February 17, 2014

Tahini Quinoa Cupcakes: Gluten-Free, Vegan…& Full of Chocolate. ~ Lizzie Kramer {Recipe}


These cupcakes were birthed out of the desire to make cupcakes with nutritional value that still taste like delicious, delectable, lick-your-hands-orgasmically-like-you’re-in-a-chocolate-commercial, cupcakes.

I designed them this way mainly because I have poor self control and enjoy eating large quantities of chocolate anything and everything (Cocoa brushed green beans, anyone?) and also to prove to my best friend that no, quinoa-cake is not, in fact, the name of a cat.

Although quinoa-cake admittedly would be an awesome cat name, if you’re on the market for cat names that aren’t Sanskrit words your yoga teacher most likely has tattooed on his/her lower back (or wrist, ankle, foot, etc.).

Quinoa has a ton of health benefits, including giving us super-powers.

It has about nine grams of protein per ¼ cup, depending on what brand you buy—which means it has the highest protein content of any grain. It also contains iron, phosphorus, B-vitamins, vitamin E, and dietary fiber.

So you won’t be anemic, you’ll build muscle, your skin will be as soft as a baby’s butt and you’ll poop right if you eat these cupcakes. But if you don’t want a cupcake then you can always just take an iron supplement, put some whey protein powder in a smoothie, lather Victoria’s Secret hand lotion on your face and buy laxatives.

Personally, I’d take the cupcake.

Tahini is sesame paste and is what I used as a substitute for butter or coconut oil in this recipe. It’s the first plant ever to be grown for its seeds. In Chinese medicine, it is used to build up a deficient liver because of its high iron content; however, when buying sesame products be careful that they are organic and the hulls are mechanically removed rather than chemically removed. Hulls that are chemically removed are chemically removed with caustic lye.

(I don’t know what caustic lye is, but I generally don’t want to eat anything that has the word “caustic” in it.)

And the recipe also has chocolate. Need I say more?

Without further ado:


2 cups pre-cooked quinoa
⅓ cup almond milk
4 tablespoons ground flax seed (I grind my flaxseeds in a coffee grinder, because it’s cheaper, but you can also buy ground flax seed) + 12 tbsp of water
1 ½ cups organic honey (or agave or coconut sugar if you prefer…date syrup might also work as well)
¾ cup tahini
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and put cute recycled cupcake liners in a muffin tin.

Then mix the ground flaxseed and water in a bowl and let sit for about five minutes, until coagulated. This is the egg substitute.

Sift together cocoa powder and baking soda in a bowl big enough to hold all of the ingredients.

Then combine the almond milk, coagulated ground flaxseed, and vanilla in a blender. Afterwards, toss in the quinoa and the tahini and puree until smooth. If it doesn’t seem smooth enough, then feel free to add a tablespoon or two of coconut oil for good measure.

Add the mixture from the blender to the mixture in the big bowl and then stir until well combined. Place about 3 tbsp of batter into each cupcake liner, and bake for approximately 25-30 minutes.

Or just eat the batter out of the bowl…

Let cupcakes cool and enjoy!

This recipe is adapted from the “Unforgettable Chocolate Quinoa Cake” recipe. It’s equally as delicious, but uses refined sugar, butter, and milk.


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Assistant Editor: Cami Krueger/Editor: Bryonie Wise

Photo: elephant archives

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