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These cupcakes are fudgy and filled with fiber. There are a few fiber foods snuck into the frosting and the cake batter with one brownie coming out at 7 grams of fiber.
Your gut-healthy ingredients
You may be surprised to learn that Medjool dates are a great source of fiber with just 2 dates having a little over 3 grams of fiber. There’s a mix of soluble and insoluble fiber in dates, with most being insoluble (1). Insoluble fiber helps add bulk to your poop making it easier to pass.
Medjool dates are also acting as the sweetener for the cupcake but they aren’t just a sweet treat. Dates can also be a source of polyphenols which can have antioxidant properties (2). It is even thought that the fiber and polyphenols in dates interact with the gut microbiome in such a way that it could influence vascular function (1).
Apples are one of your best sources of soluble fiber and that fiber helps keep things moving in your gut which can help with constipation. In addition to helping with gut motility, apples can also increase stool output which is another benefit to keeping you regular (3).
Soluble fiber also benefits your heart health because it has cholesterol-lowering effects. What’s interesting is it’s not just the fiber in apples that can help cholesterol. It’s thought the polyphenols interacting with your gut bacteria also contribute to apple’s heart health benefits (4).
Nut butters are great additions to doughs by adding moisture and helping bind the ingredients together. Additionally, nut butters serve as a source of fiber and protein which your gut loves.
Almonds can be beneficial for your gut bugs. Research has found that almonds can help increase the production of short-chain fatty acids (5). These are compounds made by your gut bacteria and can have anti-inflammatory effects and even heart health benefits (6).
White whole wheat flour
When I first heard of white whole wheat I was so confused. Usually white flour means the fiber and some of the nutrients have been removed but in this case, it doesn’t.
Did you know white whole wheat flour is just a different type of whole wheat?
White whole wheat flour is 100% whole wheat so you will get all the good stuff you would normally find in whole wheat. Make sure to check the label to see if it’s 100% white whole wheat and not a blend.
White whole wheat does have a lighter color when used in baking and a more mild flavor when compared to your average whole wheat flour. Here’s a good guide on how to substitute white whole wheat flour in your baked goods.
What you need
The frosting is made in a blender and will be thick so make sure you have a solid blender.
To place the frosting on the cupcakes you can use a piping bag or grab a butter knife and spread on the frosting. You can even make a piping bag by snipping the end of a plastic food storage bag.
After making the frosting, give your blender a rinse and make a date puree that you’ll use for your cake batter. You’ll only need some mixing bowls to finish making the batter.
How to make
Before you make anything, check the softness of your dates. If the dates are hard you’ll want to soften them up in some hot water. You’ll use them for the frosting and the cake.
You will want to start with making the frosting first. Even though it comes together quickly the frosting does take 4 hours to set in the fridge. It will be a thick frosting.
You do need a small amount of coconut flour for the frosting. If you don’t have any on hand try getting some in the bulk section of the market so you don’t have to buy a whole bag of coconut flour.
Make sure not to overfill the cupcake tins otherwise the cupcakes can cook unevenly and/or spill over. Once the cupcakes have cooled for a bit in the pan you will transfer them to a wire rack and frost.
Chocolate Fudge Cupcakes
- ¾ cup pitted Medjool dates
- ¾ cup unsweetened applesauce
- ¾ cup natural almond butter
- ¼ cup plus 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ cup plus 2 tbsp milk
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tbsp coconut flour
- 1 ¼ cups white whole wheat flour
- ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ cup Medjool dates, pitted
- ½ cup hot water
- ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- ¼ cup 2% milk
- 1 ea large egg, beaten
- Start by preparing the frosting. Place dates, applesauce, almond butter, cocoa powder, salt, vanilla extract, and milk in a blender. Blend until smooth, pausing to scrape the sides of the blender jar as needed. Add the salt, powdered sugar, and coconut flour to the blender and process again until incorporated. If the frosting is too thick to blend, add 1 tablespoon additional milk at a time. The frosting should be thick.
- Transfer frosting to a mixing bowl or piping bag and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.
- For the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a standard cupcake tin with paper or silicone liners.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- Place dates and water in a blender and blend until smooth. Transfer date puree to a separate mixing bowl.
- Add applesauce, maple syrup, vanilla extract, apple cider vinegar, milk, and egg to date puree. Stir to combine.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Stir until just combined, taking care not to overmix.
- Spoon batter into the cupcake tin, filling each about three-quarters of the way full.
- Bake cupcakes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 16 to 18 minutes. Let cupcakes cool in the pan for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
- Pipe or spread 3 to 4 tablespoons of the frosting onto each cupcake. Sprinkle with mini chocolate chips, if desired. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.
Amanda is a pizza loving registered dietitian nutritionist specializing in mindfulness and gut health. She quickly realized that gut health goes beyond the gut; it is also about honoring our gut feelings. She is the creator of The Mindful Gut™ which uses science and strategy to help people improve their gut health.