Healthy and Gluten Free Vanilla Pumpkin Cupcakes
A healthy gluten free pumpkin cupcake recipe with protein packed chocolate frosting
Growing up I made most of my baked goods completely from scratch. However, as I've moved around and been solo at times in my life I have found that I don't always have all the necessary ingredients to make a recipe from scratch.
Sometimes you also just need a little bit of ease in your life for busy hectic schedules. Currently in my role as a Barista at Starbucks in a mall, the holidays are when I'm working the most hours and come home more exhausted than a normal day because its just pure craziness. So when a family gathering pops up I need something quick, easy, and with ingredients that I always have in my home because grocery trips are limited. AKA you will not catch me at Whole Foods or Trader Joe's at 2 p.m. Saturday before Thanksgiving/Christmas.
Similarly, when I was on my Disney College Program we had long 14 hour days and these healthy cupcakes were the perfect quick treat to whip up.
My favorite part about these cupcakes is that I add in my own touch while using a mix. The Simple Mills mixes are my absolute favorite to bake with. They utilize clean ingredients in their mixes, are extremely delicious, and are on the lower end for added sugar.
The mixes are gluten free, organic, and use an almond flour base with coconut sugar as the sweetener.
(Note...there's nothing wrong with eating mom's homemade cupcake, but for more of an everyday treat.. I love this option)
These mixes are on the pricer side, but I only ever purchase them when they are on sale and they seem to be frequently on sale at different stores. I usually grab them at Whole Foods, Big Y, Stop & Shop or Target.
To begin you'll make the actual cupcake. I use one box of the Simple Mills Vanilla Cupcake and Cake mix. I add in 1/3 cup of canned pumpkin, 1/3 cup of water, 1 tbsp of pure vanilla extract and 3 whole eggs into the batter. Whisk the batter together and evenly disperse in a muffin/cupcake pan for 12. These willl bake for approximately 18 to 22 minutes.
While the cupcakes are baking you can make the protein fluff frosting.
Add in 1/2 cup of vanilla greek yogurt with 1/2 scoop of protein powder and a 1/2 cup of canned pumpkin into a bowl. Mix it all together with a spoon. This is the perfect frosting for cupcakes because it adds some sweetness from the pumpkin, flavor from the protein powder and has so many great health benefits with prebiotics, fiber, protein etc.,
I genuinely have the "frosting" as my breakfast some days! It's my signature protein fluff that I love for the color from the canned pumpkin, protein from the powder and yogurt, creaminess from the yogurt and pumpkin, and easiness for something light without a blender.
The first time I made this recipe with my frosting I made the mistake of frosting them all at once and storing them. They were so messy the next day. Now, I place the frosting in a storable container. I frost them as I eat them and place the rest in the fridge for another day.
It's also a fun activity to put the frosting on the table in a separate bowl and let the kids at the event frost them themselves. Kids love helping in the kitchen and exposure to cooking is such a great way to practice a healthy relationship with food.
You will want to store both the cupcakes and the frosting in the refrigerator as there are no preservatives in the mix.