Canned beans purée more smoothly to add to cake, loaf and muffin batters – here, black beans are masked with cocoa to make healthier chocolate cupcakes.
1 14 oz (398 ml) can black beans, drained
1 cup (250 ml) packed brown sugar
1/2 cup (125 ml) canola oil
2 large eggs
2 tsp (10 ml) vanilla
1 3/4 cups (425 ml) all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (185 ml) cocoa
1 tsp (5 ml) baking powder
1 tsp (5 ml) baking soda
1/4 tsp (1 ml) salt
1/2 cup (125 ml) butter, at room temperature
2 1/2 cups (725 ml) icing sugar
2–4 tbsp (30–60 ml) milk or cream
2 tsp (10 ml) peppermint or vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350˚F. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the beans, brown sugar and oil; pulse until it’s well blended and as smooth as you can get it. Add the eggs and vanilla and pulse again to blend well, then pour into a large bowl.
In a smaller bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add to the bean mixture and beat on low or stir by hand just until combined. Divide between paper-lined muffin tins and bake for 25–30 minutes, or until domed and springy to the touch. Set aside to cool completely.
To make the frosting, beat the butter, icing sugar, milk and peppermint extract until creamy, adding a bit more milk or icing sugar as needed to achieve a spreadable frosting. Spread over cooled cupcakes, or spoon into a resealable plastic bag, snip off one corner, and squeeze out into a swirl on top of the cupcakes. Makes about 1 1/2 dozen cupcakes.
Per cupcake: 264 calories, 12 g fat (4.2 g saturated fat, 5.5 g monounsaturated fat, 2.2 g polyunsaturated fat), 34 mg cholesterol, 37 g carbohydrate, 4 g protein, 2.7 g fibre.
Originally published in ParentsCanada magazine, Nov/Dec 2016.