the taste space

Chocolate Chickpea Flour Cupcakes with Chocolate Tofu Frosting & Cookbook Giveaway

Posted in Book Review, Desserts by janet @ the taste space on May 24, 2014

Chocolate Chickpea Flour Cupcakes

My lovely friends are true enablers.

I wanted to make cupcakes. Chocolate cupcakes.

Even with my (somewhat) minimalist pantry and kitchen, I was mostly to my goal.

I had silicone muffin wrappers, but no muffin tin. I wasn’t sure whether I could simply bake the muffins without the tin, but my friend graciously lent me her muffin tray so I did not have to experiment. (Note: Please tell me if you have tried)

Next, I found the perfect recipe: a chocolate cupcake that only used chickpea flour as its base. No wheat flour, no funny grain flours, not even oat flour. Just chickpea flour. In fact, now I was rather intrigued. Chickpea flour cupcakes??

I was missing one ingredient, though: baking powder. I have baking soda (it also helps for cleaning), but no baking powder in my minimalist pantry. Oftentimes, especially if baking with chocolate, baking soda can be substitute with baking powder. So I tried that option first. Baking experiment fail #1: I forgot to look at the conversion and it isn’t a 1:1 substitution. My cupcakes rose beautifully but tasted kind of salty and somewhat metallic.

Chocolate Chickpea Flour Cupcakes

I vowed to try again with less baking soda but my friend spared me the trouble and slipped me a bag of white powder at work. Clearly labelled baking powder. The label may have been unnecessary because if she were smuggling cocaine, I would have inherited a fortune. ;)

In any case, I shared the cupcakes at work. I was up-front that I was sharing vegan, gluten-free and grain-free cupcakes. I told people that it was made with besan/chickpea flour because quite a few of my co-workers cook with it, too, and they were shocked it could be used in a sweet baking treat.

However, what I did not share (initially) was what I was hiding in my frosting. I ran with the bean-theme and used tofu as my base! It is similar but more firm than my chocolate mousse pie filling. I thought it was too sweet when I first tasted it but it mellowed out and firmed up considerably overnight in the fridge. Both the frosting and cupcakes were well received, so I consider it a success!

Chocolate Chickpea Flour Cupcakes

This recipe is courtesy of Vegan Beans From Around the World which shares 100 recipes of naturally vegan recipes from around the world. Kelsey simplified the recipes to keep the ingredients easy-to-find and did a marvelous job of curating a variety of vegan bean-centric dishes. Dutch Split Pea Soup to Nigerian Black Eyed Pea Stew to Argentine White Bean Salad, there are plenty of dishes I still want to try. Oh, and the Navy Bean Pie (aka Muslim bean pie) which is also in the dessert section. I have been spoiled by gorgeous cookbooks as of late, so I am missing the pretty photos. Although hopefully these photos will encourage you to try out this fun cupcakes.

Recipes from Vegan Beans From Around the World  spotted elsewhere:

Hommage Hummus
Roasted Edamame
Southwestern Style Salad
Cuban Black Beans
Green Bean Fries
Black Bean and Sweet Potato Queso-Less-Dillas
Black Bean Brownies

Chocolate Chickpea Flour Cupcakes

Thankfully, the publisher is letting me give a cookbook to one reader living in the United States or Canada. To be entered, please leave a comment here, telling me about your favourite recipe made with beans. I will randomly select a winner on June 13, 2014. Good luck!

Note: I was given a copy of the cookbook from the publisher.  I was under no obligation to share a review. The opinions expressed are entirely my own.

PS. Have no muffin tins? Try making this into a cake, as seen here.

PPS. Need other ideas for using chickpea flour? Look no further than Emma’s round-up post.

PPPS. I am sharing this to Credit Crunch Munch and We Should Cocoa for $2 cakes. I didn’t price out the cupcakes but without butter and eggs, vegan cakes are typically cheaper. Chickpea flour can be found at more economical prices at Indian grocers.

Chocolate Chickpea Flour Cupcakes 
Reprinted, with permission, from Vegan Beans From Around the World

Kelsey says: These little darlings are chock full of fiber and protein, all while being vegan, gluten free, and versatile. Not to mention super easy.

2.75 cups chickpea flour (also known as gram flour)
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1.75 cups sugar (I used coconut sugar)
1.5 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 tablespoons freshly ground flax with 1/4 cup water
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup homemade soy milk (or your favorite dairy-free milk)
1 cup boiling water

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2. In a large bowl, sift together the chickpea flour, salt, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, and baking soda.

3. In a small bowl, mix together your flax and water solution, vanilla, vegetable oil, soy milk, and boiling water.

4. Mix your liquids into your dry ingredients. Pour into your cupcake liners (filling only halfway).

5. Bake on the middle rack of your oven for approximately 25 minutes, turning halfway through the cooking. The top should be firm when done.

6. Top with your favorite frosting, some sweet bean paste, or some powdered sugar.

Makes 24. (the recipe says it makes 12 regular sized cupcakes, but I made 12 cupcakes with a half-recipe)

Chocolate Tofu Frosting
Adapted from Post Punk Kitchen

10 oz dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
12 oz extra firm silken tofu (the vacuum packed kind)
1/4 cup plain soy milk
2 tbsp agave syrup or maple syrup, or to taste
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1. In a small saucepot, place an inch of water. Cover with a heat-stable bowl and bring water to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to low and allow the water to continue to simmer. Add chopped chocolate to the bowl and do not let it contact any water/steam. Melt, stirring occasionally. Once melted completely, remove from heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.

2. In a blender, combine the tofu, soy milk, sweetener and vanilla. Blend until smooth. Add chocolate and blend until completely smooth.

3. Remove from blender and allow to chill at least 2 hours, preferably overnight. It will solidify and lose some of its sweetness. Use a piping bag (or a ziplock bag with an end cut out) to frost the cupcakes.

Makes a scant 2 cups.

47 Responses

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  1. Ellen Lederman said, on May 24, 2014 at 7:34 AM

    This is definitely in my future. Haven’t made cupcakes in forever. Have the silicone muffin cups—have never tried to do it without a muffin tin, though. I kind of think the cups are sturdy enough without the liner….but not sure enough to experiment!

    What a wonderful use for chickpea flour—your microwave dhokla may need to step aside until I make this.

    Why do you think the vacuum packed silken tofu is better for the icing than the refrigerated kind? I have a friend who bought a case of the vacuum packed tofu at Costco, so this may actually be good news for her.

    • janet @ the taste space said, on May 25, 2014 at 8:20 AM

      Hey Ellen, The silken tofu is key because it is smooth, not grainy/lumpy/etc. This is a good website detailing how it is different:
      (I know it seems weird picking it up from the pantry-staple section but I generally use it for desserts and sauces)

      • Ellen Lederman said, on May 25, 2014 at 6:49 PM

        Right. I understand about silken tofu. I just misunderstood. I think you mentioned the vacuum packed because silken tofu is frequently available just this way (like at Costco), but the Asian stores also sell refrigerated silken tofu. The link from the kitchn also says it is frequently vacuum packed but doesn’t talk about the difference between silken tofu that is refrigerated versus that which isn’t. Perhaps there is no difference? Anyway, thanks for posting this.

  2. Shannon Y-I-V said, on May 24, 2014 at 8:14 AM

    You are on a roll right now with the amazing cookbook giveaways! I love hummus.. and my old roommate’s Puerto Rican rice and beans (attempting to recreate atm.). The frosting with the tofu looks like a surprisingly great texture!

  3. Jessica Eagle said, on May 24, 2014 at 8:25 AM

    Ohhh my God Janet, your photo is just gorgeous !!! Miammm !!! I’ll definitely try it sooner or later :)

    Thanks again for this giveaway :)

    My favorite dish with beans…heuuu…difficult to find just one, but I would say a soup with red lentil, kale, tomato and a wonderful veggie stock…Mmmmm!!! Or, my “creton” with lentil (It’s like a spread). I really enjoy all kind of beans so it is difficult to choose just one.

    Have a nice day :)

  4. Heidi said, on May 24, 2014 at 9:11 AM

    They look really delicious! I do hope to win this cookbook.

  5. Saniel said, on May 24, 2014 at 9:11 AM

    I’ve made vegan omelets with chickpea flour and veggies to make sturdy. Added spinach,onions, mooch, turmeric and other spices. Yummy. Will try this too, just got a big bag of chickpea flour at Indian market. So Michele cheaper than regular grocery store.Thanks

  6. Saniel said, on May 24, 2014 at 9:12 AM

    I used the vegg to make sturdy!

  7. charj said, on May 24, 2014 at 9:14 AM

    Hard to limit my favorite recipes using beans to just one. I really like this chocolate hummus.

  8. Sarah said, on May 24, 2014 at 11:16 AM

    Any combination of beans, nut butter, and chocolate = Pure Heaven in my book!

  9. Terri Cole said, on May 24, 2014 at 11:39 AM

    I have so many favorites it’s hard to pick just one, but I love roasted chickpeas! Thanks for the chance to win what looks like a great book!

  10. Carol said, on May 24, 2014 at 11:58 AM

    I have made muffins/cupcakes with silicone liners & no baking tin, with success. Simply place filled silicone liners on a baking tray to cook. I did find that the cooking time was a bit less. For example, a normal cooking time of 20 min will probably take only 15 min with liners on their own. Hope that helps with the kitchen bakeware minimalism.

    • janet @ the taste space said, on June 3, 2014 at 12:37 PM

      Thanks Carol! I tried it out with a cornbread muffin and it worked super (although probably not the best batter to test with since it wasn’t that liquid).

  11. Ali said, on May 24, 2014 at 3:23 PM

    I’ve been really enjoying chickpea salad sandwiches lately.

  12. Deena Kakaya said, on May 24, 2014 at 5:41 PM

    Chickpea flour? How very clever. X

  13. Moon said, on May 24, 2014 at 5:51 PM

    I love love LOVE chickpea flour omelettes, I eat them all the time! I also love eating balsamic braised chickpeas and almost any recipe with white beans.

    These look amazing, can’t wait to try this recipe! And the book sounds awesome.

  14. Wendy said, on May 24, 2014 at 6:27 PM

    Beans in cupcakes – hooray! (Yours look great!) I love beans in everything, so it’s impossible to choose a favorite. Maybe pressure-cooking navy beans with kale and lemon?

  15. Samantha said, on May 24, 2014 at 8:01 PM

    I do love a good black bean brownie, if we’re going with the bean-in-dessert theme. Otherwise, bean dips of all kinds are my fave!

  16. Kari @ bite-sized thoughts said, on May 24, 2014 at 8:32 PM

    What a fun recipe! I have only slightly experimented with besan flour in sweeter cooking, and never in cupcakes – but I love the idea. Great icing too :)

  17. Elizabeth said, on May 24, 2014 at 8:40 PM

    Good ole fashion bean chile with raw onion and cheez on top is such comfort food, a favorite.
    Standing ovation on the flourless frosted cupcakes!!

  18. Lydia Claire said, on May 24, 2014 at 8:43 PM

    I love to make chili! I do want to make healthier desserts with beans too.

  19. Josiane said, on May 24, 2014 at 9:57 PM

    Those cupcakes sound terrific! The first time I made a cake using chickpea flour, my oven wasn’t working properly and the cake didn’t cook as thoroughly as it should have… and so it didn’t taste as great as it should have, at least to me. My brother’s girlfriend loved it, though, and asked to take the leftovers home. :) Now, I’m sure those cupcakes would turn out great, especially if I make sure that they’re well-cooked before taking them out of the oven!

    As for my favorite bean recipe, well, I love them all. If I narrow it down by sticking to the chickpea flour theme, I’d have to say that I’m quite obsessed with socca: I probably have it at least once a week!
    Oh, I’ve just had a look at the book on Amazon, and now I *need* to get it: I really want to try that Japanese red bean ice cream! Thanks for introducing me to that cookbook, and for offering us a chance at winning a copy of it.

  20. Chrystal in Canada said, on May 24, 2014 at 10:23 PM

    This is such an interesting combo – but neato! Thanks for sharing. Frankly, I think I could eat the frosting in a bowl and be happy about it :)
    One neat item I made with beans, well, lentils, was a red lentil pumpkin pie. Sneaky way to get in some protein with the familiarity of cinnamon and company!!! That was a recipe from my mom-in-law.
    I’d love to win the cookbook – my family is trying to do more beans and veggies.

    • janet @ the taste space said, on June 13, 2014 at 5:24 AM

      Hi Chrystal, You were selected as the winner. Please check your email for more information on how to claim your prize.

  21. Ali Seiter said, on May 25, 2014 at 5:06 AM

    I’m a huge fan of chickpea salad sandwiches made with Vegenaise (aka, the most perfect vegan convenience product in existence).

  22. Johanna GGG said, on May 25, 2014 at 7:35 AM

    these sound delicious – I have successfully used chickpea flour instead of regular wheat flour in brownies – it works really well so I am not surprised these cupcakes worked so well – I haven’t experimented with coconut sugar as much – glad that works here too – and the frosting sounds delicious

  23. saradgore said, on May 25, 2014 at 10:17 AM

    Lately my favorite bar snack has been roasted chickpeas topped with candied jalapenos. Yum.

  24. Summer Turri said, on May 25, 2014 at 11:03 AM

    This recipe looks awesome! Black bean brownies are pretty inch s go to in my house! Would love to be the Canadian that wins your cook book! Fingers crossed!

  25. Gail said, on May 25, 2014 at 5:44 PM

    Hard to pick a favourite, but one is cheesy white bean spread – very versatile. The icing looks delish.

  26. kimmythevegan said, on May 25, 2014 at 8:00 PM

    Yum these look so delicious!!!! Chocolatey goodness…

  27. Jess said, on May 25, 2014 at 8:18 PM

    I bake muffins all the time in my silicone liners without bothering to put them in a muffin tin and they turn out perfectly. Give it a whirl next time!

  28. Krista said, on May 26, 2014 at 9:06 AM

    Wow–this is a really intriguiging recipe! Gluten free without all the expensive flours? That’s great! I guess I eat most of my beans as hummus, but I do use chick pea flour in some seitan recipes.

  29. gabsodon said, on May 26, 2014 at 10:15 PM

    Chickpea flour AND tofu?! This is totally my kind of recipe! Satisfies my raging sweet tooth with none of the damage of sugary traditional stuff. I love hiding beans in my baked goods! Since I usually do more vanilla than chocolate, my favorite way to use beans is in the white bean or chickpea blondes. I do variations on Chocolate covered katie’s recipe. I’m totally intrigued by a lentil granola recipe I’ve seen but haven’t gotten around to making it yet.
    Sorry, I know I shouldn’t win two cookbooks in a row, I just had to comment because BEANS/ CUPCAKES :)

  30. coconutandberries said, on May 27, 2014 at 4:32 AM

    I just died looking at that first picture! These look amazing! I’m definitely adding them to my chickpea flour post (thanks for mentioning it :).
    I’m all about that tofu chocolate frosting too. I’m really not into vegan butter subs so this is perfect.

  31. […] recipes I’ve made and enjoyed are the hearty Cinnamon-Coconut Raisin Bake and Socca Bake. These Chocolate Cupcakes also look incredible and are made entirely from chickpea […]

  32. Amber said, on May 27, 2014 at 4:56 PM

    My favorite thing to make with beans is soup! Its a super easy and delicious way to enjoy all kinds of beans!

  33. Jessica said, on May 27, 2014 at 9:00 PM

    I love chickpea “tuna” salad, or any kind of hummus. I eat beans as my main source of protein so I love them all, there is also chickpea flour in my staple gluten free vegan sandwich bread I make. Would love this book!!

  34. Becca F said, on May 28, 2014 at 5:19 PM

    I love black beans, quinoa and mango salad from Veganomicon

  35. Jenn K said, on May 29, 2014 at 9:32 AM

    I am in no way creative enough to make cupcakes out of beans. I sure wish I was! I’m limited to spreads, soups and stews (chili!)

  36. Gabby @ the veggie nook said, on May 29, 2014 at 11:49 AM

    Woah awesome! I can’t believe chickpea flour was the only flour you used here- they look so perfect!

  37. thepeacepatch said, on May 30, 2014 at 10:54 AM

    They look crazydelicious…yay for enabling friends!
    My fave bean recipe today is chickpea and pasta soup just because there’s a real chillybite in the wind. Split pea soup would be superyumful too! :)

  38. Choclette said, on May 30, 2014 at 11:19 AM

    Ooh these look fabulous Janet. I’ve been wanting to try chickpea flour in baking for ages and although I bought some a while back, I still haven’t managed to. Your tofu frosting looks rather good too. I’m not sure how many of your cupcakes you’d get for a £1 equivalent, but it would be interesting to try and find out.

  39. Cynthia said, on May 30, 2014 at 2:34 PM

    My family loves black bean brownies. I use Chocolate Covered Kate’s recipe.

  40. Healthy Vegan Friday #21 | said, on June 6, 2014 at 7:14 AM

    […] Chocolate Chickpea Flour Cupcakes from The Taste […]

  41. allularpunk said, on June 6, 2014 at 10:08 AM

    I want this book so badly! I think my favorite recipe using beans is an old classic – the Leek andBean Cassoulet from Veganomicon. I’d love to shake it up a bit with a new bean book, though!

  42. Marsha A. said, on June 10, 2014 at 8:38 AM

    Thanks for another wonder giveaway!
    My favorite recipe to make with beans is black bean veggie burgers.

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