My kids’ school had a cake day to celebrate the end of the school year. I love baking cake, and thought it would be the perfect opportunity to try out my newest recipe using chestnut flour. I always find it funny how open-minded kids can be about food. It’s our own hangups and ingrained beliefs that lead us to think that children require high amounts of sugar and food colouring in order to make food appealing for them. Kids will eat anything as long as it tastes good to them and, most importantly, looks good to them! That’s why I put so much emphasis on my presentation- I want my healthy options to be as appealing as possible to my boys so that they’ll try it.
I have to say, I was pleasantly impressed by how well received my vegan, gluten free, sugar free cupcakes were by both adults and kids! The date sugar adds the perfect level of sweetness to this recipe, and I like it because it’s the purest form of sweetener that you can get. This is due to the fact that it’s not processed at all- it’s made from dried, pulverized dates, so all the nutritional benefits of the dates remains intact in the sugar. For the buttercream, I chose to use agave syrup, because it can be used in place of corn syrup. In this case, not only does it add sweetness and richness, but it also acts as a stabilizer, keeping the buttercream from separating, and allowing it to holds its shape on top of the cakes.
I chose to use chestnut flour in these cakes because of its high protein content and nutty flavour. Chestnut flour is naturally sweet, adding to the sweetness of the finished product. Raw cacao is full of protein as well, and also contains calcium, riboflavin, and phytonutrients that aren’t found in processed dark chocolate. I love how chocolatey it made these cakes! I rounded out the texture and flavour of the cakes by using coconut oil and hazelnut butter as my primary sources of fat. Not only are these both great sources of good fats, they also made the cakes rich and moist.
These cakes contain a lot of ingredients, but they’re fairly simple to put together. In truth, I think the fact that there’s no presence of gluten means that the batter can be mixed without any of the precautions you usually need to take with traditional cake batters. The lack of eggs (which act as a leavening agent in conventional cake recipes) is compensated by a bit more baking powder than I would tend to use in a basic cake batter, but in truth the rice flour is light enough that the cakes tend to rise without any issue.
Overall, I would say that this was a pretty successful recipe! The kids all loved the chocolatey, fluffy cakes with creamy icing, and I enjoyed knowing that they were getting a heavy dose of protein, vitamins, minerals, good fats and antioxidants, without any processed sugars or animal fats! Eating well should be fun too! As always, eat well to live well!
- 1 cup Rice flour
- 1 cup Chestnut flour
- 3 tbsp Raw Cacao
- 2 tbsp Coconut cream
- 6 tbsp Date sugar
- 1/2 cup Coconut oil
- 2 tbsp Hazelnut butter
- 200 ml Rice milk
- 1 tsp Vanilla
- 1 tsp Corn flour
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Baking powder
- 1 cup Cashews, soaked overnight
- 1/2 cup Rice milk
- 1 tbsp Raw Cacao
- 1 tbsp Agave syrup
Preheat oven to 185C (375F)
2. Make the cake- Mix all ingredients together until a smooth batter is formed.
3. Pour into individual cupcake molds lined with paper, and bake for 25 minutes. To check doneness, insert a toothpick into the center of the middle cake. If it comes out clean, the cakes are done. If not, allow them to continue baking and check at 10 minute intervals.
4. Make the cream- In a blender or food processor, combine all ingredients until smooth. If you need to make it a bit smoother, add more rice milk, 1 tbsp at a time. Refrigerate for 10 minutes to stiffen it up again.
5. Once the cupcakes have completely cooled, spread or pipe the buttercream on top.