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White Bean Cupcakes with Fruit Glaze

These are just fun. Yes, I actually used a can of white cannellini beans to make cupcakes! The beans are pureed and blended into the batter. They’re super yummy. No one would ever know this sweet treat has white beans in it. However, don’t expect clones of fluffy vanilla cupcakes served at a birthday party. The crumb here is dense and a little closer to a muffin than a typical cupcake. But with a good amount of vanilla and the addition of buttermilk a can of beans is transformed into a delicious after school treat. According to Everyday Food Magazine, each white bean cupcake with fruit glaze has 200 calories, 4 grams of protein, and 1 gram of fiber.

I wondered if my kids would notice anything different about them. My two year old son gobbled his up and then asked for another! Success! The glaze is made from fresh fruit puree mixed with confectioners’ sugar. It’s really good and I love the bright cheery color. I’m already pondering what else I can glaze this way. A spring bundt cake perhaps?

Give these bean cupcakes a try. I think you will be pleasantly surprised!

White Bean Cupcakes with Fruit Glaze

Source: Adapted from Everyday Food, January/February 2012

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 can (15.5 ounces) cannellini bean, rinsed and drained

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

2 cups granulated sugar

2 large eggs, plus 2 large egg whites

1 cup buttermilk

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

1/4 cup fruit puree (Puree 9 oz. of any fruit in a blender until smooth, then pass it through a fine-mesh sieve. Thaw and drain the fruit first if it’s frozen. I used frozen raspberries.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. with racks in middle and lower thirds. Line 24 standard muffin cups with paper liners.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a food processor, combine beans, butter, and granulated sugar; process until smooth. With machine running, add eggs and egg whites and process until incorporated. Stir into flour mixture until well combined. Stir in buttermilk and vanilla. I did the stirring by hand. Next time, I’ll get out my stand mixer to stir the bean mixture into the flour mixture. It was a little hard to stir it by hand.

Divide batter among muffin cups and bake until puffed and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 17 minutes, rotating pans halfway through. Transfer cupcakes to wire racks and let cool completely.

Whisk together confectioners’ sugar and fruit puree until smooth. I thought mine needed a little thinning so I added a few teaspoons of pomegranate-blueberry juice to get the right consistency (I thought the color matched well with the raspberries). Dip tops of each cupcake into the glaze, letting excess drip off. This was a good project for my 5 year old son. He said it was fun and “easy peasy.”

My five year old son loved glazing these cupcakes!

Let glaze set, about 15 minutes, before serving. Enjoy! I think these are best the day they are made. Let me know if you are able to sneak the beans past your clan without them noticing!