Black Bean Chocolate Cupcakes – Recipe

Black Bean Chocolate Cupcakes - Recipe

I let my two year old have cupcakes for breakfast.


Before you go all Parenting Police on me, let me just say that I only frost them for special occasions (birthdays, etc). 😉 I should probably add that my recipe contains no flour, grains or refined sugar. Oh wait, without the frosting would that make it a muffin? Whew! We’re good then!


So what’s in this cupcake recipe that I would give it to a toddler in the morning and not feel guilty about it? Eggs, maple syrup, cocoa powder and…beans. Intrigued? Grossed out? If it makes you feel better, no one has ever told me these tasted gross. Not sure if they’re just being polite, though.


I first heard about baking with beans on the mommy message boards. I decided that bean cake sounded like the perfect alternative for a “healthy” smash cake for my then-soon-to-be-one-year-old’s birthday party, but the majority of the recipes I found online were either Weight Watchers, still full of sugar or used weird sugar replacements that I wasn’t comfortable giving my baby. In the end, I came up with this recipe using maple syrup as the sweetener. The end result was a surprisingly moist, crumbly cupcake. Mini Foodie prefers to eat them with a spoon, which is fine by me because otherwise it gets everywhere. 


The maple syrup can be replaced with honey as a cheaper and slightly less sweet option. I just didn’t feel comfortable giving my daughter her first bit of honey at her birthday party. The coffee is also optional, but it does add an extra punch to the chocolate flavor. Funny how coffee does that.


Eggs and beans sounds like a substantial breakfast, right? I think so, too. My family loves them, and I feel totally fine giving them to my daughter as part of her meal. Every time I make them to share, I get asked for the recipe, so I figured I’d share it with everyone!


Black Bean Chocolate Cupcakes

Prep time
10 mins
Cook time
30 mins
Total time
40 mins
Black Bean Chocolate Cupcakes - Recipe

Author: Joy @ The Joyful Foodie

Recipe type: dessert, breakfast

Serves: apx 12-18 cupcakes depending on your cup size


  • 1 can of black beans (15oz), rinsed and drained well
  • 5 large eggs
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ cup cold brewed coffee (optional)
  • 1 Tbs vanilla
  • 8 Tbs unsalted butter
  • ⅔ cup maple syrup or honey
  • 6 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder


  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Place beans, 3 eggs, salt, vanilla, and coffee (if using) into a blender and blend until smooth. You don’t want any lumps leftover.
  3. Whisk or sift together cocoa powder and baking powder.
  4. Cream butter and maple syrup/honey until well combined.
  5. Mix in the remaining eggs, beating for a minute or so after each one.
  6. Beat the bean mixture into the butter mixture.
  7. Add in the cocoa mixture and beat until well combined, about a minute more.
  8. Add batter into cupcake cups leaving half a centimeter or so at the top. The batter does not rise very much.
  9. Bake at 350F for 25-30 minutes.

NotesLet cakes cook completely before attempting to eat them. They taste best when refrigerated or allowed to cool overnight.WordPress Recipe Plugin by EasyRecipe

For frosting, I make a simple cream cheese frosting subbing coconut sugar for regular sugar.  I find that these cupcakes pair well with frosting that isn’t super sweet, so my usual ratio is 1 cup cream cheese + 1/2 cup butter + 1.5 cups coconut sugar + splash of vanilla. I grind the coconut sugar in my coffee grinder to keep the frosting smooth. I’ve also made this frosting with maple syrup, and while it still tastes great, it does produce a much thinner frosting.

Have you ever baked a cake using beans before?

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