Healthy Vanilla Toffee Quinoa Cupcakes with Toffee Frosting

Healthy Vanilla Toffee Quinoa Cupcakes with Toffee Frosting - Desserts with Benefits

I pinned this post quite some time ago because I was intrigued by the recipe.  It used 100% quinoa flour rather than a blend of flours and required very few ingredients.

I planned on baking Apple Pie Blondies (idea courtesy of commenter miss Karin!) so I could cross it off my Blondie Flavors To-Bake List, but completely forgot to buy the apples (doh).  I was at home with barely any ingredients on hand, and then I remembered this recipe.  If I omitted the seeds and raisins, the recipe has only 4 ingredients!  Instead of buttermilk I used almond milk mixed with yogurt.  I baked the batter in a loaf pan, but the texture of the loaf ended up being more like cake than bread.

I made a few more modifications for the next trial and BAM, I got the best cupcakes in the world  :-)

Okay, that might be a controversial statement, especially in my household.  My mother, sister and I loved these cupcakes, but my father was undecided as he could detect the bitterness from the quinoa flour.  Because the frosting overpowered most of the bitterness he said he would definitely reach for another cupcake, but without the frosting, he probably wouldn’t grab a second serving.

Healthy Vanilla Toffee Quinoa Cupcakes with Toffee Frosting - Desserts with Benefits

I have to admit, I’m on the fence with quinoa, I like it sometimes and I don’t like it others.  I cringe from the smell of quinoa flour straight out of the package, yet I can down all twelve three of these cupcakes in one sitting.  If you hate quinoa, you will most likely not enjoy these cupcakes, but if you’re neutral to, or love quinoa (and frosting and vanilla and toffee and awesomeness) you will adore these!

The cupcake texture is fluffy, springy and moist, and the frosting is rich and sweet (like the Pillsbury stuff).  Combined, the cake and frosting make the most nutritious, guilt-free treat ever!

Healthy Vanilla Toffee Quinoa Cupcakes with Toffee Frosting (sugar free, low fat, high protein, gluten free, vegan)

30 minutes

30 minutes

1 hour

Yield: 12 cupcakes

Serving Size: 1 cupcake



Healthy Vanilla Toffee Quinoa Cupcakes with Toffee Frosting (sugar free, low fat, high protein, gluten free, vegan)


  • 272g (2 cups) Quinoa Flour
  • 2 tsp Double Acting Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 241g (1 cup + 1 tbs) Plain Unsweetened Yogurt (coconut, soy, almond, etc.)
  • 1+1/4 cups Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
  • 3/4 tsp English Toffee Stevia Extract
  • 1/2 tsp Natural Butter Flavor
  • Frosting:
  • 1/4 cup Light Coconut Milk, canned
  • 24g (2 tbs) Non-Hydrogenated Shortening, melted (or coconut oil)
  • 1/2 tsp English Toffee Stevia Extract
  • 1/4 tsp Natural Butter Flavor
  • 75g (2/3 cup) Powdered Erythritol
  • 42g (2 scoops) Vanilla Brown Rice Protein Powder


    For the Cupcakes:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a cupcake tin with paper liners.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the quinoa flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the yogurt, milk, stevia and butter flavor.
  4. Carefully pour the dry ingredients over the wet ingredients and whisk batter until all the dry is incorporated and any clumps are gone (batter should look like creamy frosting and hold it's shape)
  5. Scoop batter into cupcake tin, then bake for ~30 minutes, or until surface of cakes spring back when tapped. Remove the cupcakes from the tin and place on a wire cooling rack.
  6. For the Frosting:
  7. In a small bowl, whisk together the coconut milk, shortening, stevia and butter flavor.
  8. Add the erythritol and whisk again.
  9. Add the protein powder and whisk again (should be thick and hold it's shape)
  10. Frost cupcakes once they are completely cool and just before serving.


This recipe is: sugar free, low fat, high protein, gluten free, vegan!
healthy vanilla cupcakes
healthy vanilla cupcakes
healthy vanilla cupcakes
healthy vanilla cupcakes
healthy vanilla cupcakes

I’ll end the torture right here…  and leave the rest to your imagination.

I wanted to eat the entire batch.  I wanted all twelve cupcakes.  I cursed at the world wondering why calories mattered *shakes fist at sky* but then I calculated the nutrition facts, ate three cupcakes and felt no guilt  :-)

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

healthy dessert blog  healthy dessert blog


healthy vanilla cupcakes

Enjoy  :-)

15 comments on “Healthy Vanilla Toffee Quinoa Cupcakes with Toffee Frosting

  1. Girl. FRIEND! These cupcakes look delectable and fully delicious! Why oh why can’t you feed me things that taste delicious and are healthy??? Get your skinny lol butt to NYC! 😛

  2. Mhmm, these cupcakes look amazing!! Thanks so much for sharing!

  3. Have you tried toasting the quinoa flour? I made some banana bread with quinoa flour and after toasting it, there was absolutely no bitter taste.

    • dessertswithbenefits

      I have not tried toasting quinoa flour but I HAVE toasted quinoa seeds. The quinoa started to smell like peanut butter, so I’m not sure if that would go so well in these cupcakes, but I’ll definitely try it in a banana bread, that’s a great idea!

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  8. I wan’t to bake these but I can’t find the rice protein powder for the frosting and was wondering if there is anything else that could work as a substitute, preferably something found in a supermarket 🙂

    • LovesBaking-
      You can try using organic/non-GMO vanilla soy protein powder instead. That or any other vegan protein powder (whey, casein and egg protein powders just don’t work the same… they don’t absorb nearly as much and turn kind of sticky and gooey). You can find brown rice protein powder at health food stores like Whole Foods and maybe even Trader Joe’s 🙂
      I hope you like the recipe!!

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  11. Is there any substitution for the yogurt?

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