A couple weeks ago, Geordie came home from work and told me that one of his co-workers thought she might be sensitive to gluten because she felt sick after eating a couple of my cupcakes (a couple as in two different kinds, not two of the same cupcake). I said, “Okay. I’ll make the black bean cupcakes, and you can take those to work.”

I first made these for Easter this year, with a mini Cadbury Creme egg baked into their middles.  That was insanely good, but also a little messy. I wanted to try them without the candy eggs, partially because they seemed like a pretty tasty cupcake on their own and partially because the candy was counter-productive in regards to the idea of using black beans to make them a little healthier.

There is no flour in these cupcakes. None. No all-purpose flour, no rice flour, no almond flour, no nothing flour. The moment I laid eyes on that recipe, I knew I had to make them. Not because I care about being gluten-free or anything, but because I had to know how they tasted. I had to know what they were like. At least one person liked them well enough to share the recipe with the internet (and I later discovered that Melissa D’Arabian included a black bean brownie recipe in her cookbook), which meant that maybe they were as tasty as they looked.

Because they totally look like regular old chocolate cupcakes, don’t they?

Chocolate (Black Bean) Cupcakes with Peppermint Frosting

Chocolate (Black Bean) Cupcakes with Peppermint Frosting

They taste just like regular ol’ chocolate cupcakes too. Guessing the secret ingredient is impossible. The beans melt right in with the rest of the batter. They are totally a ninja ingredient.

It is also a really easy recipe to throw together. All it takes is the blender.

Drain and rinse the beans. Let them sit and drain more water while you get the rest of the ingredients together.

Drain and rinse the beans. Let them sit and drain more water while you get the rest of the ingredients together.

Put beans in blender. Add eggs, vanilla, sugar, and butter.

Put beans in blender. Add eggs, vanilla, sugar, and butter. Give it a whirl!

Add cocoa and leaveners. Blend again, until it looks like cupcake batter. Smells like chocolate!

Add cocoa and leaveners. Blend again, until it looks like cupcake batter.

Portion into the cupcake tin. These take a little longer to bake than regular cupcakes, between 20 and 25 minutes.

Portion into the cupcake tin. These take a little longer to bake than regular cupcakes, between 20 and 25 minutes.

Sadly, after baking, my cupcakes fell in the middle. I don’t remember them doing that when I made them at Easter, but they had candy in the middle, so maybe that helped. I probably should have baked them a minute or two longer, but they were solid enough and baked all the way through. They were just a tiny bit moist right smack in the middle. These are not dense cupcakes. They have a crumb that just falls apart, which makes them still a little bit messy, but in a fun way.

Mint was the theme for the week, so I wanted to do a peppermint frosting. I decided to go with a cream cheese frosting, since that would fill up the fallen middles nicely and without overloading the cupcakes. Also, as we’ve seen, peppermint and cream cheese go pretty well together.

It's a very loose frosting, but it's so creamy and dreamy too.

It’s a very loose frosting, but it’s so creamy and dreamy too.

Here’s my problem with cream cheese frosting: I cannot get it to be anything more than a gloopy mess. It will not hold its shape. I didn’t even add any milk to this because I knew it would just get runnier. It tasted great, and it really made the “peppermint mocha” effect of this cupcake, but it was not easy to get it to do what I wanted. No matter what I do with cream cheese frosting, it always ends up being a puddle. Is that how it always is? Is there a way to get it to behave a little better? I’ve tried a couple different things (including chilling the frosting, for varying amounts of time), with no success. I guess I just haven’t cracked the secret of cream cheese frosting yet. I’ll keep at it.

My initial inspiration came from this blog post at Glorious Treats, and I loved the look of those red-and-white striped cupcakes (how how how did she get her cream cheese frosting to not turn into a puddle?), so I attempted the stripey look for my own.

Clearly, I could use a little more practice at this.

Clearly, I could use a little more practice at this. But, for my first time trying this method, I’m happy.

So maybe they’re not the most beautiful cupcake I’ve ever made. But they were the tasty, tasty cupcakes I so hoped they would be. Perhaps not the most attractive, but sometimes, that’s not as important. If I should ever have my own cupcakery, then I’ll worry about it. For now, taste trumps presentation.

We had these for dessert on Wednesday. After finishing one, Geordie immediately went for a second one. I call that a successful cupcake. The flavors really work well together, neither overpowers the other. If chocolate-mint is a combination you crave, these are a good cupcake for you. Geordie took the rest of them to work, and they did not last very long. Not at all. I probably could have doubled the batch and not worried about him bringing any home. Actually, it would have been nice to have leftovers.

I will definitely be making the black bean cupcakes again. I’m curious about the fallen middles; I’ll see if I can fix that. Also, they’re a tasty chocolate cupcake, and they’ll go well with whatever goes well with chocolate. And no flour. Interesting stuff.

Next week, I leave peppermint behind and jump into ginger, with an old favorite and something traditional that I’ve never tried before. And cupcakes. Of course there will be cupcakes.

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