Vegan Chocolate Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Chocolate Sweet Potato Frosting (gluten-free + refined sugar-free + nut-free)

These rich and decadent vegan chocolate sweet potato cupcakes with chocolate sweet potato frosting are dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free, nut-free, refined sugar-free and loaded with nutritious sweet potato in every bite!  They only require ten ingredients and are made in your blender. 

Vegan Chocolate Sweet Potato Cupcakes

Vegan Chocolate Sweet Potato Cupcakes

It is hard to believe that these amazingly delicious and moist chocolate cupcakes are made with nutrient-dense sweet potatoes.  Even the frosting!  You really would never know it.  Every bite is truly incredible!  I wanted to make a light and fluffy cupcake with a creamy thick chocolate frosting that was nutritious, vegan (dairy-free and egg-free), gluten-free, nut-free and refined sugar-free.  I am beyond thrilled with how these turned out and will make these again and again.  Despite being gluten-free the cupcakes holds together perfectly and the frosting is thick, creamy and perfect for decorating.  Even though they are naturally sweetened with just maple syrup they still taste incredibly decadent.  They have the perfect amount of rich chocolate flavor that will have you falling in love at first bite!

Vegan Chocolate Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting

I love how easy this recipe is to pull together.  All the frosting ingredients go in your blender and then chill in the refrigerator to harden.  The cupcakes bake in just 20 minutes and then once cooled you can frost them and enjoy immediately.  

Vegan Chocolate Sweet Potato Cupcake Recipe

What you need to make Vegan Chocolate Sweet Potato Cupcakes

The cupcakes are made from nine wholesome ingredients: 

  • old fashioned oats (certified gluten-free if desired)
  • unsweetened cocoa powder (or cacao powder)
  • baking powder
  • salt
  • maple syrup
  • avocado oil
  • unsweetened plain plant-based milk (oat, almond etc.)
  • sweet potato
  • vanilla extract

And the icing is made from just six ingredients (five of which are used for the cupcakes above):

  • sweet potato
  • maple syrup
  • coconut oil
  • unsweetened cocoa powder (or cacao powder)
  • vanilla extract
  • salt

Altogether you only need 10 ingredients to make these cupcakes (including the baking powder and salt)!  And it doesn’t require any flaxseed to hold them together.  

You may want to decorate your cupcakes.  I like to use dye-free sprinkles. Unsweetened shredded coconut would also work well in place of sprinkles if you want to keep them totally refined sugar-free.  Both are optional but always festive and fun.  

Vegan and Gluten-Free Chocolate Cupcakes

What are the health benefits of sweet potatoes?

Sweet potatoes are one of my favorite vegetables to incorporate into recipes whenever possible.  Their vibrant orange color lets you know you are getting all that immune-boosting vitamin A (also helpful for vision and bone health).  They also offer dietary fiber and potassium and are high in vitamin C.  They are convenient and versatile and somehow serve as both a comfort food and health food all at once.

Compared to russet potatoes, sweet potatoes have similar calorie content but offer more fiber.  Plus, one medium sweet potato offers almost 700% of your daily recommend intake of vitamin A, while russets offer none.  Sweet potatoes offer almost double the amount of vitamin C as compared to russets. 

Refined Sugar Free Chocolate Cupcakes

What are the health benefits of unsweetened cocoa powder?

Unsweetened cocoa powder is used in this recipe and is made by roasting and grinding cocoa beans. Years of nutrition research has shown that chocolate may provide health benefits from antioxidants called flavanols found in the cocoa solids (as opposed to the cocoa butter). When consumed in large amounts, studies have shown that flavanols in chocolate may:

  • Lower high blood pressure and decrease levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol leading to decreased risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke
  • Promote lung health and protect against asthma
  • Decrease the risk of diabetes and several types of cancer
  • Benefit the brain and preserve cognitive abilities to lower the risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease
  • Improve mood and feelings of pleasure
  • Benefit the vascular system by reducing the risk of blood clots and increasing blood flow in arteries and the heart

Many recipes call for Dutch-processed cocoa powder, which is cocoa powder that has been alkalized to remove the bitter taste. This actually substantially reduces the flavanols (about 65% of the flavanol content is lost).

Like most foods, eating the least processed and most pure form is the healthiest.  Flavanols provide a dark pigment, so visually you can look for a darker color in your cocoa powder for more nutritional benefits. 

Healthy Valentine's Day Cupcakes

Looking for more delicious vegan and gluten-free chocolate recipes?

There is no shortage of chocolate recipes on this blog.  I truly am a chocoholic at heart and that will likely never change.  Here are some of my favorite chocolate recipes that are ALL dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free, soy-free and peanut-free.  Most are refined sugar-free too!

  1. Baked Chocolate Donuts with Chocolate Ganache Glaze
  2. No-Cook, No-Avocado Vegan Chocolate Pudding 
  3. The Best Vegan and Refined Sugar-Free Hot Chocolate (made in your blender!)
  4. Dark Chocolate Avocado Truffles
  5. Classic Chocolate Chunk Cookies
  6. Protein-Packed Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
  7. Homemade Vegan Chocolate 
  8. No-Bake Brown Rice Crispy Treats with Dark Chocolate Shell and Flaked Sea Salt
  9. Creamy Chocolate Fudgesicles
  10. Healthy Chocolate Smoothie
  11. Healthy Chocolate Mocha Smoothie
  12. Instant Vegan Chocolate Mousse (made with avocado)
  13. Pumpkin Chocolate Swirl Muffins 
  14. Vegan and Gluten-Free Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Now, let’s get to making these amazing Vegan Chocolate Sweet Potato Cupcakes!

When you make this recipe, snap a pic and use the hashtag #eatingbyelaine on INSTAGRAM to be featured in my stories.

 

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Vegan Chocolate Sweet Potato Cupcakes

Vegan Chocolate Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Chocolate Sweet Potato Frosting (gluten-free + refined sugar-free + nut-free)


  • Author: Elaine Gordon
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Total Time: 40
  • Yield: 12 1x

Description

These rich and decadent vegan chocolate sweet potato cupcakes with chocolate sweet potato frosting are dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free, nut-free, refined sugar-free and loaded with nutritious sweet potato in every bite!  They only require ten ingredients and are made in your blender.


Scale

Ingredients

For the Chocolate Sweet Potato Cupcakes

  • 2.5 cups old fashioned oats (certified gluten-free if desired)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (or cacao powder)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 3/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup avocado oil
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened plain plant-based milk (oat, almond etc.)
  • 1 cooked sweet potato (~1 cup)*
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

For the Chocolate Sweet Potato Icing

  • 1, 16 ounce sweet potato (~1 cup)*
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 6 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (or cacao powder)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt

Garnish with dye-free sprinkles or unsweetened shredded coconut if desired


Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and add silicone or paper baking cups to a 12-count muffin tin. Set aside.
  2. For the frosting: In a blender combine the cooked sweet potato (skin already removed), maple syrup, melted coconut oil, cocoa powder, vanilla and salt. Blend on the highest speed until smooth and creamy. If the mixture has trouble blending you can add a tablespoon more of melted coconut oil to get it going. Place the frosting in your refrigerator for at least an hour to allow the frosting to harden.
  3. For the cupcakes: Clean out and fully dry your blender. Place oats inside and blend on the highest speed for 1 minute until a super fine flour is formed. Be sure there are no chunks of oats remaining before transferring the oat flour to a large mixing bowl with a pour spout. To the mixing bowl, add cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Stir well. In the blender, add all the wet ingredients (maple syrup, avocado oil, milk, cooked sweet potato and vanilla extract) and blend on the highest speed until smooth. Pour this mixture into the dry mixture in the mixing bowl. Use a hand mixer to incorporate the dry and wet ingredients together and ensure there are no chunks in the batter. Carefully spoon the batter into the paper or silicone baking cups. They will be 100% full and that is okay. Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes. Without opening the oven, change the oven temperature to 375 degrees and bake another 10 minutes. Remove from oven, transfer the baking cups to a wire cooling rack and allow to fully cool before decorating.
  4. To decorate the cupcakes: Cut a tiny hole in the bottom corner of a plastic bag and place a piping tip through the corner. Use a mini spatula to transfer the frosting that has been chilling in the refrigerator into the plastic bag. Seal the plastic bag and squeeze gently to pipe the frosting through the piping tip onto the cupcakes. Start on the perimeter of the cupcake and circle around moving inward after each circle. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator to prevent the frosting from melting.  Decorate with dye-free sprinkles or unsweetened shredded coconut if desired.  I used these and these.

Notes

To cook the sweet potato in an Instant Pot: Add sweet potatoes to the steamer basket in your pressure cooker. I layer a couple at once while I’m doing it but you will only need two large sweet potatoes for this recipe. Add 1 cup of water to the pressure cooker and secure lid. Valve should be on sealed. Cook on manual high pressure for 19 minutes.  When cooking is complete, manual release and use tongs to transfer the sweet potatoes to a cutting board. Slice through each lengthwise with a knife. The knife should slide through very easily. If not, return to the pressure cooker to cook for another minute or two. Allow the sweet potatoes to cool until you can safely handle them. Peel the skin off and discard.

You could also roast the sweet potatoes in an oven but it could take 40-60 minutes to fully cook. Here are the instructions for that method: Place a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil on the bottom rack of your oven.  Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Pierce the sweet potato with a fork on one side then place directly on the middle rack (not on a baking sheet and not wrapped in foil).  Bake for 40-45 minutes or until tender and the skin is thin and toasty. Baking time will vary based on the diameter of your sweet potato. You may need up to 60 minutes for a large sweet potato. The bottom baking sheet will catch any drippings for an easy cleanup.  Remove from oven and pierce with a knife to ensure it is fully cooked. Allow the potatoes to cool for 5-10 minutes for easier handling. Slice the potatoes in half and split the flesh down the center. Remove the skin.

For this recipe you will only use the inside of the cooked sweet potato – not the skin.  Keep the skin on when you cook it and then peel the skin off after it is cooked.

  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Vegan Chocolate Sweet Potato Cupcakes

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6 Comments

  1. Ali

    What kind of sweet potato do you use?

    Reply
    • Elaine Gordon

      Any will work. I used orange sweet potato for the cupcakes and a white sweet potato (also known as a Hannah sweet potato) for the frosting. I hope that helps – please let me know if you have any follow up questions.

      Reply
  2. Karoline

    Can I use an artificial sweetner instead og maple sirup?

    Reply
    • Elaine Gordon

      Well the issue would be that it would throw off the consistency. The maple syrup adds a significant amount of liquid and texture to the recipe. I wouldn’t recommend skipping it.

      Reply
  3. Payal jain

    Can I use honey instead of maple syrup?

    Reply
    • Elaine Gordon

      I haven’t tried it myself but that should work!

      Reply

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