Let’s face it. Sometimes when you’re injured and laid-up for a while, nothing sounds better than a cupcake—a moment of sweetness that could make you forget your pain. But when we indulge, we have to be careful. I looked up the nutritional information for a cupcakery about ten minutes from our house and picked a cupcake at random: “serving size: 1 cupcake, Calories: 780, Fat 50 g, Carbs 19g, Protein 0g” (myfitnesspal). When we’re laid-up and can’t exercise because of our pain, we don’t need guilt-bombs like that, which can add pounds and problems as we’re doing therapy.

I’m NOT a baking professional, but I am someone prone to re-injury and a mom who enjoys time in the kitchen with her kindergartner. We did some searching and found a healthier cupcake recipe that everyone in the family enjoyed.  It even has protein AND fiber!

We started with Baker on the Rise’s recipe and then continued to modify it to our needs and tastes. See what we’ve come up with below, and check out Baker on the Rise’s excellent recipe blog and original recipe at http://bakerontherise.wordpress.com/2012/03/13/white-bean-cupcakes-with-fruit-glaze-2/.


White Bean Lemon Cupcakes

Source: Adapted from Baker on the Rise (& Everyday Food Magazine)

What you’ll need:

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 can (15.5 ounces) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained (navy beans have worked OK too)

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

2 cups granulated sugar

2 large eggs, plus 2 large egg whites

1 cup skim milk + 3 TBSP powdered buttermilk (or you can use the real thing—I just never seem to have it around)

1 tablespoon lemon extract

Let’s bake cupcakes, Baby:

Preheat oven to 350° F. Line 24 standard muffin cups with funky paper liners (funky definitely improves the mood). (And, mini-muffin cups make this a great treat on-the-go.)

In a large bowl, whisk together 3 C flour, 1 TBSP baking powder, 1 tea baking soda, and ½ tea salt. Set aside.

In a food processor, combine the can of beans, ½ stick soft butter (I’ll microwave mine for 10-15 seconds to soften it, if I haven’t planned ahead), and 2 C granulated sugar. Process until it’s super smooth. Seriously, take the time. You shouldn’t be able to see any bean parts at all (this will make the cupcake less chewy…go ahead and give it an extra pulse or two)—it will end up like the “liquid” part of a traditional cake batter.

In a stand mixer, add 2 eggs + 2 egg whites and mix with the whisk attachment. Then add in the bean mixture and mix until incorporated. (The original recipe called for doing this step in the food processor, but it makes mine leak, so I dirty the extra bowl and attachment to avoid a big mess.) Slowly add flour mixture on Stir (or Low) until well combined. Mix in the 1 C buttermilk (reconstituted or real—your choice) and 1 TBSP lemon. When the batter looks delicious and smells lemony, you’re done.

Divide the batter among muffin cups and bake until puffed and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 17 minutes (Baker on the Rise recommends rotating pans halfway through—she’s a better baker than me).

Transfer cupcakes to wire racks and let cool completely. Then, they’re ready to eat!

According to Everyday Food Magazine, each white bean cupcake with fruit glaze has 200 calories, 4 grams of protein, and 1 gram of fiber” (Baker on the Rise). This version of the recipe is less because we’re not adding the fruit glaze, but I’m not sure how less.

The consistency is different than a box mix—the cupcakes are moist, dense and a little chewier. But, for a less-guilty treat, they’re awesome. Next time you make them, revise—let us know what flavor is your favorite.

White Bean Birthday Cupcakes

My daughter requested the white bean cupcakes. We added cotton candy frosting and went with vanilla extract, since it was a special occasion…her birthday!

PS: A special thanks to my sister for encouraging me to share this recipe with others.