Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Coconut Cream Frosting + Maple Pecans
When autumn rolls in, pumpkin spice is all the rage.
Unfortunately, many of these fall-inspired treats are loaded with chemical additives, dairy & refined sugar. These ingredients wreak havoc on our health as they can cause inflammation, allergies & spike blood sugar.
We want to eat foods that fuel our body, not diminish our glow.
These cupcakes are rich in nutrients, completely plant-based & sweetened with maple syrup & coconut sugar.
No fake sh*t here.
These cupcakes are made with spelt flour, a nutrient-dense alternative to wheat. Spelt is rich in nutrients, nourishing & kind on our digestion.
Its resilient hull protects the grain from insects and pollutants; therefore, it’s usually not treated with pesticides or other chemicals. The grain is also better at preserving nutrients since the hull isn’t removed until just before the milling process. Although spelt contains gluten when ripe, its nutritional profile differs significantly from wheat.
Gluten is comprised of two types of molecules, gliadin & glutenin; the amount of each varies depending on the grain. The molecular composition of the gluten found in spelt is more fragile than that found in wheat, making it easier to digest & less likely to cause allergic reactions in wheat-sensitive individuals. Unripe spelt doesn’t contain gluten, though it’s best used in veggie burgers & stews or as a substitute for rice, as it’s not ideal for baking.
- 2 cups wholegrain spelt flour
- ½ cup light spelt flour
- ¾ cup coconut sugar
- 1 Tbsp. cinnamon
- 1 tsp. ginger
- ½ tsp. nutmeg
- ½ tsp. all spice
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. salt
- 2 Tbsp. ground flaxseed + 5 tbsp. water
- 1 ½ cups pumpkin puree
- ½ cup maple syrup
- 4 Tbsp. melted coconut oil
- 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 2 can full-fat coconut milk, chilled for at least 4 hours in the fridge*
- 2 Tbsp. maple syrup
- 1 vanilla bean, scraped or ½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup raw pecans
- 3 Tbsp. maple syrup
- Pinch of sea salt
- Preheat oven to 350°F & line a muffin pan with 12 cupcake liners.
- In a ramekin or small bowl, mix the flax & water to make the flax egg. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk the dry ingredients together.
- Add the wet ingredients, including the flax egg, to a medium bowl. With electric mixers, beat the wet ingredients on low speed until combined.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry mixture & stir to combine.
- Spoon the batter into the cupcake liners, about two-thirds full for each.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the centre should come out clean. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely on a cooling rack.
- About 1 hour before making the coconut cream frosting, chill a medium-sized mixing bowl in the freezer. Remove chilled coconut milk from fridge. Flip the cans upside down & open from the bottom. Pour the liquid portion into another bowl. You can either discard the liquid or save for later use (it’s delicious in smoothies & soup). Scoop the remaining solid white coconut cream into the chilled bowl. Add the vanilla & maple syrup.
- Using an electric mixer beat the coconut cream until whipped & fluffy.
- Return coconut cream frosting to fridge until ready to use. It softens at room temperature & firms when chilled.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper & roast the pecans until fragrant, approximately 8 to 10 minutes.
- In a small saucepan over low-medium heat, warm the maple syrup & salt. When the maple syrup begins bubbling, add the pecans & stir continuously until the pecans caramelize.
- Once pecans caramelize, remove from heat & spread on baking tray until completely cool. When the pecans have cooled, chop & set aside.
- Scoop a dollop off frosting on top of each cupcake. Finish by garnishing the tops with maple pecans.
- Leftover cupcakes will keep for a couple days in an airtight container, or you can freeze them for up to 1 month.
- Some brands of coconut milk work better than others when making coconut cream frosting. Through trial & error I’ve found ones that work. I recommend buying a few different brands just in case the cream doesn’t separate in one of cans.