Organic Whole Wheat Vanilla Cupcakes

I grew up anticipating a lot of special days.  There would be the day when a friend from school would give me half a heart necklace and ask me to be her best friend.  There would be the day when I would meet my one true love and kiss him for ever after. The day I’d meet the curling eyelashes of my first child.  Perfect moments worth looking forward to. Those moments when all the world stops and you’re just glad, glad, glad, and so honored to have that friend, that husband, that baby.

Of course, no one ever thought to tell me about the blessed moment when I would meet THE Ultimate Fitness Instructor.  Such a moment is akin to fairy tale happiness.  You know what I’m talking about.  There are aerobics classes, and Zumba classes, step, yoga, tai chi. All sorts of great outlets for repressed mania and jiggly thighs.  There are teachers who are fun and teachers who are nice.  Dance teachers that make you believe you might actually get their lean little belly if you keep attending class. There are teachers who are motivating, weight lifting coaches who scare the crap out of you, quiet Pilates instructors who finish ‘The Hundred’ before you can even figure out how to get both legs suspended midair.

And then, there is Lori. Lori is one of those teachers that has the uncanny knack of knowing exactly what you need to hear in the middle of a vengeful, sweat-laden attempt to do ten push-ups in a row, “This is YOUR workout! Own it!” When she says a thing, there’s no way you can’t push a little harder, believe in yourself a little more.  She’s feisty and full of life, with the warmth of a Jamaican grandmother. She remembers names. Asks questions.  Tells my husband it will be all right, and to let her know if she can do anything…ANYTHING…when we are awaiting the doctors reply on the evil MRI. And mostly, she works the sin out of your shenanigans.  Ain’t no squishy bellybutton stand a chance against Lori.

My husband was the first one to find Lori. He started attending classes and begged me to come. My husband. Asked ME to attend a fitness class. Those funny, frou frou fitness classes that he’d smirk over as he headed into the weight room for  session of grunting were now part of his don’t-miss workout routine.

So, last week, when Lori pimped my blog in the middle of class and my John came home all glowy and thrilled, I figured it was high time we let Lori know how special she is to us.  At midnight on Wednesday, I started a batch of Organic Vanilla Cupcakes for John to tote to his usual Thursday class.  Since they’d be passed out to a room full of women who’d just attempted to burn a few calories, I opted to go for a kinda healthyish cupcake. One made with organic everything, coconut oil, and whole wheat.

While the cuppies were baking, John peeked worriedly into the electric mixer, ‘Whole Wheat?’ he moaned. Twenty minutes later, with a mouth full of organic goodness, he asked for a second helping. Golden. It’s lurvely when healthy makeovers work on recipes.

But I think what’s even nicer is when you get to share them with your favorite Lori.  ’Cause awesome fitness instructors don’t just mold your bootay into submission, they also meld their way right into your heart.

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Organic Whole Wheat Vanilla Cupcakes

If you're hankering for a cupcake, but trying to keep the treat as guilt-free as possible, these organic goodies take the cake. While they aren't completely calorie-free, they are made completely with white whole wheat flour and split the fat between organic butter and coconut oil. Despite these healthified variations, these cupcakes bake up soft and sweet. The only warning I feel to offer is that you might want to halve the recipe, since this will make about 50 cupcakes. Just enough for a fitness class.

Ingredients:

FOR THE CUPCAKES:
1 stick butter
1/2 cup coconut oil
5 organic eggs
2 1/2 cups organic sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups organic white whole wheat flour
1/2 cup buttermilk (or almond milk curdled with 1 tablespoon vinegar)

FOR THE BUTTERCREAM:
3 pounds organic powdered sugar
2 sticks organic butter
Caviar of 1 vanilla bean
1/2 teaspoon butter flavoring, vanilla butter and nut flavoring, and coconut flavoring
1/2 cup buttermilk, whole milk, or almond milk

Directions:

FOR THE CUPCAKES:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Zap the coconut oil in the microwave for about 15 seconds, then beat in an electric mixer with the butter, eggs, and sugar until super whippy. Add remaining ingredients and beat together until all ingredients are incorporated. Spoon into muffin tins lined with cupcake wrappers. Bake in preheated oven for 17-19 minutes, or just until center of the cupcakes is set. Cool completely before serving.

FOR THE BUTTERCREAM:
In an electric mixer, beat the butter until light and fluffy add the remaining ingredients and beat together until light and fluffy. Frost over cooled cupcakes. Garnish with a light sprinkling of turbinado sugar and fresh blackberries.

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36 Responses to “Organic Whole Wheat Vanilla Cupcakes”

  1. 1

    Janine on April 15, 2011 at 10:10 pm Reply

    these look and sound fab! i’ve never seen whole wheat flour being used in cupcakes before, but since I like them in breads, I guess I should probably like them in cupcakes too :D

  2. 2

    Vanessa on April 15, 2011 at 10:36 pm Reply

    I bought a huge bucket of coconut oil, and have yet to even CRACK it open. Thanks for giving me a reason to cook “healthy” with my oil.

    Now, truthfully, Brooke, “caviar of 1 vanilla bean”? Um…hello? I only wish I knew what that meant and could claim that I knew where to find it at the grocery store.

    Could there possibly be a simpler substitute?
    You are amazing, and continue to inspire me everyday.
    I read the blog every day, and I DO NOT EVEN LOVE TO COOK!

    I just love YOU!

    • Brooke replied: — April 17th, 2011 @ 11:18 pm

      You go girl. A TUB of coconut oil?! Amazing!

      Yes, silly cat. You can use a tablespoon of vanilla. Or, you can buy vanilla beans, cut them in half, and scrape their pretty little seeds from the center of the pod. That right there is the caviar. Yumma!

  3. 3

    Katrina on April 15, 2011 at 11:38 pm Reply

    I love this story. You are so lucky to have someone close to you that is so committed to fitness to help you along the way! I’m sure Lori loved these cupcakes, I would!

  4. 4

    Kolette on April 16, 2011 at 10:20 am Reply

    Thank you, Vanessa! How did you take the words right out of my mind? I repeat all that Vanessa commented except the part about buying a huge bucket of coconut oil. Need “Vanilla Bean Caviar” help.
    I also don’t love to cook – just love Brooke. Hey, that could be a jingle.

    • Brooke replied: — April 17th, 2011 @ 11:16 pm

      You are trouble. Straight trouble. But I love you anyway. (Or maybe, I love you because of it. :)

  5. 5

    Northwest Kirsten on April 17, 2011 at 2:07 am Reply

    I haven’t heard the term “vanilla bean caviar” before, but I assume it just means the insides of a vanilla bean (which is really a long, soft pod). The little seeds in there look kinda like small caviar. You just slice open the bean and scrape out the seed-y stuff. You should be able to find vanilla beans at most grocery stores. You can also just use a little extra vanilla extract, I assume, if I don’t have a vanilla bean available, but nothin’ like the bean to give you the real McCoy vanilla-luxe flavor! Happy caviar-ing!

    • Brooke replied: — April 17th, 2011 @ 11:16 pm

      Kirsten, you are EXACTLY RIGHT! Thanks for setting my Kolette and Vanessa peeps straight! I’ve gotta get those crazy girls in the kitchen more. ;)

  6. 6

    Maria on April 17, 2011 at 8:16 am Reply

    I love the blackberry on top! Lovely cupcakes!

  7. 7

    Meghan on April 17, 2011 at 8:55 am Reply

    That is so smart, a more healthy cupcake. I am a cupcake lover! These look and sound so yummy!!

  8. 8

    Tickled Red on April 17, 2011 at 9:28 am Reply

    I am coming to get a batch of those as fast as I can! Lori is so lucky :)

  9. 9

    Jeanette on April 17, 2011 at 12:39 pm Reply

    What a nice way to “healthify” a special treat!

  10. 10

    Jessica on April 17, 2011 at 9:46 pm Reply

    An awesome fitness instructor definitely keeps you coming back week after week! Got a few of them in my life – thank goodness :) Bet she and the class loved these little cakes!

  11. 11

    Winnie on April 18, 2011 at 6:40 am Reply

    So much yum…I want one right now ;)

  12. 12

    Rikki on April 20, 2011 at 10:24 am Reply

    I just made these and they are SO good!! I have yet to make the frosting, but I couldn’t resist trying one. They are a nice surprising texture – thicker kind of like a muffin, but still lighter than a muffin. I’m not sure if this happened to yours, but mine have this nice crunchy top, I’m assuming from the sugar. (Heck, I have no idea what it’s from, but it’s delicious!) I will definitely be making these again!!

    • Brooke replied: — April 20th, 2011 @ 9:49 pm

      So glad they worked for you!And, I totally get the crusty comment. Good stuff like that just happens in the kitchen sometimes. :)

  13. 13

    Rikki on April 20, 2011 at 10:25 am Reply

    p.s. I should have said “a little cripsy” or something like that instead of “crunchy”. It’s like it has a little crust on it. Wow, I’m bad at explaining this.

  14. 14

    HDM on April 20, 2011 at 3:45 pm Reply

    I was one of the lucky ones in Lori’s class that day she pimped your website. I started reading your blog. What a delightful treat!

    And those are the best cupcakes I have ever had. Ever. Hands down. Thank you!

    • Brooke replied: — April 20th, 2011 @ 9:47 pm

      How very lovely of you to say! They are yummy cupcakes…especially considering how healthyish they are! Thanks for your comment!

  15. 15

    Michele on June 13, 2011 at 8:43 am Reply

    So excited to try these today. I’m making them for my own birthday celebration. I totally got the “caviar” thing, but am a little confused in all the “flavorings” in the frosting. Is it really a 1/2 tsp of each and where do I find them? Should I drag my kids to the store? Cause I’ll make them put down their light sabers and go if we have to!

    • Brooke replied: — June 13th, 2011 @ 11:50 pm

      You can totally find them all at Walmart. I only know that because I went randomly once to Walmart and found them all in a row. Just toss 1/2 teaspoon of EACH into your frosting, and you WILL NOT believe how much it tastes like toasted marshmallow!

  16. 16

    Kaitlan on September 15, 2011 at 3:45 pm Reply

    I just made these because I wanted something sweet! They are the most amazing cupcakes I have ever had the pleasure of making! You ROCK!

  17. 17

    Karrie on January 25, 2012 at 3:06 am Reply

    Thanks for the whole wheat cup cake recipe. It was tasty, but they did not rise well. I don’t know why. I used the baking soda and baking powder. What do yo think happened.

  18. 18

    Kelly on March 23, 2012 at 4:57 am Reply

    Trying these hopefully soon. Finally figured out my major food allergy is processed white flour. I get very ill after eating it. But oh how I miss vanilla cupcakes. Hoping this will do the trick. Thanks :)

  19. 19

    Elaine on May 14, 2012 at 4:38 am Reply

    Hi, can you give me the recipe of making 8 servings because I am making for my Mother in her coming birthday. Thanks :D

  20. 20

    Taylor on August 29, 2012 at 11:41 pm Reply

    I was wondering if I could make this a cake instead of cupcakes? If I half the recipe, would it work for two round cake pans like a normal recipe? Thanks! :)

  21. 21

    Laura on September 3, 2012 at 3:22 pm Reply

    I would love to make these for my sons Birthday Party but….. I happen to be allergic to Coconut! What can I substitute for the coconut oil? Do I just increase the amount of butter being used or is there another alternative?
    Thank you!

    • Brooke replied: — September 3rd, 2012 @ 8:41 pm

      Butter works perfectly, instead!

  22. 22

    frida on February 14, 2013 at 2:50 am Reply

    I made this recipe, and i think that 4 cups of whole wheat flour it was too much, my blender burned out. So I will recommend you to use 3 cups, plus I added 1/2 cup of applesauce, this was tasted much better.

  23. 23

    Tiffany on February 18, 2013 at 8:32 am Reply

    I made these and they were a total fail! I followed the directions completely, but every single cupcake caved in. Not a fluffy cupcake at all. We salvaged them and put ice cream in the middle of each and ate them that way, but otherwise I would have had to throw them away. Any idea why this happened?

  24. 24

    Angel on February 21, 2013 at 8:55 pm Reply

    I have a batch of these in the oven (mini cupcake version) right now. I cannot wait to see how they turn out! As a cupcake LOVER and someone who works out daily, it is hard to justify eating a delicious cupcake (which I would prefer to do at least once a week, if not more) and still feeling like my workout was worth it. These little babies should cure my craving and still keep me on (somewhat) the right track! Thanks for sharing!!

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  26. 25

    Elizabeth on April 25, 2013 at 5:36 pm Reply

    Used freshly ground soft white wheat (makes pastry flour), reduced sugar, added some maple syrup. Yield was 24 standard cupcakes. Made my own frosting.

  27. 26

    Stacy @Stacy Makes Cents on September 1, 2013 at 7:59 pm Reply

    I just made these this weekend for my son’s 1st birthday party. They were a HUGE hit!!! :-) Thanks so much for a great, wholesome recipe.

  28. 27

    T on March 21, 2014 at 2:41 pm Reply

    Getting ready to try this recipe in cake form? Has anyone made it as a cake or just as cupcakes. Curious how it works. I am planning to follow the recipe as is and just increase cooking time. thanks

  29. 28

    T on March 24, 2014 at 5:27 am Reply

    I ended up making two 8 inch rounds and 18 cupcakes. This is a great recipe. I frosted with fresh whipped cream. Thank you for posting the recipe.

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