Double Chocolate Coffee Flour Cupcakes . . .
With salted caramel and strawberries.
Whew! What a mouthful of a name!! I promise, that mouthful of a name is definitely worth a mouthful (or 12) of these cupcakes! They’re probably the best cupcakes I’ve ever made. I’m serious — I love these cupcakes! They’re the perfect combination of flavors: chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate. Oh, and caramel, strawberries, and sea salt! To a chocolate fanatic like me, these cupcakes are second to none. The addition of caramel and strawberries is just the cherry on top. Er, strawberry on top. You understand.
Are you drooling yet? I am . . . these are the most decadent cupcakes I’ve ever made in my life! Let’s break them down:
First, we have our cupcake. As you probably gathered from the title, these aren’t your average chocolate cupcakes. First of all, they’re Paleo, gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, AND nut-free. Second, the ingredient that allows them to be all those “frees” is COFFEE FLOUR!! . . . A.K.A. my new obsession. Coffee flour isn’t your average “cup of joe” (ha ha). It’s made from dried and ground coffee cherry husks/skins, which are parts of the coffee berry that are often wasted. The coffee beans used to brew coffee are grown inside large fruits. These fruits, which are normally discarded, can be dried and powdered to make flour! Get this, guys. Coffee flour has caffeine. You can add caffeine to your baked goods with coffee flour — instead of adding precious, drink-able coffee. That means more coffee to drink . . . and more coffee to eat in the form of double chocolate coffee flour cupcakes!
Not only does the coffee flour give these cupcakes a little jolt, it adds a unique flavor. It’s slightly reminiscent of coffee, but it’s actually more earthy, fruity, and roast-y. Needless to say, it pairs perfectly with chocolate. My dad said that these cupcakes had a special flavor that he couldn’t quite place. It was just a bit different from anything else, but it was also a perfect pair for chocolate. You guys, it’s so good. Soooooooo good.
As if coffee flour in our double chocolate coffee flour cupcakes wasn’t enough, we have a Salted Date Chocolate Frosting. This is the second (or third) time I’ve made this frosting, and I keep falling deeper in love. Paleo frostings are so hard to make because powdered sugar is really hard to replicate with substitutes like coconut/maple sugar. Enter . . . dates, water, cocoa powder, and Vitamix! The rest, as they say, is history! You just soak the dates, blend, add the cocoa, and blend again. Easy peasy!
Oh hello there, beautiful paleo coconut vanilla salted caramel sauce.
Salted caramel is a must for these cupcakes. It brings them from normal decadence (or as normal as you can get with coffee flour and date frosting) to pure over-the-top indulgence. One half of a cupcake is probably sufficient, although I doubt you’ll really want to stop there. This recipe makes eight large, dense cupcakes. The texture is fairly soft, but it’s also fudgy. I would say that it’s in between a brownie and a chocolate cake . . . but closer to cake.
If you look closely, you can see gorgeous flecks of vanilla bean in that caramel sauce. I used the recipe from Juli Bauer’s Paleo Cookbook (written by blogger Juli Bauer of PaleOMG), and it was dreeeeamy. Except for the fact that I burned it. A little. That liquid-y drizzle of caramel you see in these photos? Yeah, it’s actually rock-solid. I cooked the caramel for too long on high heat, and then I stuck it in a glass jar in the fridge. When I went to drizzle the cupcakes an hour later, the caramel was rock-solid. Luckily, I was able to re-liquefy it by microwaving it for a bit, just long enough to drizzle for these photos . . . but the caramel turned grainy again after it cooled. *sigh* But for my first time making caramel sauce, I’d say it went pretty well!
Also, the sea salt is NOT optional. A touch of salt to balance out all that sweetness? . . . Heaven on earth. It basically makes these cupcakes.
Actually, you make them. Right now. (I promise, you’ll thank me.)
Double chocolate coffee flour cupcakes for the win!