Chocolate and spinach cupcakes with cream cheese frosting

Remember what I said in the last post about cutting down the amount of sugar my children eat? Well, this recipe for chocolate and spinach cupcakes is an exception to that rule! I was a bit nervous about baking with spinach so decided I'd stick with a traditional chocolate cupcake recipe. And the result? Well, they absolutely loved them - even though the green flecks of spinach were visible and I told them exactly what was in them. 

When I first started this blog many of my recipes really were about hiding fruit and vegetables into food for children. I'm so pleased that this is becoming less and less necessary. There is still a way to go but a couple of years ago R would have refused to eat these cupcakes because they had green bits in them. I think we're a way off of him eating spinach salad or sag aloo though!

I'll be getting back on the low-sugar bandwagon soon though. R left school today with a packet of chocolate buttons for someone's birthday and was not very good company afterwards *understatement of the year*. Sugar after a meal seems to be okay so these cupcakes were strictly for dessert only -  not a mid-afternoon snack (for him anyway).

Chocolate and spinach cupcakes recipe

100g spinach, wilted, cooled and puréed or finely chopped. Using your hands squeeze out the excess water.
150g unsalted butter
150g caster sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp cocoa powder
200g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder

For the frosting (optional)
125g cream cheese
50g softened butter
300g icing sugar (sifted)
2-3 tbsp cocoa powder and/or green food colouring

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C. Fill a 12-hole muffin tin with muffin cases. 

Cream together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla extract and beat. Stir in the spinach.

Sift in the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder.

Fill the muffin cases 3/4 full. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 15-18 minutes until well risen and firm to the touch. Cool completely on a wire rack before adding the frosting.

To make the frosting beat together the butter and icing sugar until creamy and well combined. Add the cocoa powder or food colouring at this stage too. Stir in the cream cheese and beat well until you have a spreadable consistency. Spread over the top of your cupcakes or pipe on using a piping bag as desired.