Chocolate Cupcakes
DSC_0020.jpg 8SAFE chocolate cupcakes

These cupcakes aren't fancy, but damn are they good.

And these two didn't stand a chance. As soon as I set my camera down, the little man and I devoured these bad boys like sharks on a feeding frenzy. Frosting dripping from our mouths and smeared on our hands, we giggled triumphantly at the aftermath of our gluttony. And then went back for more. 

I'll admit that sweets aren't really my thing. Sugar doesn't agree with me and most allergy friendly recipes for baked goods seem to have a ridiculously long list of ingredients that I don't normally use. It ends up costing me $30 for ingredients and then I end up with a cake that falls short on flavor or expectations. And a girl's wallet (and ego) can only take so much of that.

But this recipe is different. Promise.

DSC_0010_2.jpg love bean chocolate spread

I discovered this raw chocolate spread by Love Bean and knew I had to try it. It's made from a short list of organic ingredients that are 8SAFE and only 6 grams of sugar per tablespoon ( I know, right?). And let me tell you — it does not disappoint. I spent our first day together (the chocolate spread and me, that is) eating it straight from the jar, spread on apple slices, dipped banana in it, and put a big spoonful in my kale/banana/blueberry smoothie. And it was all good. At one point it reminded me of eating Pillsbury chocolate fudge icing out of the container as a kid, which got me thinking of how much I'd love it on a chocolate cupcake.

And that's where this cookbook enters the equation. I am a huge fan of Sarah Britton and was over-the-moon excited when she came out with her first cookbook My New Roots (the title is taken from her blog). Sure enough, she shares a recipe for a Blood Orange and Chocolate Cake (that looks amazing by the way) that I was able to adapt into cupcakes. Full disclosure: I typically try a recipe at least three times before I feel confident to share it with you all. But not this time. These turned out awesome on the very first try, which is rare, and a testament to how truly gifted Sarah is at crafting recipes.

I highly recommend this cookbook for those of you moving toward a whole-foods, plant-based diet. See all those sticky notes peeking out of my copy in the photo above? Those are recipes that can be made 8SAFE (or easily converted) just within the first chapter. The first chapter! This masterpiece is chock-full of 8SAFE recipes and if I had continued to mark each one I would've run out of sticky-notes! 

Recipe notes:

I used Garbanzo & Fava Bean Flour for this recipe because that's what I had on hand, plus the higher protein content helps prevent my blood sugar from spiking. It works with millet, rice, or oat flour as well.

The Love Bean Chocolate Spread is perfect right out of the jar for icing the cupcakes in moderate weather. However, during summer months it can resemble more of a chocolate sauce, so I would anticipate having to ice them immediately before serving. And in the cold it becomes more solid, so you may want to beat the spread first with an electric mixer to soften it up a bit.

Sarah includes a recipe for Dark Chocolate Date Frosting (which can be made 8SAFE) in her cookbook, should you decide to make your own frosting.

DSC_0023.jpg 8SAFE chocolate cupcakes

Chocolate Cupcakes

Makes 8 cupcakes*

This recipe can easily be made 8SAFE if you follow the original recipe and only use processed ingredients that are free of gluten & the top eight food allergens.

This recipe has been adapted from Sarah Britton's Blood Orange Chocolate Cake recipe from her cookbook My New Roots.    

The 8SAFE processed products that I used in this recipe: Bob's Red Mill Gluten-free Garbanzo & Fava Bean Flour, NAVITAS Cacao Powder, Rumford Reduced Sodium Aluminum Free Baking Powder, Bob's Red Mill Baking Soda, NATIVE FOREST Organic Coconut Milk (full fat), Maple Grove Farms Organic Maple Syrup, Simply Organic Pure Vanilla Extract, EDEN ORGANIC Apple Cider Vinegar, and LOVE BEAN Essentially Raw Chocolate Spread


  • 1 cup millet, rice, or oat flour

  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocao powder

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt

  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup

  • 2/3 cup coconut milk

  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

  • approx 1/2 cup of Love Bean Essentially Raw Chocolate Spread


Preheat oven to 350 F.

In a large bowl, sift together the dry ingredients (flour, cacao powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt).

In another bowl, combine the following wet ingredients (maple syrup, coconut milk, coconut oil, and vanilla extract).

Add the wet bowl to the dry ingredients and whisk together to incorporate and remove any lumps.

Quickly whisk in the Apple cider vinegar.

Fill cupcake liners 3/4 with the batter and bake for 16-18 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.


Always use safe handling practices when preparing an 8SAFE recipe:

  • Wash hands with soap and water (hand sanitizer does not remove allergens).

  • Wipe down all surfaces; use clean equipment; and

  • Avoid cross contamination of ingredients not called for in the recipe. Be mindful that allergens can become airborne in flour or powdered form. Preparing 8SAFE recipes before ‘regular’ recipes will help prevent cross contamination. Do not share equipment among recipes (For example: If you cook regular pasta alongside 8SAFE pasta, use a dedicated spoon for each. Do not use one spoon to stir both pots.)

  • Clean your grill thoroughly beforehand (or use a clean grill pan or tin foil on the grill) when preparing an 8SAFE recipe.

  • Dedicate individual serving utensils for each dish. Allow food sensitive guests to serve themselves first to reduce risk of cross contamination from serving utensils.

  • When in doubt, snap a photo of the ingredient list of any processed items you use for an 8SAFE recipe. You can then share the information with your guests to confirm that it’s safe. 

While I do my best to keep 8SAFE product suggestions up to date, please keep in mind that manufacturers change their ingredients and formulas from time to time (it's also human nature to make a mistake now and then, and I'm no exception). So be sure to double check all products to be free of gluten and the top eight food allergens before preparing an 8SAFE recipe.

*FYI: I purchased my copy of My New Roots directly through Sarah's website so I was very promptly informed of three typos that affect our community: the ghee recipe on page 21 is not vegan;  on page 241 buckwheat is gluten-free; and on page 242 spelt does contain gluten.*