Valentine’s Day has never been a big thing in the Johnston household. We have a lot of relationship milestones this time of year (February 12, my husband’s immigration anniversary; February 13, anniversary of the first day we met online; March 17, our wedding anniversary), so Valentine’s Day kinda falls by the wayside each year.
That’s not to say I don’t LOVE Valentine’s Day—I totally do. I’m a sucker for hearts and sprinkles and candy and red and pink and glitter and roses and lovey-dovey stuff. I just can’t find fault with a day that’s about bringing more love into the world. Yes, we should shower our loved ones with compassion and appreciation all year ’round, but it doesn’t hurt anyone to go a little bit above and beyond one day a year, does it?
Our Valentine’s Day plans are pretty tame this year (and honestly, on par with how we’ve celebrated every February 14th for the past decade). They involve a toddler, some sort of decadent pasta dish, and maybe a bottle of wine if we can find the corkscrew that said toddler hid somewhere in the kitchen cabinets. And these chocolate cupcakes. Because it’s not Valentine’s Day without some fudgy, rich, dark chocolate, now is it?
What makes these healthy cupcakes?
I’m in love with this cupcake recipe for exactly three reasons:
(1) It is mega-delicious. We’re talking fudgy, tender, perfectly chocolate-tastic cupcakes.
(2) It’s made with all “healthy” and “natural” ingredients (in quotes because everyone needs to define what those two words mean for themselves). No refined sugars (in fact, the fudgy frosting is just sweetened with dates). All whole wheat flour.
(3) It’s small batch—it makes two big, holiday-celebrating chocolate cupcakes or four normal-size cupcakes.
What do I need to make healthy chocolate cupcakes?
For the cupcakes themselves, the ingredients aren’t all that different from a standard cupcake recipe, but there are a few changes:
- White whole wheat flour instead of regular all-purpose flour. White whole wheat flour has a lighter, less nutty flavor than regular whole wheat flour, but more nutrients than all-purpose flour. It’s a win all-around!
- Coconut oil or avocado oil replace some of the butter.
- Maple syrup instead of granulated sugar. A little maple syrup goes a long way to add flavor and sweetness!
I’ve been playing around more lately with plant-based cooking in my kitchen, and I’m having a blast because it feels like a whole new territory of healthy cooking to discover! I tested these chocolate cupcakes with both “normal” omnivore ingredients (butter and an egg), and I also did some testing to perfect these using vegan ingredients, too, but couldn’t quite nail it down perfect enough to publish. I’m gonna keep on working on it!
Tell me about this frosting!
Unlike the cupcakes themselves, the frosting is decidedly unlike what you’d get on a typical cupcake. But that doesn’t make it any less delicious—I promise! Instead of a butter-based frosting, you’re going to make a date frosting. Hang with me here—the chocolate is going to mask any date flavor, so you’ll just be left with fudgy chocolate goodness.
I promise these taste just as awesome as standard cupcakes! Enjoy.