Do you really need a special occasion to make a batch of cupcakes? I think not, but…when I came upon this adorable cupcake display at Williams Sonoma last month I knew without a doubt that Easter dessert this year would be CUPCAKES! At least this holiday occasion would give me the opportunity to make several different kinds and lots of them (the display holds 24-36)!!! From all the wonderful flavors, fillings and frostings to choose from…here are the ones that made the cut…Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting is of course a must, being Easter and all…humm, you have got to have something chocolate so I settled on a Chocolate Fudge Cupcake with a Whipped Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting…fruit? definitely, Raspberry filled Vanilla Cupcake with Dark Chocolate Ganache and a light and airy Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake Cupcake with Blueberries. It was so much fun making and decorating these little treats but the real joy was sharing them with my family, especially since they were all grain-free, gluten-free and refined sugar-free!
My favorite was the Chocolate Fudge Cupcake with Whipped Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting, for several reasons…1) it’s peanut butter and chocolate, 2) well, it’s peanut butter and chocolate and 3) should I say it again? it’s peanut butter and chocolate. This recipe is adapted from one that my grandmother makes called Carol’s Fudge Muffins, I don’t know who Carol is but this woman is a genius, these muffins are rich and fudgy but still light enough to be a cupcake rather than a brownie…Mama always made them with pecans and no frosting but I chose to omit the pecans this time since I was going to use a peanut butter frosting…they are equally delicious both ways! Now, since I’ve been eating a mostly primal diet I don’t eat peanuts or peanut butter and would normally substitute almond butter in the frosting recipe but for Easter…its just got to be peanut butter!
Chocolate Fudge Cupcake
2 ounces dark chocolate (I used Dagoba Chocodrops 70%)
1/2 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup + 2Tbsp. coconut palm sugar
1/2 cup quinoa flour
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup chopped pecans (optional)
Preheat oven to 325 F and line 12 muffin cups with paper or foil liners.
In a large bowl mix together flour and sugar. In a small saucepan melt butter and chocolate and whisk until smooth. Add butter and chocolate to flour mixture and stir until smooth. Add slightly beaten eggs, stir in – do not beat. Add vanilla and chopped nuts (if using). Divide evenly between muffin cups. Bake 22-25 minutes. Cool on wire rack.
Whipped Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting
8 oz cream cheese, softened
2 Tbsp. agave, honey or palm sugar
1 Tbsp. vanilla
pinch of sea salt
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup cold heavy whipped cream
Beat cream cheese, peanut butter, agave, vanilla and sea salt on medium speed with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. In a separate bowl beat heavy whip cream until stiff peaks form (for best results chill bowl and whisk in freezer before beating the whip cream). Gently fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture. Frosting can be made one day ahead and stored in the refrigerator until ready to use. Be sure cupcakes are completely cooled before frosting.