Primal Friendly Banana Nutella Cupcake Recipe

This is a recipe that is extremely popular with my boyfriend, Josh, who lives the primal lifestyle. For those who are unfamiliar with the primal way of life, it essentially cuts out grains, starches, excessive carbs, legumes and pretty much all happiness in life. Just kidding…sort of. Since cupcakes are traditionally made from wheat flour, I usually need to get creative with some substitutions using coconut or almond flour – both primal friendly alternatives. Since almond and coconut flour are drier than wheat flour the substitutions are not 1:1 so converting a recipe over is not as easier as it seems.

These banana cupcakes are probably one of my more successful recipes. The primal diet also preaches the avoidance of sugars and processed foods, so my usual choice of Nutella frosting is a bit taboo, but sometimes Josh likes to live life dangerously and break the rules. Here are my “half-way healthy” primal-friendly banana cupcakes with Nutella frosting:

Primal friendly banana cupcakes with Nutella frosting and chocolate chips

Primal friendly banana cupcakes with Nutella frosting and dark chocolate chips

 

Ingredients:

Cupcakes

4 bananas
4 eggs
1/2 cup almond butter
4 tbsp butter, melted
1/2 cup coconut flour
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of sea salt
dark chocolate chips (optional)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350° degrees. Combine your bananas, eggs, almond butter and butter in a mixing bowl and mix well. Add in your coconut flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, vanilla, and sea salt and mix well. Fold in chocolate chips, if desired. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Nutella Frosting

1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
3/4 cup Nutella
3 to 4 tbsp heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
salt to taste (optional)

Directions: Beat softened butter on medium speed. Beat for 2-3 minutes until smooth and creamy. Add 2 cups of powdered sugar and continue to beat on medium speed. Add the Nutella and continue to beat on medium speed. Add 3 tablespoons of heavy cream and the vanilla extract. Add salt to taste.

My Notes:

  • If you want to make into a loaf for more of a banana bread style, use the same recipe and bake for 55-60 minutes.
  • I like to add dark chocolate chips as a little added bonus. I use mini chips in the muffins and regular sized chips in the loaf.
  • I add a bit of salt to the frosting to even out the flavor and cut the sweetness.
  • Heavy cream will make a creamier frosting. Regular milk will work in a pinch, but the frosting will be less creamy.
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Recipe: 3 Ingredient Nutella Brownies

As I was trolling Facebook last night I found a Buzzfeed video on 3 ingredient Nutella brownies. Um yes please! Who doesn’t love a nice warm, fudgey, gooey brownies on a cool fall night. Considering it was almost 10 o’clock at night and god forbid I disturb Mara’s beauty sleep on Josh’s pillow, I vowed to make it today. Usually I have this huge problem with following through on things I promise myself I’m going to do. Usually my thoughts range from “it wasn’t important anyway” to “I need to make sure I’m well rested so I can procrastinate again tomorrow.” This time I stuck to my guns and hit the kitchen right after work. Just kidding. I moved my furniture back into place, played with the dog, talked to my neighbor, tried to make a few excuses and then got my butt into the kitchen.

So the recipe stands as this:

1/2 cup of flour
2 eggs
1 1/4 cups of Nutella

Mix well, pour into a greased pan and bake for 25-30 minutes at 350 degrees.

Nutella BrowniesSince Josh lives the primal lifestyle I decided I wanted him to be able to enjoy brownies for the first time in god knows how long. I took the original recipe and changed things up just a little bit. First, I substituted the regular flour for coconut flour. Because coconut flour is very different from regular flour a 1:1 substitution wasn’t going to work. If I did a 1:1 sub I would have had brownies drier than the Sahara desert. Rule of thumb is the substitute half of the called measurement. Since this recipe called for 1/2 cup of regular flour, I did 1/4 cup of coconut flour. My second adjustment was adding two extra egg to make sure the brownies would be nice and moist. Coconut flour is extremely dry, so usually recipes using coconut flour require a lot of extra moisture from other ingredients. Eggs are commonly used to achieve this. For this particular recipe, the Nutella also has a lot of oil in it that helps the extra eggs.

My recommendation to make this a primal friendly 3 ingredient Nutella brownie:

1/4 cup of coconut flour
4 eggs
1 1/4 cups of Nutella

Mix well, pour into a greased pan and bake for 25-30 minutes at 350 degrees.

Hot tips:

  • Don’t be afraid to “over mix” as coconut flour doesn’t have the same issues regular flour does. It’s actually necessary for smooth, non-clumpy batter.
  • Don’t overcook. Coconut flour is extremely dry already so over cooking will kill the brownies.

Nutella Brownies

I guess you can argue that mine aren’t exactly 3 ingredients because I also added chocolate chips. I mean, what’s better than chocolate? More chocolate! I find that they are not a sweet as regular brownies, but they are still good. They seem to be more bitter like a 85% dark cocoa chocolate. Josh said to him they are sweet. I guess it depends on the person’s taste. All I know is they passed the Josh taste test AND the Eric taste test so I’d say these are definitely a win.

-AB