Ever since posting my Spring Nettle Soup recipe I’ve been thinking about making nettle frosting. The vibrant green colour of nettles is just too beautiful not to try! And so these Raw Chocolate Cupcakes with Nettle Frosting came to Life as a complete experiment and I totally fell in love with these gorgeous mini cakes. I’ve picked the nettle chocolate combination for the colour, not really knowing whether it would work, but the flavours! What a yummy wholesome treat these are.
At first the frosting looked like oh this was a bad idea, but at the end it all came together just fine. The frosting is not technically raw, I wasn’t completely comfortable using the nettles raw and so I’ve blanched them first. I’ve melted some coconut butter with coconut oil, added some maple syrup and lemon zest and blended everything together with the blanched nettles. First it looked a bit split, but after about 30 minutes in the fridge it all came together beautifully ready to frost the cupcakes. The chocolate rich cupcakes are a mix of walnuts, pumpkin seeds, medjool dates and raw cacao, perfectly complimenting the nettle frosting. There’s a sweet spot for the frosting, don’t let it cool too long, otherwise it’ll be too hard to frost the cupcakes. You can use some cupcake liners for the cupcakes if you prefer. I’ve just pressed the mix straight into the tin and used the edge of a knife to pop them out after about an hour in the fridge. Looking forward to see what you think. Enjoy:) x
Raw Chocolate Cupcakes with Nettle Frosting (grain-free & vegan)
- 100g walnuts (1 cup)
- 80g pumpkin seeds (1/2 cup)
- 8 medjool dates, pitted
- 1tbsp coconut oil
- 30g raw cacao powder (1/4 cup)
- 1tsp cinnamon
- pinch of sea salt
- 200g coconut butter or creamed coconut (1 cup)
- 2tbsp coconut oil
- 2tbsp maple syrup
- 1/2 lemon, zest
- 1tbsp lemon juice
- 30g nettle leaves (2 cups)
- Place the walnuts and pumpkin seeds into food processor, pulse few times until they broken down to a coarse consistency. Add dates, coconut oil, cacao, cinnamon and sea salt and blend until the mixture comes together. Divide the mix evenly into 12 mini cupcake holes and press tightly down. Place into a fridge for about an hour to firm up.
- In a double boiler gently melt coconut butter with coconut oil. Set aside and leave to cool down a bit.
- Carefully pick nettle leaves from the stems and wash thoroughly. It's best to use gloves to do that. In a small pot bring water to a boil, add nettles and boil for 2 minutes. Rinse under cold water and drain well. Place into blender with 1tbsp of lemon juice and blend until smooth.
- Add the melted coconut butter, maple syrup and lemon zest to the nettles and blend until incorporated. Scoop the mix into a bowl and refrigerate for about half hour until firm enough to frost the cupcakes. Don't worry if it looks a bit split at this point, just give it a good stir afterwards.
- With an edge of a knife pop the cupcakes out of the tin, smooth out the edge if it gets a bit distorted.
- Spoon the mixture into piping bag with a large nozzle and decorate the cupcakes.
- Store in a fridge or freezer in an airtight container.
There’s a sweet spot for the frosting, don’t let it cool too long, otherwise it’ll be too hard to frost the cupcakes. If it does get too hard, you can soften it in a double boiler.
Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine says
The frosting sounds incredible! These look like little forests <3 Beautiful bites of nature ;)
Thank you Rebecca for this lovely comment! I wanted them to look very green and natural, I suppose they do look like little trees:) x
Where do you get the nettle leaves from?
Hi Ana, I get nettle from my local Farmers market and they are just back in season. If you live in countryside, nettle grows wild pretty much anywhere.
Michelle @ The Last Food Blog says
Wow, these look incredible Hana! Beautiful colours and photos x
Thank you so much Michelle! I’ve had so much fun making and photographing these little beauties:) x
Sasha @ Eat Love Eat says
Beautiful! And so creative! I have no idea what nettles taste like but from the look of these it can only be good :)
Thank you so much Sasha! Funny enough I can’t even taste the nettles in the frosting, you get more of a chocolate flavour coming through and lemon in the frosting. x
The Girl In The Purple Sweater says
What a great idea! And the photos are wonderful too!
Thank you so much!!!
This sounds divine!
Thank you so much Natalia! I utterly loved these cupcakes:)
Timothy Garcia says
I have a lot of allergies and it’s very difficult to find a cupcake that I can eat and tastes good! I’m SOOO excited to make these this weekend with my kids. Thanks for sharing :)
and speaking of nettles if you have pollen allergies you ought to eat more nettles. Nettles is always in tincture blends for grass and pollen allergies. I just picked up some dried nettles to make tea for my child (who loves cupcakes). This would be a win win! Thanks Hana:)
You’re so welcome Frankie! And thank you so much for your comment, hope you both enjoy these :)
Can’t wait to try these! Beautiful! Wondering if I could substitute raw honey for the maple syrup???
Thank you so much Nancy! Yes, raw honey will be great too :)
Hi can I just know what is coconut (1 cup) and what is coconut creamed?
Hi Amra, I’ve used coconut butter in the recipe, which is the same thing as creamed coconut, they just come in different packaging. Sometimes it’s also referred to as coconut manna. You can make your own by blending shredded coconut too.
Thank you very much for this beautiful recipe. I live in Southern Spain and have no idea where I could find 30 grams of fresh Nettle leaves. Due to the strong influence of Moroccan cuisine here, there is an abundance of fresh mint. Do you think I could substitute the nettle leaves for fresh mint?
thank you very much,
Hi Aicha, you’re so welcome! I think fresh mint could work really well too, I would give it a try. Just blend it first before adding to the coconut butter. Other option could be spinach :)
Would dried nettle leaves work in place of fresh?
Hi Hannah, I don’t think dried nettles would work in here, fresh nettles have lovely vibrant green colour that is perfect for these. You could try spinach or a green powder like matcha or wheatgrass could also work.
They look so yummy & picturesque! Since nettles arent available at the moment I am thinking maybe a bit of Peppermint Essential Oil in the frosting & a bit of freshly ground up mint from my garden for that beautiful color of green.
Thank you so much Roberta! Nettles are back in season in the UK at the moment, I bought some past couple of weekends at my local Farmers Market, but you could definitely try fresh mint too :)
Would dried nettles work too? I’m thinking it might not be as nicely flecked as in your photos, but I was wondering if it would turn out too soggy, or if you’ve any thoughts on this? I’ve a bag of them in my cupboard and my sweet tooth is thinking I should put them into this recipe instead of the delicious nettle lasagne I did last time. :)
Hi Mandy, I’m not sure if they would as I haven’t tried. The fresh nettles are great for the bright colour, which will be difficult to achieve with dried ones, however you could always try :) They won’t get too soggy with the fresh ones as the coconut butter is so solid, it needs something to thin it out. Nettle lasagna sounds amazing!
Wonderful idea! I wonder how to substitute a coconut butter?
Thank you Michalina! You could use a mix of soaked cashews and coconut oil instead.
This recipe sounds delicious, do you think it could be done as a tart ? How long would you leave it in the fridge to set ?
Tried and love the nettle soup recipe !
Hi Tina, yes, you can definitely make it as a tart. Make the tart crust with the base and use the frosting as filling. You can loosen the filling a bit more with another 60ml of water or plant milk to make it more creamy. Hope you like it :)
Delicious! Wondering if blanched then frozen nettles would work? They probably wouldn’t be the same color beautiful green… but I wonder! Thoughts?
Thank you Kate. I’ve only ever frozen fresh nettles, but they didn’t do too well in the freezer, so blanching them first would definitely be better. It should work in the recipe, but you have to try it to see how the colour develops. Please let me know if you do try it :)