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?
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. A perfect treat for those of us who have uncontrollable sweet teeth—no extra cupcakes tempting me in the kitchen is a good thing.
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!
I now realize that making multiple batches of these kinda defeats the purpose of a small batch recipe—but I’ll take one for the team, because that’s how much I love you guys.
Even with non-planted based ingredients, these cupcakes are definitely a better choice for you than your run-of-the-mill cupcakes—and I promise, they taste just as awesome! Enjoy.