Oh…what should come first? The cupcake or the icing? Decisions, decisions!!!
For those that don’t know, I am a protein baking freak. Yes, I know of the Pillsbury Sugar-Free cake and brownie mixes and accompanying frostings. I appreciate the fact that Pillsbury is trying to offer sugar free choices for people who want to partake of their products.
But here’s the thing. Just because something is sugar-free doesn’t make it great for you. This is not an admonition of the products. I think if you can tolerate the mixes well and want to bake yourself a birthday cake or something special, that’s a valid choice.
But I have this crazy, possibly fool-hearted and heretical belief that there is a way to bake things that actually CAN fit well into your plan. And that is where my mission lies, people.
If you’ve ever checked out the recipe index, you’ll know that I’ve done my fair share of experimenting with protein baked stuff. These cupcakes? Whole. Other. LEVEL. To quote that really funny bird in Rio (can’t remember his name offhand) “This ain’t the level. The next level is the level…”
So let’s dig in (literally).
Nik’s “Thingamajigee” Protein Cupcakes
(I’ll explain the name in a moment. Anyhoo…recipe yields 24 regular sized cupcakes. Adjust as per your own needs.)
3 overripe bananas (NOTE: if you don’t want to use bananas, sub in 1.5 c no-sugar added applesauce)
2 eggs (or equivalent liquid egg substitute)
1.5 cups no-calorie sweetener (I’m on Team Splenda)
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp. nutmeg
1 c. low-carb baking mix (I like Bob’s Red Mill but you can use any kind you like)
1 c. chocolate protein powder (I used this)
¼ c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 tsp. salt
3 tsp baking powder (yes, I did say 3)
Pre-heat your oven to 350. If you are me, this entails re-lighting the pilot, kicking the oven three times, turning it up to broil and then back down to 350, but I digress…
Mash the bananas up in a mixing bowl (or simply add applesauce, if that’s what you are using). Why the bananas/applesauce, you might ask? Both provide a LOT of moisture for your end result without adding the fat of butter or oil. I don’t generally add oil to my baked goods, but your mileage may vary!
Add in the rest of the wet ingredients and stir until eggs are fully incorporated.
From here, what I do is usually put the dry ingredients in a sifter and sift it directly into the wet ingredients. You can either do that or mix them in another bowl, your choice. Stir wet ingredients and dry well until the mixture is the consistency of a pudding.
Line a cupcake pan with cupcake cups and add one heaping tablespoon of the batter to each. Remember to tap down your pan after you’re done (just tap it against the counter to ensure there are no air bubbles at the bottom).
Pop the pan in the oven for about 12 minutes. I may sound like a broken record but I cannot say this enough. Protein baked goods cook a LOT faster than their regular counterparts. The outside forms particularly quickly. I’ve found 12 minutes to be the perfect cook time in MY oven. Yours may be different. So don’t leave the kitchen. Go do something else while these are baking (tune in tomorrow for the protein icing recipe and that can be what you are doing…).
Remove from the oven when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow them to cool fully before trying to eat one. All that will happen if you try to eat them hot is that most of your cupcake will stick to the liner. That’s no fun.
Now…the Thingamajigee. Well I went into this trying to simply make a cupcake variation of my Protein Banana Rum Cake but discovered (horror upon horrors!) that I was out of vanilla protein. Being that it was 4 days before payday and your girl Nik is not independently wealthy, I switched gears and used what I had.
Chocolate and banana is a pretty common combination but I wasn’t sure about the spices I’d already added (cinnamon and nutmeg). But they came out really, really good. The divas even liked them a lot. The cinnamon and nutmeg gave the chocolate a more complex flavor. But I was still a bit nervous because the protein frosting would add yet another flavor to the mix.
What flavor is that? Tune in tomorrow and find out!
For now, anyone wanting MY stats on these cupcakes (without frosting) click here!