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Vanilla Cupcakes With Chocolate Mesquite Frosting [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

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This cupcake is full of contradictions. The base is light, almost airy...yet moist. The frosting has a bold chocolate flavor...but with a surprisingly mild sweetness. Both are sweetened with agave nectar, which contributes an amazing richness but has a lower glycemic index than sugar. But the real secret ingredient? Mesquite powder! This superfood is packed with fiber, iron and protein, and has an addicting, caramel-like flavor. Perfect for Valentine's Day or any day. Get the gluten-free, vegan recipe below!

Vanilla Cupcakes With Chocolate Mesquite Frosting [Vegan, Gluten-Free]







  • 1/3 cup + 3 tablespoons brown rice flour
  • 1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons sorghum flour
  • 1/3 cup tapioca flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup soy milk (or other non-dairy milk)
  • 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2/3 cup agave nectar
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract


  • 1/2 cup soy margarine, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup agave nectar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup mesquite powder (could also sub soy milk powder)



  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Line 12 muffin tins with paper liners or grease lightly to prevent sticking.
  3. Whisk together dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
  4. Whisk together soy milk and vinegar in another large mixing bowl. Allow to sit for a few minutes. Stir in additional wet ingredients.
  5. Pour wet mixture into dry mixture and beat with an electric mixer just until combined.
  6. Divide batter evenly into 12 muffin tins (each should be about 2/3 full).
  7. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes. Cool on a wire rack before frosting.


  1. Beat margarine and agave with an electric mixer until smooth.
  2. Add vanilla and cocoa powder and beat just until combined.
  3. Add mesquite or soy milk powder and beat until smooth and well-combined.
  4. Refrigerate frosting mixture (covered) for about an hour before frosting cupcakes.





Jennifer is on the Editorial Team at One Green Planet. She earned her Masters Degree in City and Regional Planning from UNC Chapel Hill before moving to Boulder, Colorado in 2006. During the first part of her career, Jennifer worked as a pedestrian and bicycle planner and project manager. As a long-time vegan and competitive distance runner, Jennifer strives to provide a positive example of healthy and sustainable living.



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One comment on “Vanilla Cupcakes With Chocolate Mesquite Frosting [Vegan, Gluten-Free]”

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5 Years Ago

You proclaim that you have healthy recipes - but this is full of soy - check out the nasty stuff soy does to your body - especially cancer, and other things. My ND (she works at a cancer center) and endocrinologist are both highly against soy.


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