Chocolate + Peanut Butter + Bananas = Heaven

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes 2Yup. I finally did it. I turned my favorite flourless muffins chocolate. Except when you do that, then you add chocolate chips, they’re not really muffins anymore, they’re cupcakes. Or are they? Who cares. They’re pretty amazing.

I served these awesome treats to my co-workers in the beauty biz twice. Both times they devoured them with yummy sounds in under 15 minutes. Which makes me think they taste good even to the types of eaters whose palates might not be used to, ahem, the healthier versions of sweet treats. And that’s just why I created them! I don’t think you should have to sacrifice enjoyment for health.

The best compliment I got? From Steve: “Wow, that tastes like I cupcake, but I still feel good. I don’t feel like I ate a cupcake.”

Awesome.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes 1

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Cupcakes with Cashew Peanut Cream Filling

Gluten Free. Dairy Free.
Inspired by this recipe.

Ingredients:
For the muffins…

2 Very Ripe Medium Bananas
3 Eggs
1 Cup Peanut Butter
1/3 Cup Cacao Powder
1/3 Cup Maple Syrup (or honey if you prefer)
1 1/2 Tsp. Baking Soda
1/2 Tsp. Baking Powder
2 Pinches Salt
1 Tsp. Vanilla Extract
1 Tsp. Instant Espresso or Dark Coffee Powder (optional, but awesome for depth of flavor)
1/2 Cup Chocolate Chips (I recommend organic, dairy free. I used Enjoy Life mini chips)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350
Add all ingredients to the bowl of your mixer and blend well. You could also blend with a hand mixer.
Stir in the chocolate chips.
Line a standard muffin tin with paper or silicone liners.
Divide the batter evenly among the cups.
Bake for 15 minutes. (They will be slightly slightly soft and firm up when they cool, but if they look gushy, bake 2-3 more minutes)
Cool 5 minutes in the pan then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Peanut Cashew Cream Filling

Ingredients:

1/3 Cup Creamy Peanut Butter
1/3 Heaping Cup Cashews (soaked one hour, if you remember)
1/2 Cup Almond Milk or Water
1/4 Cup Coconut Oil
2 Tablespoons Maple Syrup
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Directions:

Blend well in a high powered blender (like a Vitamix or Blendtec). Chill until firm. If after a couple of hours it doesn’t seem to firm up, add more coconut oil and cashews and blend and chill again.

To Fill:

Use a 1/4 tsp. measure to scoop a tiny amount of cake out of the center of each cupcake. I  plunge it into the middle, about 2/3 way down, then spin and pull out the crumbs. Then I eat them. :)

Fill a pastry bag or a ziploc with  the corner cut off with the filling, insert the tip into the cupcake, Squeeze to fill then swirl more “frosting” up and around the top of the cupcake in a pretty spiral.

Chill until ready to serve.

Some notes:

This is a very easy recipe but I’ll give you a few hints, notes and options. Just read them all through first and you’ll see what’s right for you. Then it will be a snap.

1. If you don’t have a vitamix or other high-powered blender, you may want to use the whipped cream in this recipe.

2. If you like the cupcakes moist, keep them at room temperature but don’t fill them and frost them until just before serving. The filling wants to stay very cold, but the cupcakes are better at room temperature, in my opinion. Don’t worry if you can’t fill them right before serving though. The difference is slight.

3. Make a double batch. Seriously, there were not enough of these to keep everyone happy. I think they’d freeze well for serving on a moments notice too. Oh, and I think I’d like to do mini-cupcakes next time. I’m guessing the cooking time will be much shorter. If you want to try, check after 8 minutes and then decide whether they need more time. I’d say not more than 10 minutes.

4. Eggs cannot be replaced in this recipe. Sorry vegans! They’re just key to this nut butter baking!

Enjoy!