gluten-free vanilla cupcakes

White Bean Vanilla Cupcakes with Coconut Cream Icing

(Almost) healthy cupcakes are a real thing!

Healthy cupcakes sounds pretty contradictory but part of being healthy is being balanced and having fun. So if you just HAVE to make vanilla cupcakes, mix up some of the ingredients a little! A dear friend of mine told me a little secret of hers was to use white beans instead of flour, I was dubious at first but pleasantly surprised at how delicious my white bean vanilla cupcakes turned out.

Beans and health

Beans have a wide range of health benefits, from protecting your skin from wrinkles to fighting against the body storing energy as body fat. White beans actually help lower your blood sugar. They help balance your glycemic index and keeping sugar cravings and mood swings at bay, which might be useful if you’re at an event where you had to bring gluten free cupcakes.

Aphrodisiac coconuts

Ayurvedic medicine considers the scent of coconuts to be a powerful aphrodisiac. They also curb hunger, help your body burn fat for energy, can improve your cholesterol levels and prevent future heart disease. And of course, the tiniest hint of coconut tastes like a vacation.

But how do these cupcakes taste?

Gluten-free white bean vanilla cupcakes? It sounds like something someone on a severely restricted diet would even try to enjoy. But this recipe was written by a cook who typically eats without restriction. And the results are good enough to share with you! In fact, I really HOPE you try this variation on a vanilla cupcake and discover just how good being a little bit adventurous can be.

5 from 4 votes
gluten-free vanilla cupcakes
White Bean Vanilla Cupcakes with Coconut Cream Icing
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
1 hr

Cupcakes made with white beans and coconut oil with a coconut cream icing.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cupcakes
Dish Type: cupcakes
Cooking Style: Baking
Diet and Health: gluten-free, healthy-ish
Ingredient: white beans
Servings: 12 cupcakes
Created by: Vanessa Vanya
  • 1 15-oz can rinsed and drained organic white beans
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 4 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup agave or honey
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
For the coconut cream frosting:
  • 1 15-oz can coconut cream
  • 2 tbsp powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 325.
  2. Drain and rinse beans in a strainer. Make sure they're completely dry!
  3. Put beans, 3 of the eggs, vanilla, and salt into blender or food processor.
  4. Blend on high until completely liquified.
  5. Whisk together baking soda and baking powder and set aside.
  6. Beat butter and/or oil with agave or honey until light and fluffy with a hand-mixer.
  7. Add remaining two eggs, beat each one for about a minute.
  8. Pour bean batter into egg mixture and mix with hand-mixer.
  9. Stir in dry baking soda and powder mixture and beat the batter on high for one minute, until smooth.
  10. Pour into cupcake tins almost to the top and bake for 25-30 minutes.
For coconut frosting:
  1. Put the can of coconut milk and mixing bowl in the fridge overnight.
  2. Set beaters in freezer for a few minutes before you begin. (great trick!)
  3. Open can and remove all the solid coconut cream.
  4. Mix cream in chilled bowl, with chilled beaters until fluffy.
  5. Mix in powdered sugar and/or any other flavoring
  6. Use right away or cover and keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.



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7 replies
  1. admin
    admin says:

    We are sorry for your disappointment. You are the first to give this feedback. Looking at this recipe, we concede that, the way the author has written it, the recipe will make a tasty icing, not a frosting. And you are correct, to make something with a creamy consistency, you would use coconut cream. We will change the recipe accordingly. We do have another Coconut Frosting recipe we think you would enjoy:

  2. Jill
    Jill says:

    I have not made coconut cream frosting before – this recipe was my first exposure and I bought and chilled the coconut milk as indicated. DID NOT WORK. Following a brief internet search, I see that coconut CREAM is the needed ingredient, not milk as listed. I don’t have 24 more hours to wait to chill another can, so I will have to try these with regular old icing – so disappointing. . . But I’ll certainly try the coconut cream frosting with the proper ingredients another time!

  3. Jill
    Jill says:

    Can you add food coloring to the coconut cream frosting? (hoping to make these look festive for the holidays!)

  4. admin
    admin says:

    I would not try red beans in red velvet but there’s no reason this ratio of white beans couldn’t work in a red velvet cake. Let us know if you try it!

  5. Tara S.
    Tara S. says:

    I’ve been making black bean chocolate cakes, cupcakes and brownies for a few years now and literally NO ONE can tell! So I was searching for other ways to use beans in baking…can’t wait to try these out! Hmmm now I wonder if red beans can be used for red velvet cake…ok ok maybe I’m going bean crazy

  6. Thyaga dimithri gunasinghe
    Thyaga dimithri gunasinghe says:

    5 stars
    Made a tiny batch of this recipe I didnt have coconut oil and I used butter instead . Also I added a tiny bit of flour to the batter . My 2 year old ate 2 cupcakes.. yay!! Thanks a bunch he doesn’t eat beans usually and this was a great way to get him to eat some. Thanks again

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