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Ah, the Hostess cupcake: rich chocolate cake, light as air. That oh-so-sweet creme-filled core. All topped with that kind of waxy—but in the best sort of way—chocolate frosting. Mmm…

What’s not to love? Well…

The original Hostess cupcake is filled with preservatives, fillers, high-fructose sweeteners and even beef fat.  (Yep, beef fat!) Our recipe uses coconut oil, which though high in saturated fat, helps control your insulin levels and increase your HDL level (that’s your “good’ cholesterol).  More good news: Instead of high-fructose corn syrup, we opted for coconut sugar, which has a lower glycemic index than white table sugar (buh-bye, sugar high). Plus, our secret ingredient, zucchini, adds moisture and (bonus!) extra nutrients and fibre.

But you won’t be thinking about any of that once you take your first bite. Just chocolately, creme-filled goodness.

What you need

Cupcakes

  • 6 oz. 70% dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 3/4 cup finely grated zucchini
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup spelt flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/3 cup hot water
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Filling

  • 1/2 cup canned coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp honey or brown rice syrup
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp chia seeds

Topping

  • 5 oz. 70% dark chocolate
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp honey or brown-rice syrup

Drizzle

  • 1/4 cup non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp honey

What you do

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Place the chocolate, coconut sugar and coconut oil in a medium heat-proof bowl; place over a simmering pot of water and stir until melted.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in eggs; beat with a whisk for one minute. Stir in zucchini.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together spelt flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and sea salt.
  5. Add chocolate mixture to dry ingredients and combine thoroughly.
  6. Stir in the hot water and vanilla.
  7. Spray muffin tins with non-stick spray. Spoon batter into cups, filling each about halfway. Bake for 15 minutes.
  8. Cool cupcakes on a wire rack before decorating.
  9. Meanwhile, open can of coconut milk and pour off excess water. Place 1/2 cup of coconut milk in a bowl with honey or brown rice syrup, vanilla and chia seeds, and whip with a whisk until light. Allow to set for 15 minutes in the fridge to firm up.
  10. Heat chocolate, coconut oil and honey in a small heat-proof bowl over a pot of simmering water; stir until melted and smooth.
  11. In another small bowl, mix yogurt and honey together and place in a piping bag with a fine tip.
  12. Using a small, round cookie cutter, remove about 1/2-inch from center of each cupcake. Discard the bottom half of the “core” so that a ¼-inch-thick top of each piece remains.
  13. Scoop or pipe coconut filling into centre cavity of each cupcake and cover with reserved piece.
  14. Dip each cupcake into the melted chocolate topping .Chill cupcakes in refrigerator until chocolate has solidified.
  15. Drizzle loops onto cupcakes with yogurt mixture. Enjoy!