Okay okay, “healthy” is a relative term, but when you compare these against your typical cupcakes packed full of sugar and way too much white flour and butter, they’re definitely healthier, and satisfy chocolate cravings like a champ. After watching the documentary Fed Up recently, I was inspired to start paying a little more attention to how much sugar I’m consuming. Have you guys seen it? Did it cause you to make any dietary changes? Since the film also makes you want to stop eating processed foods altogether, I spent a few hours on a Saturday toying with some favorite baking recipes and swapping out sugar for healthier alternatives like maple syrup, and subbing raw cacao powder for processed chocolate.
These cupcakes were my favorite result, still including just enough of the naughty stuff (sugar, butter, & white flour) to make them feel decadent without sending your blood sugar spiking. These are best eaten warm out of the oven when the chocolate chips are still melty, but you can also gently rewarm them the next morning and eat one for breakfast (just call them muffins!) Keep reading for the recipe…
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup raw cacao powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup butter, room temperature
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
- 1/4 cup bittersweet (or semisweet) chocolate chips
- powdered sugar for dusting
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, combine flour, cacao powder, soda, espresso powder, and salt. Stir with a whisk until combined.
- In the standing bowl of a mixer, beat butter and sugar on medium-high until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add maple syrup and vanilla, and beat for 1 minute, then add eggs, beating well between each addition.
- With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately in 3 additions, starting and ending with flour. Beat in chocolate chips just until combined.
- Line a muffin tin with muffin cup liners, than spray with nonstick cooking spray. Divide batter between 12 cups and bake for 18 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
- Remove cupcakes from pan, let cool completely on a wire rack, then sprinkle with powdered sugar.