Everyday Small Things

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Face ya Food: Chocolate peanut butter cupcake bites with peanut butter frosting

These cupcakes are based on the cake recipe that started me off on bean baking (baking with legumous beans as a gluten free, high protein alternative)– I’ve played it straight, messed with quantities, gone Black Forest, chillified it, red-velvet-and-cream-cheesed it, made it as muffins… it’s never failed me and it’s spectacularly easy.

Today being Independence Day, peanut butter cups seemed appropriate. Packed with fibre, protein and good fats, and super-cute to boot. Love.

peanut butter cupcakes

Chocolate peanut butter cupcake bites with peanut butter frosting

Makes: 40-50 cupcake bites

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 20-40 minutes  – oven or cupcake maker

Dietary: Gluten and dairy free, contain eggs.

Before you start: These cupcakes are super-easy if you have a food processor, a bit harder if you’re using a blender, and can’t be done with a stick blender (or no blender at all). I adapted them, over several stages, from a cake recipe on another blog; I’ve made the cake several times as a layer cake and also as muffins and it’s always amazing. I’ve halved the quantities for these mini-mini cupcakes but just ask if you want the muffin/cake recipe.

These really are bite-size – the mini cupcake cases I got were so small I think they probably held half the capacity of my (brand-new-had-to-use-immediately) mini-cupcake maker’s pockets – if you find bigger mini-muffin cases they’ll easily be twice the size (though still dinky) and of course make half the quantity. For the sake of your sanity, do, do use cases.


Cupcake mix

  • 1 cup cooked OR ¾ can black bean, drained and rinsed very well
  • 3 small eggs
  • ½ Tbsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 3 Tbsps coconut oil
  • ¼ + 1/8 cup maple syrup, honey or agave nectar
  • 4 Tbsps cocoa powder
  • 3 Tbsps natural peanut butter
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ½ Tbsp water

Peanut butter frosting

  • 80gm natural peanut butter
  • 80gm coconut oil
  • 100gm unrefined cane powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Tiny pinch sea salt
  • ½ Tbsp liquid – soy milk and/or lemon juice (I like a bit of lemon juice to make it a bit tangy)



  • Preheat the oven to 350°F/170°C OR turn your mini cupcake maker on. Line mini cupcake trays or lay out cases beside cupcake maker.
  • In the bowl of a food processor, combine all cupcake ingredients.
  • Process until smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary.  The batter may seem thin, but that’s okay. Taste-test it before pouring:  add a bit more cocoa or a bit of extra black beans to your taste.
  • Use a teaspoon to carefully fill cupcake cases two thirds full and:
    • Oven: bake for 7-10 minutes on the middle rack until the tops are springy. Check them at 5 minutes in case your oven cooks fast. (Note: If your oven has a top element, place a tray or sheet of baking paper on the rack above them after 4 minutes to stop the tops from overcooking). Remove the cupcakes from the oven, cool for 5 minutes then remove from pan and cool completely before decorating.
    • Cupcake maker: carefully but quickly place a filled cupcake case in each pocket; close lid and cook for seven minutes, until tender and springy. Remove quickly with a silicone spoon and leave to cool, fill up the machine again and repeat until you run out of cupcakes.


  • Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Beat with an electric beater for five minutes then leave in the fridge until cupcakes are cool. Whip again quickly with a spoon to soften before frosting.
  • Decorate each cupcake with a small blob of frosting (blob, scoop, swirl or pipe it on!) – you don’t need much as the frosting is very sweet and not entirely necessary – they’re pretty tasty plain. If you prefer, just dust with a bit of icing sugar before service. Store in the fridge overnight. Note: you can also frost just before serving.

Please try these out and let us know if you think they are as fabulous as we do!



Everyday Small Things: Ice Cream Vans

Ice cream sundae Ice cream yum

One of my favourite summertime tastes is soft serve ice cream.  One of my favourite summertime sounds is our local ice cream van.  He comes around with his music on every evening in summer.  He drives to every street in our block.  We allow ourselves to go out once or twice over the season 1) we don’t really need the extra calories and 2) he typically only reaches us at about 9:15 pm as it’s not dark here until almost 11pm.  Well I’m in bed by 9:30 pm… I’m a girl who needs my 8 hours sleep!  And early rises for work necessitate this.  But we went out the other day with our neighbours.  It is such a nice way to meet people on your street – his brief visit helps to bring the community together a little bit!

My favourite flavour would have to always be chocolate with nut sprinkles.  Lots of chocolate.  Sometimes cone.  Sometimes tub.  That can be a tough decision.  Oh and don’t forget the flake!!!!!!  This is a variation of a 99 – a British tradition.  One cone + One serve plain soft serve ice cream.  My cousin first introduced this to me on a hot summer day in London when I first arrived.  Where did the 99 get it’s name from?  I thought it got it’s name from costing 99 pence (even though they are often a little more these days).  Actually I just googled it and found an article on BBC news.  Click here is you want to know more and the real reason behind the name and tradition!!!!

I tried to find my ice cream truck’s song on youtube for you.  Here is a link to lots of other ice cream truck songs (I’m going to go out and try and record the song if I can and I’ll add the post).  Each song brings back a really vivid, happy memory from my childhood.  It’s fun to do things as an adult that you used to do as a child.  Maybe one day when we have children we’ll get to do that all the time.  But for now, with just the two of us it is a fun little adventure that made us smile a lot!!

Did you grow up with an ice cream van?  What memories do you have?  What is your favourite flavour of all time?