These rich and sweet Mini Chocolate Coconut Cakes are sugar, gluten and oil-free, plus they’re also full of protein, fiber, and real food ingredients!
Chocolate, coconut, and cake in one recipe…
I’m in, what about you?
I promise, friends, despite that this looks like a Christmas recipe, it was not intended to be from the beginning. I’m actually one of those people who refuses to celebrate Christmas until Thanksgiving is over. Okay, except for maybe a few Christmas songs and decorating a tree. But not baking. I reserve all my “Christmas” recipes for after Thanksgiving has passed.
So I promise, this is not a Christmas recipe despite that it looks just like one. Just wait and see!
You see, I was trying to make some sort of recipe that served as both a snack, indulgent breakfast, and a healthy dessert all in one.
This is not a muffin recipe and it’s not a recipe for a batch of cupcakes. It’s none of those and all of those in one. Is this making sense to anyone besides me?
There’s no frosting so it’s not really cupcakes, but these mini cakes are not really breakfast-y enough to be considered muffins. Although you could definitely eat these for breakfast, they’re so healthy. In fact, I often do!
See, this recipe started out as a mini chocolate coconut muffins, and then right after they came out of the oven, I randomly just decided that frozen cranberries would be cute stuck in the middle of them and thought they would add a fun, tart pop of seasonal flavor.
And, of course, why not sprinkle on some shredded coconut too?
And then all of a sudden, I realized I had a batch of mini cake-like treats that looked like Rudolph-inspired treats. Whoops!
Oh well, they do taste great despite being awfully Christmas-y looking and rather festive, even if I do say so myself.
But enough about the way they look … let’s get down to what they taste like.
They’re super airy and fluffy, really filling but light on the stomach and they’re packed with flavor without being too dry or rich. I really enjoy having them either as a snack or as a dessert.
For instance, these little cakes are perfect for enjoying with a cup of coffee, tea, or with a dab of unsweetened coconut yogurt, nut butter, or an all natural fruit spread on top.
Plus, these little cakes are full of nutritious ingredients that make them a truly guilt-free treat and ones that offer health benefits at the same time.
Nutritional Bragging Rights of This Recipe Include:
- Over 6 grams of fiber per mini cake, all from real food ingredients
- Over 10 grams of protein per mini cake, all from real food ingredients
- High in omega-3’s, rich in heart-healthy nutrients
- No oil, added sugar, animal ingredients, or refined grains/flour
- Great source of amino acids and B vitamins for energy, mood, muscle health, metabolism, and focus
You’ll see that I chose to use a protein powder in this recipe, just like many of my other recipes, such as my Snickerdoodle Protein Squash Muffins.
I enjoy baking with plant-based protein powder in replacement to regular flour, because it’s really easy, fool-proof, and it adds just the right of fluff and texture that you need to make muffin and cake-style recipes like this one work without adding refined flour products.
For the protein powder in this recipe, I used Garden of Life Raw Organic Meal in the vanilla flavor, my favorite plant-based protein powder of choice that also includes a variety of nutrient-dense ingredients. You can use any protein powder you like, but this one is my favorite plant-based option and one that digests really easily for me.
It also works great in baking, not just smoothies!
I also used dark cocoa powder in this recipe versus regular because dark cocoa provides so much more depth and flavor. It’s also alkalized during the processing of the cocoa which reduces (and many times eliminates) the need for baking soda in a baked recipes.
I chose to use NuNaturals cocoa powder, one of my favorite dark cocoa powders on the market. I also used NuNaturals pure stevia in this recipe to sweeten it without sugar, which is really potent so you can use less and save money.
For the binding ingredients, I used flax, reduced fat shredded coconut, and pumpkin. I also used flax and psyllium husk powder (mentioned in my baking staples guide!) as a simple and tasty replacement for eggs.
Today’s recipe makes right at one dozen mini cakes, which can easily be eaten throughout the week or even frozen for longer periods of time.
And, you can use any berries to garnish on top of the cakes, any protein powder you want, and any type of cocoa powder you enjoy.
However you choose to make this recipe your own, I think you’re going to love it as much as I do!
And let’s be honest, what’s better than having cake and a muffin at the same time?
Not much, am I right!? 🙂
- 1/3 cup quick oats (gluten-free if needed)
- 1/3 cup vanilla or chocolate protein powder of choice - I used Garden of Life Raw Meal
- 1/2 cup golden ground flax meal
- 6 tbsp. of coconut flour
- 2 tbsp. psyllium husk powder
- 1 tsp. pure white stevia powder or 10 drops of alcohol-free liquid stevia
- 1/4 cup of Dutch-processed cocoa (dark cocoa powder) - I used NuNaturals
- 1/3 cup unsweetened coconut shreds (I used Reduced Fat variety by Let's Do Organic brand)
- dash of ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. real vanilla bean powder or 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 cup pure pumpkin purée or unsweetened applesauce
- 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk
- 1 cup of cold water
- berries of choice (I used frozen cranberries), shredded coconut
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Add the oats, protein powder, flax meal, coconut flour, cocoa, and coconut shreds to a bowl. Stir to incorporate.
- Next, add the baking powder, spices, the vanilla, psyllium, and the stevia. Stir again.
- Open up a can of pumpkin purée (or 1 cup of unsweetened applesauce) and add 1/2 of the can (equal to 1 cup of pumpkin) into the bowl with the other ingredients.
- Now add in the almond milk, and then add in the water, stirring as you go. It will be really, really thick so you may need to add 1/4 cup more water at a time to get it to the right consistency. You want a thick, muffin-style, cupcake batter.
- Once you're done mixing, dollop in the batter into the prepared pan, and fill the cups to the top (they won't rise too much, so it's fine to fill them full).
- Place the pan in the oven and bake for 20-23 minutes. Mine were actually done in about 18 minutes, but our oven runs hot. They should be dark brown on top and a fork should come out clean. Just don't over-bake—these cook up quick!
- Once they're done cooking, remove and let them sit in the pan on the counter for 5 minutes. Then add a berry of choice in the center of each mini cake (I used frozen cranberries) and sprinkle on a little coconut if you wish. The berries you choose may die the coconut a little, so it's fine and nothing to be alarmed about.
- Once they're completely cool, remove from the pan and put in a container. You can store them in the fridge for up to 5-6 days or you can put them in baggies and freeze up to 1-2 months.
Do you have a favorite healthy baked treat you enjoy for breakfast and dessert?