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I will admit I am giving myself a massive pat on the back for this one.  I wanted chocolate on Valentine’s Day. The sheer fact that I kept seeing it all over the place made me really hanker for it.  That being said, I didn’t want to just go for it as I knew I would probably feel like crap the next day (which proved true later that weekend after a few bad decisions had me bedridden all of 24 hours).  The hunt for a Whole Life Challenge approved, sugar free, grain free, dairy free chocolate cupcake ensued.  Most recipes I found, even from my favorite Paleo bloggers, were all more along the “Primal” guidelines – sweetened with honey or male syrup or melted dark chocolate.  Time to do something I never dared do before: come up with a baking recipe from scratch.  I used many of the ones I had seen throughout my search as guidelines and went from there.  What came out of the oven was nothing short of a miracle.  This from someone who has previously screwed up Toll House chocolate chip cookies. The cupcakes are 100% paleo and Whole Life Challenge compliant, so let’s get right into the recipe.  We can talk icing later.

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Ingredients (Makes 6-8 cupcakes)

1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder (I use Nativas Naturals brand – you can find it in most Wegmans and Whole Foods)
1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch salt
4 eggs
1/4 cup coconut oil / butter combo, melted*
1 tsp vanilla (WLC: 1/2 tsp ground vanilla bean powder)
1/3 cup date puree (dates blended with some water)
1 tbsp Iced Coffee (I used a concentrate from a local roastery, but most grocery stores carry bottled iced coffee)

Preheat oven to 350 F.

*For the coconut oil/butter.  We’re looking a melted for 1/4 cup between the two.  I put about a tablespoon of butter in a tiny sauce pan over very low heat with a few spoonfuls of coconut oil.  Melt it all together and then measure out 1/4 cup to be added to the wet ingredients.

IMG_19881) In a medium bowl, whisk together dry ingredients: Coconut flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.

2) In a large mixing bowl, combine eggs, vanilla, date puree, oil/butter, and iced coffee.  Blend with a hand mixer on low speed until evenly combined.

3) Add half of the dry ingredients to the wet and whisk together.  Once blended, add the rest of the dry ingredients and blend until smooth.  It will look a lot like brownie batter.

4) Line a cupcake tin with paper cupcake liners and fill each one with about 1/4 cup of batter. A large, heaping spoonful seems to do the trick.  You want the cups about 3/4 of the way full.

5) Bake 15-18 min.  Let cool completely before icing.

Now, I ended up making a few different icings for my cupcake endeavor.  My boyfriend eats pretty much Paleo but in’t doing the Whole Life Challenge this time around.  He’s a big fan of two things: peanut butter and maple syrup. Thus, a Maple Peanut Butter Cream.  More “Primal” than strict Paleo but great for a healthy option to sugar filled store-bought frosting or a traditional buttercream, and he said it was delicious.

For me, I tried to make a strawberry buttercream, which turned into a PB&J Buttercream.  Very simple to do with just concentrated strawberries, peanut butter and vanilla. That recipe is right here.

I wanted a second WLC option, so I decided to go for another classic chocolate pairing: oranges. Turns out Oranges and Almonds are a match made in fat kid heaven.

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