Peanut Butter Chocolate Cupcakes

Gluten free chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter frosting- because it's my birthday! These cupcakes are rich and decadent- they may be gluten free, but they definitely are not a health food. A major rule in nutrition is the 80/20 rule: 80% of your diet should be from whole, healthy, balanced foods, and the other 20% can be from your treats. These cupcakes definitely fall into to the 20%, but damn, they are so worth it. 

I used to have a baking business called Sweet Escape- I would sell mini cupcakes at farmers market's and also bake for private events. Peanut butter and chocolate was always one of my favorite flavors, and was a big seller. When I stopped eating gluten & dairy, I knew I had to figure out how to replicate the cupcakes in a form I could eat. I'm happy to say that these cupcakes are actually more delicious than their gluten and dairy-containing counterparts. 

I recommend making these as mini cupcakes if you are able to- the frosting-cake ratio is much better than with normal sized cupcakes. That being said, you can absolutely make them normal sized, or even as a cake, you'll just need to adjust baking time accordingly. 

BØRNS-10,000 Emerald Pools (thanks to my brother for this one!)


2/3 cup white quinoa
1 1/3 cup water
1/3 cup almond milk + 1/4 cup almond milk (divided)
4 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup butter or margarine, melted and cooled
1 cup white sugar
1 ¼ cup cocoa powder
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt

¼ cup butter or margarine, softened
1 cup peanut butter
2.5 cups icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp sea salt
¼ cup milk**
Optional toppings: chopped crushed peanuts and melted chocolate for drizzle. 

** Note: Milk is used for the peanut butter frosting, which makes these not entirely dairy-free. I've experimented with both soy and almond milks and both of them make the icing congeal into a blobby mess (not pretty!). Feel free to try other non-dairy milks if you'd like and let me know how they work out. 


Preheat oven to 350 F. In a medium pot, bring the quinoa and water to a boil, then cover and reduce to a simmer. Let simmer for 15-20 minutes until all the water is absorbed, then turn off heat and fluff with a fork. Add 2 cups of the cooked quinoa, 1/3 cup almond milk, eggs, vanilla extract and butter to a blender and blend until smooth- you shouldn't see any lumps of quinoa. In a large bowl, whisk dry ingredients together. Add the liquid combination and whisk until combined, then add another ¼  cup almond milk and whisk again. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners, and scoop batter into tins to about 2/3 of the way full. For minis, bake for 7-10 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. For regular size, bake 15-20 minutes. For a cake, bake 20-30 minutes. 

Beat butter, peanut butter, vanilla and salt until combined. Slowly beat in icing sugar and milk, and beat until light and fluffy. Pipe onto cooled cupcakes. Optionally, top with chopped peanuts and melted chocolate drizzle.