Guess what the surprise in this cupcake recipe is! It’s a very special secret ingredient.
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.
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. “Eeeeew!!”
Take a chance. Make a (healthy) change (to the average cupcake). And breakawaaaaaaaaay (from your baking stereotypes).*
*sidenote: was anyone else a huge “Princess Diaries” fan when they were younger?? Those were my favorite movies (and the song “Breakaway” by Kelly Clarkson, which was featured in the second movie, was one of my favorite songs) for a good year in elementary school.
Back to cupcakes, since that’s probably why you’re here.
They’re 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!??
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:
- 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”).
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- 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).
- 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.
- Add in the nondairy milk and process for 5-10 seconds (until combined).
- Take the blade out of the food processor and take the bowl off the stand. We’ll be mixing everything else by hand!
- Add in the flax egg and oil. Stir until just combined.
- Add in the brown sugar. Stir until combined.
- Add in the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Stir until combined.
- Add in the spices (cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg) and vanilla. Stir until just combined.
- Line muffin tins with cupcake liners.
- Scoop the batter into the cups. Fill each cup 3/4s of the way.
- 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:
- Open and drain the tofu, then process it in a food processor until it’s a paste-like consistency.
- Take out the blade and add in the powdered sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon, then stir until combined.
- 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.
- Once the cupcakes have cooled for about 5 to 10 minutes, frost and enjoy!