Healthy Banana Quinoa Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

banana bread cupcakes with peanut butter frosting

Quinoa cupcakes…  probably not the most appetizing phrase you have ever heard, and certainly not something you hear everyday!  But trust me, these cupcakes are 100% delicious.  I mean, can you really go wrong with bananas, peanut butter and a little dose of healthy?

banana bread cupcakes with peanut butter frosting banana bread cupcakes with peanut butter frosting

See how moist that is?  I wish I could magically hand you a cupcake through the screen you are looking at but technology hasn’t caught up to that yet (what a shame, more for me I guess…)

These cupcakes are packed with banana flavor, reminiscent of banana bread just in a smaller package.  These crave-able cupcakes provide a hint of quinoa with a rich peanut butter frosting — they are not your typical overbearingly sweet cupcakes so they are perfect for breakfast and a snack throughout the day  :)

Healthy Banana Quinoa Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting (refined sugar free, low fat, high protein, gluten free, vegan)

Yield: 14 cupcakes


  • 272g (2 cups) Quinoa Flour
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp Ground Nutmeg
  • 1+1/3 cups Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
  • 253g (1 cup) Mashed Banana (3 super ripe, almost black bananas)
  • 57g (1/4 cup) Yogurt**
  • 1 tsp Stevia Extract
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Paste (I used homemade)
  • 1/2 tsp Butter Flavor
  • Frosting:
  • 120g (1 cup) Peanut Flour
  • 9-10 packets Truvia (or sweetener of choice)
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tsp Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk


    For the Cupcakes:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line 14 cupcake tins with paper or parchment liners (or spray with cooking spray)
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the quinoa flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  3. In a large bowl, stir together the almond milk, mashed banana, yogurt, stevia, vanilla and butter extract.
  4. Slowly add the dry into the wet while stirring and fold the batter well. Scoop the batter into the prepared cupcake tins and tap the pan on the counter a few times to level out the batter.
  5. Bake for ~19 minutes, or until the cupcakes spring back when tapped.
  6. Transfer cupcakes to a wire cooling rack and let cool while you make the frosting.
  7. For the Frosting:
  8. In a medium-sized bowl, stir together all the ingredients.
  9. Scoop into a piping bag and frost the cupcakes.


If you are not a fan of quinoa, these cupcakes probably aren't for you! You can detect the quinoa but it is not overpowering, especially when it is paired with bananas, cinnamon and of course, a decadent peanut butter frosting ;)

**I used a vanilla almond yogurt sweetened with fruit juice only, not sugar. However, this yogurt company went under and is no longer in production :( ... you can use whatever yogurt you like -- coconut, soy, dairy, etc., just make sure it doesn't have any sugar added!

This recipe is: eggless, sugar free, low fat, high protein, gluten free, vegan!

Banana Quinoa Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting Nutrition Label

My eyes are bigger than my stomach.  I wanted to eat all of the cupcakes in one sitting but I was absolutely stuffed after eating just two!  These cupcakes are nutritionally balanced, filled with healthy fats, complex carbs, fiber and protein, so these cupcakes will fill you up rather than fill you out.  I bet it’s physically impossible to eat the entire batch, like how we would be able to with the typical unhealthy bakery-style cupcakes (trust me, I think I’ve eaten like, seven storebought cupcakes in a row once…)

banana bread cupcakes with peanut butter frosting

I left two cupcakes on a plate for my parents and my dad (who, keep in mind, does not even like sweets) ate BOTH before my mother made it to the kitchen.  My mom walked in to see cupcake wrappers on the plate and said, “Hey!  Where’s mine?!”  My dad just stood there, wide-eyed, “Ummm…”

But don’t worry, my mom got her cupcake(s)  😉

35 comments on “Healthy Banana Quinoa Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

  1. That’s an interesting way to make icing. Isn’t it awfully sweet with all that Truvia? (Also, what’s your opinion on Truvia? I buy large pots of Stevia on eBay but it would be more convenient for me to buy Truvia from the shop, only I’ve heard mixed reviews about it.)

    • dessertswithbenefits

      The Truvia takes place of confectioners sugar in typical icings so it isn’t overbearingly sweet. Peanut flour is basically just peanuts so without the Truvia it would be boring, bland and possibly even bitter. You can definitely use stevia packets instead!

  2. I had no idea quinoa cupcakes would be so amazing!!! Looove these

  3. Another great recipe! :)

  4. I love the idea, but is it possible to use almond flour or something similiar instead of quinoa flour for the batter? Quinoa flour is not yet available in store where I live and I don’t want to order a huge amount of it online.

    • dessertswithbenefits

      The only flour variation I have tried with these cupcakes is a mixture of GF oat flour and brown rice flour. In my experience, almond flour tends to make the end product very dense and compact if not used with eggs, so I wouldn’t recommend almond flour.

      I found quinoa flour online in a single package here on iHerb ( ). I order from this website a lot because you get free shipping over $40 and it’s pretty quick too. Plus, if you use this discount code ( BAF165 ) you can get $10 off your order :)

      Anyways, I hope you get to try the recipe (and I hope you love it!)

    • Allison Womack

      I think you can make quinoa flour just like you make oat flour in a food processor!

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  7. I am suprised to see such health conscious people advising others to use the microwave for cooking. Nuked food is DEAD. The radiation destroys the nucleus of any food. Working hard to shop and cook healthy? Don’t use the microwave! It does alter the food in many ways! Dead food is not for living people!

    • dessertswithbenefits

      SRomans- There is nothing in this recipe that requires you to use a microwave. And I agree with you that the microwave isn’t the healthiest form of cooking, but it does not “kill” food. It reduces the vitamin levels in certain foods, such as broccoli, but there are still essential nutrients left in the food, along with water, fiber and minerals.

  8. How could I adjust this recipe for altitude baking?

    • dessertswithbenefits

      Christy- I haven’t had much success with converting recipes for high altitudes, I’m sorry, it changes every 1,000 feet :( I would recommend baking the cupcakes as stated and fixing any problems from there. If the cakes are too dense, add a leavening agent (like more baking powder or egg whites)… if the cakes are too airy, reduce the leavening agent. Good luck! Tell me how the cupcakes work out :)

  9. coupon

    bookmarked!!, I love your web site!

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  14. Belle Kickham

    Hey Jessica!

    I LOVE your site, i think i told you this already…

    I just thought id post a comment (this is my favourite recipe of yours – so i thought i would just post it here!!) I think theres a bit of a problem with your website? (or else it’s my computer or something !! :()

    For some reason – if you click on a category/link that may have more than one page of recipes, the links at the bottom of the page (ie. 2,3,4 to get to the other pages) is missing! Oh no! I can only scroll through ONE page of all of your recipes in each category now! Sadness!!

    Do you know if this is a glitch with the site, is anyone else having this problem? In a way i hope they are so its not my computer!

    I just thought i would let you know in case you might need to fix it – i wouldnt want you missing out on your much deserved following!

    Best wishes, and happy 4th of July (even though we dont really celebrate it in Ireland – i know it is an important holiday for you!)


    • Belle-
      AWWW thank you SO much for commenting Belle!! I’m glad you like these cupcakes, they’re one of my top faves too :)
      I’m sorry you noticed that issue on my site :(
      It’s not your computer, it’s just my silly blog. I was using a plugin to help with the page numbers, but it’s now outdated and was causing a lot of issues on my blog (slow/inconsistent load times or just a blank white page)… I’m trying to figure out another way to add the page numbers back because I totally understand how frustrating it is when you’re trying to find a recipe.
      I’ll get on that ASAP!
      PS: Thanks for the Happy July 4th! :)

  15. Ooh, reply to the above comment – YES you can make quinoa flour in a food processor (with patience…or a COFFEE grinder – works wonderfully!)

    Anyway – another post from me regarding this recipe – it is just absolutely friggin amazing. made it again this week in cake form using fancy red bananas (you MUST try one- so creamy!!).
    i have a problem though :( with ALL of your cake recipes (but NONE of your cupcake recipes, or cookie recipes), i get a gummy, flat cake. It doesnt rise ever – i dont know whats going on!! Whats the difference (cooking-wise) between cartoneed and fresh egg whites? And do you think my oven may be the problem? (In ireland, we use fan and “conventional” ovens – fan assisted means the air is pushed around so the temp is even throughout, whilst conventional typically is hotter at the top of the oven etc) Do you have ovens like that in the states? Hmmm..i cant seem to figure out why the cake recipes never work!! Sadness. Have you any ideas? I tried the red velvet, vanilla, and peanut butter banana cake. all failures :(
    (Also, which is the best stevia to buy in your opninion? i have to buy online as we dont have it here – last time i got Now Foods better stevia, but i heard NuNaturals is nicer? What you think?)
    Sorry for the millions of questions! I just REALLY want to make a cake that works!!:(

    • Belle-
      Wow, I never knew you could make homemade quinoa flour! I tried making homemade quinoa puffs once but that was a total fail, haha.
      I’m sorry to hear about the gummy/flat cakes :(
      Cartoned and fresh egg whites act very differently when it comes to baking. Cartoned egg whites don’t provide much lift while fresh egg whites seem to act like a tablespoon of baking powder! I feel like cartoned egg whites act as a liquid rather than a rising agent.
      About your oven… ovens are notorious for being slightly off temperature. My old oven used to be 20 degrees off! I recommend using an oven thermometer whenever you bake to ensure the proper temp. I don’t use the fan on my oven either, so that could be it too?
      I’m also not sure what altitude you’re baking at. Sea-level and high-altitude recipes are very different. Check to see if you live in a high-altitude area because that can be another factor. I can’t publish the recipes I bake while I’m in Arizona because I’m at a high altitude and everyone at sea-level wouldn’t be able to make my recipes :(
      As for the stevia, I really like NuNaturals. They have a really pure taste to me. I also like SweetLeaf (because they’re organic AND cheaper!). Always buy alcohol-free stevia too, stevia with alcohol tastes terrible!
      I hope I answered all your questions! Don’t feel bad about asking! :)

  16. Hey again,
    So i double checked my own today just to be sure and its perfect! (i do love my oven!!). Also i am definitely at sea level (i DID have to ask my Dad that though…he hadnt a clue why i was asking…i confused him greatly).
    So hmm…could be the fan thing! I wont use a fan oven next time….i wanna try make more quinoa flour cakes (I LOVE THE FLAVOUR OF THAT FLOUR!!) its so yummy.
    Did ya ever think of doing a DIY stevia extract recipe? Ive tried many…and it always just tastes like…well, grass. Ew. I have both the powdered (green) and stevia leaf dried. Tried using both for an extract of my own but it seriously does just taste like…grass.

    Anyway, thanks for all the amazing recipes!:)


    • Michelle-
      Yay I’m glad you like your oven! I love mine too, haha 😉
      If you’re at sea level then I’m pretty sure it’s the fan. Oh, the science of baking, tsk tsk.
      I’m surprised you like the flavor of quinoa flour, almost everyone who tries it isn’t a fan. That’s why I tried to conceal the flavor with the bananas and peanut butter frosting. I mean, I like the flavor too but it all depends on what the majority thinks I guess :)
      As for the DIY stevia, I haven’t thought about it! I’m totally fine with buying it as long as it’s organic. And it also doesn’t have a grassy taste!
      Thanks so much, Michelle. I’m glad you like the recipes :)

  17. saw this online and thought of you!

    popped quinoa!
    Good luck :)

    • Michelle-
      AHHH that recipe looks awesome!! I don’t know what’s wrong with me but I tried this recipe a little while back and it was a total flop. I didn’t bake the quinoa though, so maybe I’ll try that variation next.
      Thanks so much for sending through the recipe :)

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  20. Your recipe calls for Butter Extract, but I cant find that anywhere… Only Butter flavor, will that work? Is there a difference?

    • SaraBeth-
      Butter Extract and Butter Flavor are the same thing :)
      I started calling it “Butter Flavor” recently because “Butter Extract” makes it sounds like the extract is made from butter, which it isn’t… it’s vegan and dairy-free!
      Hope you like the recipe :)

  21. Hi, just wondering what I could substitute the yogurt with? I’m guessing the yogurt works as a binding agent (I’m not exactly a pro in the kitchen). Would something like no-egg egg substitute work? Or even an extra banana? Thanks :)

    • Jess-
      Yes, the yogurt act as a binder, but it also adds moisture, like oil or applesauce would. I don’t think flax eggs or chia eggs would work, but maybe you can try replacing the yogurt with mashed banana and add some more baking powder for leavening, let’s say, an extra 1/2 teaspoon?
      I haven’t tried this but I hope it works out for you!

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  23. Do you think I could use dry peanut butter instead of peanut flour? I’ve called every health store by me and not one carries peanut flour and I don’t have time to order it before my niece’s party. She just turned vegan and asked me to make her cupcakes.

    • Jennilee-
      Hi! By dry peanut butter do you mean a peanut butter powder like PB2? If so, peanut flour and PB2 are basically the same thing, just PB2 has added sugar and salt. PB2 should work just fine in these cupcakes :)
      If you mean regular natural peanut butter in the jar, I’m afraid that won’t work :(

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