Surprise Spice Cupcakes


Guess what the surprise in this cupcake recipe is! It’s a very special secret ingredient.

Any guesses?

I’ll give you a few hints.

1. It’s white.

2. It’s a vegetable.

3. It looks a lot like broccoli.

4.  This picture.100_6777

If the picture didn’t give it away, then I think you need to eat more vegetables. 😉

The secret ingredient in these cupcakes is cauliflower!

I first heard about putting vegetables, namely cauliflower, in baked goods in a cookbook called Deceptively Delicious.

“Cauliflower? In cupcakes?” you might think. Take a chance! These cupcakes are flavorful because they’re full of spices like cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and ginger. They’re also crazy because of the cauliflower.


The only ingredients in these that you might not have are flaxseed meal and nondairy milk, both of which you can purchase at most grocery stores. If you can’t find flaxseed, you can always use a ½ cup of silken tofu in place of the flax egg. Not the most convenient substitution, but it’s the only one I’ve tried that doesn’t jeopardize the flavor of these cupcakes.

I tried making these with all tofu and no oil or nondairy milk… not a good idea. As you can see below, it creates HOLLOW muffins! That’s actually pretty cool… but it’s not that fun to eat. Trust me. I did a lot of taste testing on these for you. It was extremely difficult (not!). Multiple trials means I get to eat more cupcakes, which is always a good thing. Seriously, when are more cupcakes a bad thing!??


My “what the heck!?” face because I made hollow cupcakes.

I didn’t really know what to do with the frosting on these, but I wanted to make it healthy… so I made the frosting out of tofu! I know, I went SO CRAZY with these cupcakes. I promise you though- they taste good!!

I also created my very first RECIPE VIDEO for these cupcakes to give you a step-by-step visual on how to create them. I hope you like it!

Cauliflower Spice Cupcakes

Makes around 14 cupcakes

  • 3/4 cup cauliflower puree
  • 1 cup nondairy milk (I prefer almond)
  • 1 flax egg (3 Tbsp water + 1 Tbsp flaxseed meal)
  • 1/4 cup oil, preferably coconut (melted so it’s a liquid)
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 and ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1.5 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla

To make the cupcakes:

  1. Make a flax egg by combining 3 Tbsp water with 1 Tbsp flaxseed meal. Cover it and put it in the fridge for 15 minutes (so it can combine and become “eggy”).
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  3. Steam the cauliflower in one of two ways. Either put it in a steamer and steam it for about 15 minutes (or until it’s soft) or put it in a bowl and fill it partway water and put it in the microwave for three minutes (until it’s soft, look HERE for a more in-depth description of how to steam veggies in the microwave).
  4. Drain the cauliflower and puree it in a food processor. You might need to add a teaspoon to a tablespoon water to get the cauliflower to blend.
  5. Add in the nondairy milk and process for 5-10 seconds (until combined).
  6. Take the blade out of the food processor and take the bowl off the stand. We’ll be mixing everything else by hand!
  7. Add in the flax egg and oil. Stir until just combined.
  8. Add in the brown sugar. Stir until combined.
  9. Add in the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Stir until combined.
  10. Add in the spices (cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg) and vanilla. Stir until just combined.
  11. Line muffin tins with cupcake liners.
  12. Scoop the batter into the cups. Fill each cup 3/4s of the way.
  13. Bake the cupcakes for 20 to 22 minutes, or until the cupcakes are no longer gooey in the middle when you put a toothpick in them (to test their done-ness).


loosely based on this recipe from Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld

  • 1 package of silken tofu (preferably soft, but firm silken tofu works as well)
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • nondairy milk as needed to thin out the frosting (about a teaspoon)- add at the end only if you think your frosting is too thick.

To make the frosting:

  1. Open and drain the tofu, then process it in a food processor until it’s a paste-like consistency.
  2. Take out the blade and add in the powdered sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon, then stir until combined.
  3. If you think the frosting is too thick to spread on the cupcakes, add in a bit of nondairy milk (about a teaspoon). You probably only need to do this if you use firm tofu. Add in more nondairy milk if needed to attain the right consistency.
  4. Once the cupcakes have cooled for about 5 to 10 minutes, frost and enjoy!

I hope you love these cupcakes. Please let me know if you try them!

Have a fantastic rest of your day!

xx Ellie

16 thoughts on “Surprise Spice Cupcakes

  1. Natalie says:

    But how are you so good at making videos already!?! My first video was completely disastrous and you just rocked it! So I might have had a pretty good idea what the secret was, but I wasn’t expecting all those delicious spices! I LOVE spicy things, why have I never had a spiced cupcakes? So simple, but so good. And tofu frosting is a grand idea! That hole-y cupcake is freaky, but you could shoved some chocolate filling in there and it would’ve been pretty tasty 😀 Now I’m just wondering when you are changing your name to Cupcake and Ellie 😉 Jk, I love your blog name a lot, very clever ❤


    • peanutbutterandellie says:

      Aww, THANK YOU Natalie! You are so sweet. Watching your videos actually helped me a lot with video set up and lettering!
      I’m glad you were still surprised!
      Oh, that’s SUCH a good idea to stuff hole-y cupcakes with frosting. Maybe I’ll have to make hole-y cupcakes again for that purpose only. 😂
      Hahaha I definitely thought of naming my blog “Cupcake Princess” before I came up with “Peanut Butter & Ellie.” Thanks again! Let me know if you try these. 🙂


  2. Ellie says:

    Ok so I have a really…um interesting story about the Princess Diaries and the song Breakaway. The first time I ever watched that movie was at a sleepover at my best friend’s house when I was like 7. Well, as we were watching it, I started to get a really bad stomach ache. The song Breakaway was playing as I laid there trying not to throw up. Now, whenever that song plays, I get kind of queasy =P Sometimes it’s really bad and I have to excuse myself from the situation and take a moment. Weird right?
    On the other hand, these look AMAZING! I just found a pack of tofu in the back of my cupboard and I need to make something with it 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  3. demeter | beaming baker says:

    “You need to eat more vegetables” totally made me laugh! Okay, but don’t you just LOVE cauliflower? It’s practically magical. Cauliflower popcorn, mashed “potatoes,” I love it all. It’s freaking awesome that you managed to sneak cauliflower into cupcakes. PLUS tofu in the frosting? You rock! Love that you made a thorough, step-by-step video too. #bakergoals #youtubegoals

    Liked by 1 person

      • demeter | beaming baker says:

        Yes!!! It’s the best! Cauliflower popcorn isn’t really like popcorn (just a forewarning). It’s more like roasted, crispy cauliflower. You take cauliflower florets, toss it with olive oil and some seasonings, then bake in the oven. It’s so yummy! This type of recipe has been circulating the internet for awhile too. I might do a post on this… but not sure if anyone’s interested… Hope that helps, Ellie! 🙂 xoxo

        Liked by 1 person

      • peanutbutterandellie says:

        Ahhh that makes more sense. I thought it was literal popcorn made of cauliflower and I was very confused and intrigued! It seems kind of like “popcorn” shrimp? I think you should do a post of it. Why not?


    • peanutbutterandellie says:

      Thanks so much Kyra!! I can’t wait to try your surprise cupcakes either. 😉
      My mouth dropped open when I cut open the tofu cupcakes and found out they were hollow! Have your baked good experiments ever turned out hollow?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s