Red velvet cupcakes are the epitome of a perfect dessert. They’re decadent, pretty to look at (that’s half the point of confections, right?), and they’re personally portioned, so it’s even better if they’re jumbo sized.
Sadly though, cupcakes are often disposed to boxed cake-mixes or in-store purchases, both of which can be sickeningly sweet and lack the depth of heart necessary to make desserts grace the soul. No, I think the best way to achieve the ultimate red velvet cake is to do it from-scratch, in our kitchens, using only ingredients we can pronounce.
After playing with green banana flour, I’ve come to realize that it’s nearly the perfect baking flour. For one, it doesn’t have to be mixed with other flours or starches, which is good because figuring out those ratios is an actual nightmare. Secondly, green banana flour is a minimally processed whole food, so it’s healthy! It’s full of complex carbohydrates, resistant starches, and prebiotic fiber, all of which support a balanced gut flora. Thirdly, it creates baked goods that are light & fluffy without any fuss, making muffins, cakes, and other pastries a piece of cake… literally!
What would red velvet cupcakes be without cream cheese frosting? The answer is “a darn good muffin.” Red velvets need cream cheese frosting like Deadpool needs his suit, and fortunately for us, we have nutritional yeast, which is the key to unlocking cheesy flavor.
In little amounts, nutritional yeast can even be used in desserts – as if you thought we couldn’t find another use for it. Come to find out that coconut cream, lemon juice, coconut butter, Swerve “powdered sugar,” vanilla extract, and a ‘lil bit of nutritional yeast form an amazing vegan, sugar-free cream cheese frosting. It’s lightly tangy, slightly “cheesy,” stable but soft, and sweet without being overly sweet.
You might be wondering what makes these beautiful babies glow vibrant red like Satan, but trust me, no devilish wizardry is in effect here. Rather the magical potency contained within a beet is what’s responsible for their color, and we didn’t even have to touch a beet!
Let me explain: I love beets, but if roasted and consumed in large amounts, they can seriously spike blood sugar levels, which isn’t the biggest concern for me, but can be a serious problem for many people. Thankfully, however, someone figured out how to concentrate a beet’s pigment, turn it into a liquid, and sell it as natural food coloring, which is something I think all of us can get down with. Two ounces of beet food coloring and the batter looks like radioactive goo from a planet whose heart has a gravitational pull strong enough to reel in even the toughest of souls (it’s probably Venus, isn’t it?).
If you’re familiar with the creaming method, then making these cupcakes is a sheer breeze. It goes a ‘lil somethin’ like: whip aquafaba to stiff peaks, beat coconut oil with erythritol, add wet & dry ingredients in batches, fold in aquafaba, and bake! You got it? Alright, let me get you to that recipe before you suffer from a lack of cupcakes (it’s a serious thing, ya know).
If you like what your taste buds are tellin’ ya, leave behind a nice rating, share your thoughts with us in the comments, or show us your creations by tagging @noeggsorham on Instagram.
Go Forth & Devour,
Ryan & Kim
Sugar-Free Red Velvet Cupcakes with Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting (grain-free & Plant-Paradox friendly)
Light chocolate, soft and fluffy cupcakes with sweet & tangy frosting. All sugar-free, vegan, gluten-free, and lectin-free.
Red Velvet Cupcakes
- 220 g (1 1/4 c) green banana flour
- 10 g (2 tbsp) cocoa powder
- 8 g (2 tsp) baking powder
- 2 g (1/2 tsp) baking soda
- 2 g (1/2 tsp) salt
- 4 oz aquafaba (from a can of Eden’s Chickpeas for lectin-free)
- 1 flax egg (1 tbsp flax meal + 3 tbsp water)
- 144 g (3/4 c) erythritol
- 112 g (1/2 c) Buttery Coconut Oil or virgin coconut oil
- 8 oz (1 c) light coconut milk*
- 1/4 c natural red food coloring*
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp stevia extract
Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting
- Pre-heat oven to 350° F and line a cupcake pan with muffin liners. Because we used extra tall liners, we came out with 8 cupcakes, but if you use regular sized liners, you will likely have 10 cupcakes.
- Sift banana flour, cocoa powder, baking powder & baking soda together into a medium bowl. Set aside.
- In a measuring cup or mixing bowl, stir together flax egg, light coconut milk, red food coloring, apple cider vinegar, vanilla, and stevia until smooth. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand-up mixer fitted with a whisk attachment or in a medium glass or metal bowl with an electric hand whisk, beat the aquafaba on high until stiff peaks are formed. This can take up to 6 minutes.
- Transfer aquafaba to a different bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set in fridge until needed.
- Rinse out bowl of stand-up mixer. To that, add solid Buttery Coconut Oil, erythritol, salt and beat using the paddle attachment on medium-high until fluffy, which takes about 2 minutes.
- Scrape down sides with a spatula and return speed to low. Slowly add in 1/3 of the dry mixture and beat until all mixed in. Then, add in 1/3 of the wet mixture and beat on low until mixed in.
- Repeat step 7, scraping down the sides as needed, until all of the dry & wet ingredients are mixed in and the batter is smooth.
- Take out aquafaba from fridge. If is deflated at all, whisk it with a hand whisk until it props back up.
- Remove bowl from stand-up mixer and vigorously stir in 1/2 of the aquafaba to lighten the batter up. Then gently fold in the second half of aquafaba – remaining white specks are a good sign that you did’t overwork it.
- Divide batter among prepped tins, filling each one 4/5 of the way full. Place in pre-heated oven to bake for 18 minutes.
- After 18 minutes, check the cupcakes. The edges should be set, the center should be clean, and a toothpick inserted into the middle should come out with a small amount of batter on it. If your cupcake meets this criteria, remove them from the oven.
- If the center is still too wet, place back in for 3 minutes then check them again. Repeat until complete; bake time will differ height and width of your cakes.
- Allow cupcakes to rest in tins for 15 minutes, then transfer them to a cooling rack to cool the rest of the way; 45 minutes to an hour.
- While cupcakes cool, use a paddle attachment to beat together coconut cream, coconut butter, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, vanilla, and a small pinch of salt until a paste is formed.
- To that, slowly mix in powdered sweetener until frosting is smooth, scraping down sides as needed. Transfer to a small bowl and cover with plastic wrap until ready to use.
- When cupcakes are cool, generously frost each one with as much frosting as your heart desires. Best enjoyed day of, however, they’ll last for up to 3 days covered at room temperature.
*When it comes to “light coconut milk,” I use coconut milk from a carton, such as brands like SoDelicious sell. However, if you only have full-fat canned coconut milk on hand, you can thin out 1/4 c of it with 3/4 c of water for the same effect.
*The name of the food coloring we used is called “Select Natural Color Red/Pink,” its ingredients are glycerin (more on that ingredient in this post), beet extract, and water, and we bought it from Whole Foods.
*We didn’t experiment with any other food colorings or dyes, but I’m confident that other brands or “beet extracts” will work, I’m just not certain about the amount to use.