cocoa-452911_640Four years old is a big milestone. First it was finding out from his friends that Halloween actually involved candy, and not just parading through the neighbourhood in costume. The following week, K declared that a birthday party was all about friends bringing you presents (It’s ok, kids are supposed to be this narcissistic.) and cupcakes. His specific request was chocolate cupcakes with vanilla icing and sprinkles. You can’t blame a kid for having a vision. Being both a naturopath and a mother, I revised some recipes to create a (relatively) whole food and gluten-free version of what he wanted.

Two weeks later, K’s birthday has come and gone, and he’s still talking about when I’m going to make them again. I can safely say that my gluten-free chocolate cupcakes were a huge success. Here’s the recipe so you can make them too.

Gluten-free chocolate cupcakes
2 bananas
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1 egg
1/3 cup oil
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup gluten-free flour mix (I used Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-free All Purpose Baking Flour)
1/2 cup cocoa (I used fair trade and organic Camino cocoa powder)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Blend bananas, maple syrup, egg, oil and vanilla in a blender. Mix dry ingredients well in a bowl. Combine with wet ingredients from the blender. Pour into greased or paper-lined muffin tins and bake for approximately 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Makes 12 cupcakes or 24 mini-cupcakes.

Tip: I used If You Care 100% unbleached baking cups with muffin tins but you can use these baking cups without a muffin pan too!

Cool muffins and top with maple cream cheese icing (recipe below) and shaved dark chocolate “sprinkles” which I made by grating a Camino Panama Extra Dark chocolate bar.

Maple cream cheese icing
4 oz cream cheese, softened
2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1 tbsp pure maple syrup
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Cream together cream cheese and butter in a large bowl until fluffy. Gradually add maple syrup and vanilla extract and beat until well combined.