Cardamom Carob Cupcakes with Sweet Potato Frosting – grain free with vegan option

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Healthy cupcakes? Yes, please! These Cardamom Carob Cupcakes are a great healthy cupcake that are so good for you, you can feel good about serving them anytime!

They’re frosted with a creamy sweet potato frosting, are super tasty, and easily made AIP with a low carb option too.

Carob Cupcakes with Sweet Potato Frosting. These Paleo Cupcakes are frosted with a yummy sugar free frosting. There's an option to make them vegan cupcakes too! I'm tempted to just eat the frosting plain!


Finding healthy cupcakes and frosting recipes that taste great can be a chore, but it can be done. These gluten free chocolate chip cheesecake cupcakes from my recipe box are one great example and this healthy chocolate frosting is simply to die for :).

Today I’ve got another fabulous recipe for you — Paleo Cupcakes with a Sugar-Free frosting.

Doesn’t get much better than that!

Here’s where this recipe came from–from a blogger who has since stopped blogging.

I need a treat.

There, I said it.

Why the need you ask?

Well, while Christmas brought with it some wonderful visits and wonderful memories, the busyness of it all has worn me out. Stress is not my friend and as nice as the holidays were, I admit I was stressed far more than I’d like.

Add to that some new and overwhelming challenges with my kiddos, candida, and leaky gut and I am really in need of some downtime.

(Note to self: Implement Adrienne’s 6 Tips for Slowing Down for Christmas next year!)

One of my favourite ways to unwind is with a warm cup of tea and a sweet treat. However, one of my least favourite ways to unwind is by cleaning the kitchen.

These days my kitchen is hanging on by a thread in the tidy department and I don’t think I could stand another chore!

Thank goodness for this cupcake recipe! This is a one-bowl recipe (the cake portion) that does not compromise on taste. Fantastic! I can have my cake (or cupcake) and have the kitchen clean before it comes out of the oven!

What’s even better is that this recipe can be made into a cake or cupcakes and is just as delicious with or without the cinnamon sweet potato frosting.

These cupcakes are comforting, a little spicy, just a touch sweet, totally grownup and (incredibly) kid-approved. I stumbled upon this recipe one afternoon and thought it looked great.

Unfortunately, the only “pumpkins” I had to use for this recipe were a weird hybrid of spaghetti squash and pumpkin from my in-laws garden and they didn’t have a ton of pumpkin flavour.

With no pumpkin flavour to carry this treat, I knew I needed to find something that would really make this recipe shine.

Note: I have since made these cupcakes with pumpkin, the spaghetti-squash/pumpkin hybrid, and hubbard squash–all with great results!

Carob was an easy flavour choice to assume this role, as you may or may not know, I have recently rediscovered a love for all things carob and I have been excited to try it in everything.

I wasn’t quite in the mood however, for straight up carob as I had just downed the last of my Coconut Carob Cups so I needed something to compliment it. And since I have been craving my Chai Spiced Popcorn a lot lately I thought, why not cardamom? I love its spicy, warm notes and even though I like it anytime of year, there is something about cold weather that just seems to suits it.

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More On these Paleo Cupcakes

The frosting is an inspiration from a mixture of recipes, one being the original glaze from the adapted recipe and the other being from Whole New Mom’s sweet potato frosting.

I love, love, love cinnamon and well, the sweet potato base just was the perfect thing to try with it’s natural sweetness.

Even though it might seem like a bit of work to make this frosting, most of it is that is the hands off part of baking.  Plus, to save even more time, just use canned sweet potato for an uber easy treat!

Recipe Notes

  • Squash options: I’ve used pumpkin, hubbard and a pumpkin-spaghetti squash mix — all with good results.  Sweet potato can also be used but is higher carb.
  • Almond butter alternatives: I use homemade almond butter made from soaked and dehydrated nuts. You can also try another nut or seed butter but I haven’t tried that. I think sunflower seed butter would be the best option.
  • Low-carb cupcake option: Use cocoa powder instead of carob for a low carb cupcake. You’ll want to use a bit less and/or increase the sweetener, however, since cocoa is bitter.
  • Egg substitute: An egg substitute like this DIY Powdered Egg Replacer can be used instead of eggs if you are not low carb – flax or chia egg works well for a low-carb option.
  • To make sweet potato or pumpkin puree, wash one medium to large sweet potato, prick with a fork a few times, then place on a baking sheet and bake at 400°F for 30-40 minutes until tender.
    Let it cool a bit. The skin should peel off relatively easy at this point. Scoop out the filling and place in a mini food processor or blender and puree. Line the baking sheet with safe parchment paper for easier cleanup.
  • Cinnamon amount: The cinnamon is pretty heavy in this frosting so you might want to start with less and adjust.
  • Carob amount: The carob isn’t that overpowering in this recipe, but if you don’t like carob, you can substitute cocoa, just use a bit less.
Carob Cupcakes with Sweet Potato Frosting. These Paleo Cupcakes are frosted with a yummy sugar free frosting. There's an option to make them vegan cupcakes too! I'm tempted to just eat the frosting plain!

Paleo Cardamom Carob Cupcakes with Sweet Potato Frosting

These Paleo Carob Cupcakes are frosted with a yummy sweet potato frosting–easily made AIP and low-carb too.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Keto, Low-Carb, Paleo, Vegan
Keyword: carob cupcakes, paleo cupcakes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 8 cupcakes
Calories: 302kcal

Ingredients

Cupcakes

Frosting

  • 1 medium to large sweet potato (See baking directions below.)
  • 5-10 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice (preferably fresh)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 5/6 teaspoon liquid stevia (20 drops)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil (melted)

Instructions

Cupcakes

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Place all ingredients into a bowl and mix until combined.
  • Scoop into paper lined muffin tin or into cake pan.
  • Bake for 20-30 minutes until it looks set and a toothpick in the center comes out clean.
  • Cool and enjoy!

Frosting

  • Wash sweet potato. Prick with fork a few times. Place on baking sheet and bake at 400°F for 30-40 minutes until tender. Let it cool a bit. Peel the skin off.
  • Scoop out the filling and place in a mini food processor or blender and puree. Reserve 1 cup of the puree for the frosting.
  • Ensure all ingredients are at room temperature or a little warmer.
  • Using a hand mixer beat all ingredients into a bowl, scraping down the sides a few times. Adjust flavors to taste.
  • Spread onto cupcake or cake with a knife or use a frosting piping bag for a more fancy look.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

  • Squash options: I’ve used pumpkin, hubbard and a pumpkin-spaghetti squash mix — all with good results.  Sweet potato can also be used but is higher carb.
  • Almond butter alternatives: I use homemade almond butter made from soaked and dehydrated nuts. You can also try another nut or seed butter but I haven’t tried that. I think sunflower seed butter would be the best option.
  • Low-carb cupcake option: Use cocoa powder instead of carob for a low carb cupcake. You’ll want to use a bit less and/or increase the sweetener, however, since cocoa is bitter.
  • Egg substitute: An egg substitute like this DIY Powdered Egg Replacer can be used instead of eggs if you are not low carb – flax or chia egg works well for a low-carb option.
  • To make sweet potato or pumpkin puree, wash one medium to large sweet potato, prick with a fork a few times, then place on a baking sheet and bake at 400°F for 30-40 minutes until tender.
    Let it cool a bit. The skin should peel off relatively easy at this point. Scoop out the filling and place in a mini food processor or blender and puree. Line the baking sheet with safe parchment paper for easier cleanup.
  • Cinnamon amount: The cinnamon is pretty heavy in this frosting so you might want to start with less and adjust.
  • Carob amount: The carob isn’t that overpowering in this recipe, but if you don’t like carob, you can substitute cocoa, just use a bit less.

Nutrition

Calories: 302kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 41mg | Sodium: 176mg | Potassium: 622mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 8020IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 208mg | Iron: 2mg | Net Carbs: 15g

Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is merely an approximation. Optional ingredients are not included and when there is an alternative, the primary ingredient is typically used. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site. Erythritol carbs are not included in carb counts since they have been shown not to impact blood sugar. Net carbs are the total carbs minus fiber.

So whip up a batch of cupcakes, or dial it in and make this recipe into a cake.

Top it with yummy frosting, or make it simple and munch on the delicious cake all by itself or topped with a sprinkling of unrefined powdered sugar.

You won’t be disappointed and your worn out mind and body will relish the pampering of a quiet moment accompanied by a warm and comforting treat.

Enjoy!

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47 Comments

        1. Yes, you can but really it varies so much by brand. I like Trader Joe’s but I think their stevia is kind of weak. That being said, I guess that means that any recipe using stevia can be really off b/c of the brand. I guess taste and try it out? Or tell me what brand and maybe I / we can figure it out by seeing if they have a good conversion chart.

          1. Thank you! All I have on hand right now is the Trader Joe’s brand. I’ve never baked with stevia before, so I’m very new to amounts, strengths, relative sweetness, etc. I also want to experiment with pure monk fruit powder, and am waiting on an order of that to arrive. I will see what happens and post back if any of it works… Thanks for the inspiring recipe 🙂

            1. I so hope it works out well for you! I really need to get those new images up! BTW, I know you already ordered, but if you want you can get 20% off monk extract here: https://wholenewmom.com/LakantoGolden using code wholenewmom. What brand did you try? I haven’t experimented too much w/ monk extract.

                  1. Oh, thanks for that! Good to know they carry the pure extract as well. I missed that in my earlier research…

                    1. You are so welcome. It’s a bit hidden on the site – I’m going to reach out and tell them!

  1. Is the nut butter a necessity? What would you recommend as a good allergy-free substitute? Thank you!

    P.S. I’m so thankful to have found your website! My son has eczema and several food allergies, as well as my best friends’ son.

      1. Adrienne, thank you! My son can, but my friend’s son is allergic to pretty much every nut and seed that I know of, including pumpkin. 🙁
        I was just hoping to make something somewhat “traditional” that’s safe for everyone to eat for my son’s 1st birthday.

        Is the nut/seed butter mostly for consistency or flavor, or both?

        1. Of course! Please tell me the allergies and we’ll see what we can come up with. The nut / seed butter makes up the bulk of the cupcake batter, together with the pumpkin.

  2. As a diabetic who is trying to find low carb foods that are satisfying, I would appreciate it if you would put the nutrition values for your recipes on the recipes. You give low carb choices, but it doesn’t help me if I don’t know the actual numbers. Thanks.

    1. Hello Carey – I am looking into this. Thanks for the comment. I do provide a lot of alternatives so that would make it hard, but I’m considering it.

  3. What a great recipe! This cake is so moist and the spices are wonderful. You made my candida diet a lot easier this week!

    1. Hi and thanks. Question for you–you said you are on the candida diet but you are a mushroom farm. Typically mushrooms aren’t allowed on the candida diet. Can you explain please? Thanks!

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  5. Hi, I’d like to ask – would the sweet potato icing last without being refrigerated? I’m thinking of taking these on a plane to my boyfriend and I’m worried it would melt.

  6. Did you mean 1.5 cups of cooked sweet potato for the frosting? I tried it with the 1/2 cup listed, but am adding more as it doesn’t seem quite right. Thanks!

    1. OK so I double checked the recipe and the ratios are correct. However, I forgot that I usually only put frosting on half the cake so the frosting recipe should be doubled or tripled, I will ask Adrienne to update this! Thank you for pointing this out.

  7. I’m always looking for frosting recipes without powdered sugar. Might have to give yours a try.

  8. Hi Chris,
    The recipe makes approximately 12 cupcakes or 1 – 9×9 cake. I hope you enjoy them!

    1. It would really depend on what you use. If you want to reduce the carbs to almost nothing use cocoa instead of carob. I’ve thought about adding nutritional value to my recipes but haven’t done it yet.

  9. This recipe sounds amazing! I would love to make it but how much almond butter needs to be put in?
    Thanks in advance!! Keep up the good work!!
    Leah

    1. I’m assuming so. I’ve emailed Candace. I’m sure she’ll be back soon. I am going to input it as “1 cup”. Sorry about that!

  10. Howdy! I’d love to try this. There is a typo in the recipe – how much nut butter do I use? I’m assuming 1 cup? The recipe just says “1.”

  11. If I were going to use maple syrup or brown rice syrup in place of the stevia, how much would I use?

    1. Hi Sarah,
      I would try 1/2 cup of brown rice syrup and maybe a little less of maple syrup (since it is more liquid-y). The recipe I adapted called for 1/2 cup of honey. I hope that helps! Please let us know how they turn out!

  12. Oh wow! These look amazing! I love how you didn’t use flour in the recipes- my favorite kind of cupcake:) You’re really talented in the kitchen!:) Happy New Year!