to it like chamomile and echinacea) so I know that it would work if it’s your sweetener of choice. I’ve also experimented with xylitol blends like Ideal, and Splenda granulated works if you can tolerate it which some people can’t. Erythritol works well for some people too though I haven’t experimented with it much yet. There is a sweetener called Swerve that a lot of low carb blogs use which I can’t find around here so haven’t tried that yet either. There are so many options out there, it’s really about finding what works best for you!

  20. Elbow
    Elbow11-02-2012

    Hi Melissa,
    A friend tells me you cannot buy Swerve in the US yet. Must be ordered from Canada!
    http://www.swervesweetener.com/request-a-sample/
    You might want to try this link to get a sample.
    Elbow

    • Mellissa Sevigny
      Mellissa Sevigny11-05-2012

      Hey thanks for the tip – and I’m always down for free samples so thanks for the link too!

  21. Kim
    Kim02-01-2013

    I just baked my cupcakes. My frosting is sitting in the fridge. I can’t wait for them to be finished! Waiting is so hard, even for grown ups! lol I will report back to you tonight when I get off work! :-)

  22. Sssharpsco
    Sssharpsco02-11-2013

    Could I substitute egg beaters for the eggs? Also if I don’t have coconut oil,could I use smart balance?
    Thanks

    • Mellissa Sevigny
      Mellissa Sevigny02-12-2013

      I can’t say for a certainty as I’ve never tried it, but in theory there shouldn’t be any problems with that! Hope you like them!

  23. Grace S. Gage
    Grace S. Gage03-21-2013

    Hello, I just discovered you blog and it looks fab! I am on a low-carb diet, and am always looking healthy food alternatives so your blog is perfect for me! I tried bean brownies once, but I didn’t like them at all. It tasted like a chocolate burrito. LOL I want to try these though, as chick peas don’t have as strong of a flavor as black beans. Great idea! I don’t have any coconut oil though, do you think I could use vegetable oil or would that mess up the recipe? Thanks!

    • Mellissa Sevigny
      Mellissa Sevigny03-23-2013

      I think butter would be better than vegetable oil Grace, but it should work. Maybe increase the sweetness just a tad also to make up for the slight flavor the coconut oil would normally impart – hope you like them!

  24. linda
    linda03-25-2013

    I was just diagnosed with gestational diabetes and had to cut out all sweets because it raised my glucose too high. I’m making these today to try. I can’t wait I need something a little sweet for a change. Thanks for posting!

  25. Sara
    Sara04-06-2013

    My “cupcakes” are in the oven!
    I was going to make cupcakes, but I felt sooo lazy that I only greased a cake pan, I hope it tastes great! My mum was (is) a little unconvinced about the garbanzos, but if it is good, I’m making it for my classmates, they are kind of picky and they always expect me to make them great cakes.
    I also substituded the sugar for 1/2 cup honey because I can’t eat any sugar, but I think it will come out great, have a nice day! :)

    • Cathy
      Cathy06-13-2013

      Thank you so much for this awesome recipe! I used it yesterday to make a cake for my boyfriends birthday. He loved it! Called it a “do over” which is our code for “make this again”

      • Mellissa Sevigny
        Mellissa Sevigny06-13-2013

        Thanks for the feedback Cathy, I’m glad this one was a hit with the boyfriend!!! :)

  26. Safiyyah
    Safiyyah06-29-2013

    Can you substitute the eggs with a fruit puree?

    • Mellissa Sevigny
      Mellissa Sevigny06-29-2013

      I couldn’t say, as I’ve never tried it. Let us know if you do try it and how it works out!

  27. Nancy
    Nancy07-02-2013

    Can’t wait to try this recipe! My son has an allergy to eggs – do you think I can substitute the Ener G egg replacer for the actual eggs? Thanks – looks delish!

    • Mellissa Sevigny
      Mellissa Sevigny07-03-2013

      I don’t see why not Nancy – hope he likes them! :)

      • Nancy
        Nancy07-04-2013

        Thanks – will let you know how they turn out with the egg replacer!

  28. Fa
    Fa08-01-2013

    Could I substitute Chickbeans for cauliflower puree? and i cant find granulated sugar substitute. Can i use stevia? Thanks!

    • Mellissa Sevigny
      Mellissa Sevigny08-01-2013

      As long as you calculate how much stevia you need for the equivalent amount of granulated sugar substitute (measures the same as sugar) you should be fine. I’ve never tried this recipe with cauliflower puree, so I really can’t say how it would come out. You could always try the cauliflower brownies instead – I know that one works!

  29. Arnie Gelber
    Arnie Gelber12-25-2013

    Dear Melissa,our children have been visiting us from Melbourne for the last two weeks. Our daughter and one of our grandchildren are gluten intolerant. She has made your chocolate cupcakes when we visited her and just made them yesterday at our home. When we first tasted them I couldn’t believe that they had a chickpea base. They were so rich and brownie – like without the icing! I just have to add we are brownie fanatics and have no intolerances – do our best to eat “healthy” but as food is a great joy for us and a major contributor to our quality of life – we don’t stint on butter from time to time nor sugar – rather have a little of the “real thing” than lots of artificial and extremely unhealthy substitutes. Wish all “healthy” food tasted as good as your cupcakes. We will certainly continue to link in with your blog.

    • Mellissa Sevigny
      Mellissa Sevigny12-26-2013

      Thanks so much Arnie! There is no higher praise than when someone who doesn’t have to eat low carb and gluten free still enjoys the recipes!! I appreciate you taking the time to let me know, and I hope you enjoy the rest of your visit with your family!

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