Vegan Sugar Free Chocolate Cupcakes with Aquafaba Buttercream


So I was looking at my blog and thinking, “Here I am, a newly certified Post Grad Certificate of Nutrition graduate, and some of the cakes on my ‘healthy’ blog are full of refined flour and sugar and chocolate.”  Well, this has got to stop! I don’t mind making the odd sugary fondant cake for other people because fondant decorating for me is an art form and I like making gorgeous things for other people.  But today I decided to stay true to my word and make something healthy and delicious.  Well, healthy….ish.  The cakes and frosting are both egg free, dairy free, and sugar free.  But what does that leave us? FAT!  Yep, you can’t get rid of all that protein and carbohydrates without leaving a bunch of fat.  So, even though these lovely little cakeys have no nasty refined sugar and no eggies or butter, they are still cakes.   And now I have a dozen of the little buggers, so I had better call some friends around to help me eat them.

You might be thinking “What is Aquafaba?”.  Well, it is the water left over after you boil chick peas (or you can just drain it out of a can).  It has starch in it that will foam like egg whites.  So you can make pavlova, meringue, mousse, macarons, marshmallows…pretty much anything that requires fluffy egg whites can be made vegan with aquafaba.  AMAZING!  For more aquafaba info visit this website where lots of people are sharing their aquafaba experiences and recipes.  Aquafaba also makes yummy buttercream as you can see.


I adapted the recipes from two sources: the cupcake from vegan blogger Kathy Patalsky’s Peanut Butter Chocolate Vegan Cupcakes recipe and the frosting from pastry chef Gretchen Price’s Vegan ‘Butter’ Cream recipe.  Both of these recipes, although vegan, had heaps of sugar.  So that just had to go!


 What happened was pure magic.  Firstly I am new to veganising cupcakes, so I was very happy Editwhen the cupcake turned out light, fluffy and very chocolately.  Secondly, I am really OVER cake frosting that is so sickly sweet.  Even though I swap out the sugar for Xylitol, American buttercream has just too much sweetness for my taste.  This Swiss buttercream is so smooth and nowhere near as sweet, but it is BUTTERY.  Yep, all that vegetable shortening makes for a fat butter creamy frosting.  So if you are after a decedent vegan option for your next party or high tea – I highly recommend both of these. These cupcakes are not low calorie though – so be warned.  I also recommend that you look at Gretchen’s video HERE for tips on making the buttercream because it takes some doing (in fact, it takes 2 days!)

So here are my versions of the two recipes above:



1/2 cup plain flour

1 cup self raising flour

1 cup Xylitol
1/2 cup vegan butter, melted

1/2 cup Almond milk (I used home-made)
1/3 cup water with 1 tsp chia seeds (mix and leave for 10 mins)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 mashed banana
120gm sugar free apple sauce (1 tub)

Preheat oven to 305˚F or 180˚C
Blend all wet ingredients and fruit
In a large mixing bowl, mix all dry ingredients
Add wet to dry and mix on medium speed for 3-5 minutes until fluffy.
Spoon into cupcake cases and bake for 20 minutes.



Water from 2 cans Chick Peas (or make your own – see below*)
1 cup Xylitol Granulated
2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
1 cup Xylitol – Blended
3 gm Cornstarch
250gm Vegan Butter (not spreadable)
250 Solid Vegetable shortening
35gm Raw Cocoa Powder

Reduce the chickpea water to 1 cup over medium to low heat
Whilst it is still boiling hot add the Granulated Xylitol then put in the fridge for as long as possible (overnight is good but a couple of hours will do).  It will become thick and gelatinous.
Whip the aquafaba in a stand mixer on high speed until it is thick and glossy and has firm peaks (about 15 minutes!)
Sift the blended Xylitol and add all at once. Mix on low speed to combine.
Add the shortening and vegan butter.  It will become lumpy and lose it’s air but don’t worry – keep whipping.
Add vanilla and cocoa powder.  Voila!

*Make your own chickpea water
Cover 1 cup of dry chickpeas in 2 cups of water and soak overnight
Pour water and chickpeas into saucepan and add 2 more cups of water
Cook uncovered for 30 mins.
Drain and keep the water.   It should be about 1 1/2 cups. Strain the water.

If you have any questions or comments I would love to hear from you.

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