Healthy Bittersweet Chocolate Quinoa Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting

Happy National Bittersweet Chocolate Day!

Bittersweet Chocolate Quinoa Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting

I’ve gotta admit, I’m not really a fan of bittersweet chocolate.  I agree with Ina Garten who always says on her show, Barefoot Contessa, that bittersweet chocolate is too bitter and semisweet chocolate is too sweet (except I don’t think anything is too sweet!)

As I made these cupcakes I was expecting them to have a super sweet chocolate flavor, like the cupcakes you can buy at a bakery.  But as I sunk my teeth into the first cupcake, I realized that these weren’t your typical sugary baked good.  These were bittersweet, sophisticated, and left me wanting more…  to my surprise.

I like sweet cupcakes, you know, the kind that make your teeth twinge and stomach ache.  Why did I like these cupcakes so much?  I think it’s because these cupcakes were just sweet enough where you wanted (needed?) to grab another one.  Kind of like eating potato chips, where each chip is just salty enough where you want to grab another few hundred.

Bittersweet Chocolate Quinoa Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting

These cupcakes are fluffy, springy and packed with chocolate flavor.  It’s tough to tell that they are made with healthy ingredients such as quinoa flour, flax and yogurt!

Healthy Bittersweet Chocolate Quinoa Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting

Yield: 11 cupcakes


  • 136g (1 cup) Quinoa Flour
  • 80g (1/2 cup) Brown Rice Flour
  • 27g (1/3 cup) Unsweetened Regular Cocoa Powder
  • 13g (2 tbs) Ground Flaxseed
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 241g (1 cup + 1 tbs) Plain Almond Yogurt (other yogurts will probably work, like dairy, soy...)
  • 1/2 tsp Instant Coffee
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tsp Stevia Extract
  • 1+1/4 cups Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
  • Frosting:
  • 24g (2 tbs) Non-Hydrogenated Vegetable Shortening (I used Spectrum Organics)
  • 1/3 cup Light Coconut Milk, canned
  • 1/2 tsp Stevia Extract
  • 10g (2 tbs) Regular or Dark Cocoa Powder (unsweetened)
  • 75g (2/3 cup) Powdered Erythritol
  • 42g (2 scoops) Chocolate Brown Rice Protein Powder (I used SunWarrior)


    For the Cupcakes:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a cupcake tin with parchment liners (or spray with cooking spray... the cupcakes tend to stick to the paper liners since they are so low fat)
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the quinoa flour, brown rice flour, cocoa powder, flax, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the yogurt, coffee and extracts, then whisk in the almond milk.
  4. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet. Whisk batter for ~20 seconds, or until batter is fluffy and even.
  5. Scoop the batter into the cupcake tins (level out the batter if needed) and bake for ~20 minutes, or until surface springs back when tapped. Take cupcakes out of pan immediately after removing from the oven, let cool on a wire cooling rack.
  6. For the Frosting:
  7. In a medium-sized bowl, add the shortening and coconut milk, microwave at 30-second intervals, stirring between each one, until shortening has melted.
  8. Stir in the stevia, then the cocoa powder, then the protein powder.
  9. Frost the cooled cupcakes and serve!


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

Bittersweet Chocolate Quinoa Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting

The nutrition label on the left is for cupcakes alone, the label on the right is for the cupcakes + frosting:

Healthy Dessert Blog  Healthy Dessert Blog

Can you believe it?  Nutritionally balanced cupcakes!!  Of all things…

Bittersweet Chocolate Quinoa Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting

These don’t look healthy and sure don’t taste healthy, but they are  🙂

17 comments on “Healthy Bittersweet Chocolate Quinoa Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting

  1. STOPIT!

    I can’t even handle your extreme level of awesome.

    These cupcakes….just….whoa.

  2. I usually don’t like cupcakes because they’re too sweet, but these look perfect! The nutrition facts are amazing too. I never would have guessed that label belonged to a chocolate cupcake.

  3. I love the look of your blog. What template are you using?

  4. Cute cupcakes.. Im gonna try ’em!

  5. You know that show, “Sweet Genius” on the Food Network?

    Yeah…you are THE Sweet Genius! 😉

    Thanks for such a tasty looking (and I’m sure delicious – I will find out tomorrow) recipe!


  6. Oh wow, an easy vegan & gf recipe for delicious (and healthy!) cupcakes :)) I may whip up some Vanilla Sun Warrior frosting… thanks for sharing!

  7. tasty and healthy, it just can’t be better.I’ve featured this recipe on my blog, hoping that you don’t mind, but if you do, please contact me and I’ll remove it. All the best.

  8. I made these for me and my boyfriend and we loved them! They were so chocolatey and rich. I added some semi sweet mini chocolate chips because they were lying around and I felt like it and obviously it was delicious (can’t ever go wrong with more chocolate) but on their own these cupcakes were awesome. This was my first of your recipes and I can’t wait to try more, I’m thinkin’ poptarts next… or oreos.. hmmm (decisions, decisions)

    • dessertswithbenefits

      I’m so glad you liked the cupcakes Anne! The chocolate chips sound like a great addition, I’m definitely adding those next time I bake these. I hope you like the next recipe you try 😀

  9. I just finished making these for the first time, and the frosting was amazing! The only problem I had was that there’s a rather nasty quinoa after taste from the cupcakes… I followed the recipe, but maybe I did something wrong… sorry… 🙁

  10. or maybe that’s how they’re supposed to taste because they’re bitter sweet?

    • dessertswithbenefits

      Quinoa flour will always impose a bitter quinoa flavor, but it usually gets masked by stronger flavors such as chocolate, banana, cinnamon, etc. The cupcakes are meant to be bittersweet, so if you are used to milk chocolate or white chocolate, you might be tasting the bitterness from the bittersweet chocolate as well as the quinoa. If the cupcakes have too much of a strong flavor for you, you can try doubling the frosting or adding some chocolate chips 🙂

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