Healthy Coconut Quinoa Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting

Healthy Coconut Quinoa Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting - Desserts with Benefits

There are two types of people:  people who go with the flow and do things on the fly, and people who are totally anal rigid and need to plan things.

I’m the planning type.  Like, I need to schedule things or know of something in advance.  If it’s not on my calendar, on my to-do list or reviewed fourteen times in my mind, it’s not happenin’ buddy.  Maybe this is my way of conquering my former habit of procrastinating?  Because if I mastered one skill (or curse?) in my early life, it would be that.

My planning led me to make those yummy Vanilla Toffee Quinoa Cupcakes.  However, the unplanned and alarming rate at which we finished off those cupcakes screwed up my baking schedule (yes, that exists).  My calendar told me that I should have a steady supply of dessert for a week when I really had disorder, chaos, despair zero cupcakes and a garbage full of cupcake wrappers.


So due to my cupcake withdrawal, I needed to make the recipe again, only this time trying out a new flavor!  I was craving coconut, so I made Healthy Coconut Quinoa Cupcakes.  Everyone knows (or at least, everyone should know) that coconut and chocolate pair beautifully together.  Like peanut butter and jelly, but more sophisticated.

Healthy Coconut Quinoa Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting - Desserts with Benefits

These cupcakes are incredibly moist, soft and springy.  It is shocking that you can actually feel good about eating them.  They are equally as sweet and delicious as the recipe it is based off of.  It still has that distinct quinoa flavor, but far less intense than the vanilla version.

Coconut and chocolate is a match made in heaven, except YOU are now part of the equation!

Healthy Coconut Quinoa Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting

25 minutes

40 minutes

Yield: 12 cupcakes




  • 272g (2 cups) Quinoa Flour
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Xanthan Gum
  • 241g (1 cup + 1 tbs) Plain Unsweetened Yogurt (coconut, soy, almond, etc.)
  • 1+1/4 cups Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
  • 3/4 tsp Coconut-Flavored Stevia Extract
  • 1/2 tsp Coconut Extract
  • 1/2 tsp Natural Butter Flavor
  • Frosting:
  • 24g (2 tbs) Non-Hydrogenated Vegetable Shortening (or Coconut Oil)
  • 1/3 cup Light Coconut Milk, canned
  • 1/2 tsp Coconut-Flavored Stevia Extract
  • 1/2 tsp Natural Butter Flavor
  • 10g (2 tbs) Unsweetened Regular Cocoa Powder
  • 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 spray a cupcake tin with cooking spray or line with parchment liners (paper tends to stick to the cupcakes since these are low fat)
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the quinoa flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and xanthan gum.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the yogurt, almond milk and extracts. Stir the dry into the wet and fold together (batter will be thicker than typical cupcake batters)
  4. Working quickly, scoop the batter into the prepared cupcake tin, gently pat the pan on the counter a couple times and bake for ~32 minutes, or until surface of cupcakes spring back when tapped. Remove cupcakes from pan immediately and let cool on a wire cooling rack.
  5. For the Frosting:
  6. In a small, microwave-safe bowl, microwave the shortening at 15-second intervals, stirring between each one, until melted.
  7. Stir in the coconut milk and extracts.
  8. Stir in the cocoa, then the erythritol, then the protein powder. Frost the cupcakes once completely cooled.


*Personally, I think these cupcakes are best eaten the next day... the quinoa flour flavor weakens (which is a good thing, since it's a bit grassy), and my paper liners peeled off easier than the day they were baked. I put the cupcakes on a plate, wrapped with plastic wrap and left at room temp overnight.

Healthy Coconut Quinoa Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting - Desserts with Benefits

Cupcake + Frosting = 150 calories??

Oh, and 2g of fiber, 3g of sugar and 6g of protein?

I don’t think any of us feel bad about eating a couple in a row  ;-)

Healthy Coconut Quinoa Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting - Desserts with Benefits
Healthy Coconut Quinoa Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting - Desserts with Benefits



Like this recipe?  Then you’ll LOVE the DIY Protein Bars Cookbook!  With 48 dessert-like protein bar recipes, full-color pages and photos for every recipe, you’ll never think twice about buying protein bars from the store again.  See this page for more information on the book, including the Table of Contents, some sneak peaks and sample images.

DIY Protein Bars Cookbook – Jessica Stier of Desserts with Benefits

Get your copy from Amazon here!

6 comments on “Healthy Coconut Quinoa Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting

  1. These look delicious! Chocolate and coconut are one of my favourites.

  2. I’m a planner too! These cupcakes are beautiful and adorable and look SO yummy! I am always in awe of your healthifying abilities!

  3. I clicked on the yoghurt link and wish I hadn’t of! So jealous! It’s hard to even find soy yoghurt here in Ireland, to have almond would be AMAZING! Muffins sound amazing, is the mixture quite liquidy? Totally checking out the vanilla version too 🙂

  4. can I replace Xanthan gum?

    • dessertswithbenefits

      I added xanthan gum to the recipe because I made a batch without it and it crumbled very easily, due to it being gluten-free. I would suggest keeping it in or replacing it with another binder, such as guar gum. I have never used guar gum but from what I hear it has similar properties to xanthan gum. You can also try adding an egg or an egg replacer to help keep the cupcakes together. Good luck!

  5. Pingback: Coconut Quinoa Cupcakes with Fudgy Chocolate Frosting

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