Sweet Potato Quinoa Flour Cupcakes

You guys, my head is literally spinning. Between work, the blog, and wedding planning, I feel like my mind is being pulled in a hundred different directions. It’s a good busy though so I can’t complain. I’m secretly just trying to justify the lack of creative story telling and step-by-step pictures around here.

Is it working?

The good news is, cupcakes.

Sweet Potato Cupcakes {made with healthy quinoa flour. gluten-free.}

Not just any cupcakes. Nooooohhooohoooo. Gluten-free cupcakes that are made with my favorite flour and without any starches or gums. Just all natural goodness right here folks.

Sweet Potato Cupcakes {made with healthy quinoa flour. gluten-free.}

Contrary to most gluten-free recipes, they have a light texture and are nice and moist. I’m sorry if you hate that word but it’s true, they’re moist, mmmkay?

I know these aren’t exactly Thanksgiving material or at least, I’ve never seen anyone serve cupcakes on Turkey Day, but I wouldn’t complain if they did. These cupcakes are rich with flavor and have a touch of spice that’s reminiscent of fall. Really, they would make a nice treat for any occasion this time of year.

Like a Friday night after work in your PJ’s, for example.

Sweet Potato Cupcakes {made with healthy quinoa flour. gluten-free.}

If you’re not a sweet potato fan, no worries, you can sub the puree out for pumpkin puree instead.

The cupcake batter is actually dairy-free but I topped them with a cream cheese icing which kind of killed that whole idea. However, you could easily replace it with vegan cream cheese if you wanted to avoid the dairy.

I actually made a similar {non gluten-free} version of these cupcakes earlier this year and while those did look a little prettier, the gluten-free version actually tastes just as good, if not better and that says a lot coming from me.  I’m picky about my cake.

Sweet Potato Quinoa Flour Cupcakes {gluten-free}

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 12 cupcakes


2 cups quinoa flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

2 large eggs

1 cup sweet potato puree (could also use pumpkin if preferred)

1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

1 tablespoon molasses

2 tablespoon melted coconut oil

Cream Cheese Icing

8 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese, softened

2 tablespoons Earth Balance (or butter)

1 cup powdered sugar (more if you prefer a sweeter icing)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Start by preheating the oven to 375°F and line a muffin pan with paper liners. Lightly grease the inside of the liners with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together the quinoa flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg.
  3. In a separate medium bowl, separate the egg whites from the yolks then add the yolks to the bowl with the flour.
  4. Next, add the rest of the ingredients on the list (adding coconut oil last) and gently mix until just combined.
  5. Beat the egg whites until stiff, but not dry, then gently fold them into the batter until just combined. Careful not to over-stir.
  6. Using an ice cream scoop (or a spoon), spoon batter into the cupcake tin, filling each about 3/4 of the way full.
  7. Bake in the oven for 15-18 minutes (time may vary). You should be able to stick a toothpick or knife into the center and have it come out clean. Then allow them to cool while you prepare the icing.
  8. In a large bowl, combine Earth Balance (or butter), vanilla extract and cream cheese and beat until combined. Add 1/2 cup powdered sugar at a time and continue to beat until a fluffy icing has formed. If the icing is not thick enough after adding 1 cup of powdered sugar, you can add another 1/2 cup to thicken it more.
  9. Lastly, iced cool cupcakes and serve!


method adapted from my Dark Chocolate Quinoa Cupcakes


Sweet Potato Cupcakes {made with healthy quinoa flour. gluten-free.}




Have you ever tried to bake with quinoa flour?

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{ 25 comments… add one }

  • Amanda @ .running with spoons. November 21, 2013, 8:38 pm

    Cupcakes -are- always good news! And maybe it’s just your photography skills, but I think they look quite pretty :) I’ve never tried baking with quinoa flour before, but I’d really love to start experimenting with some different flours, so maybe I’ll give it a shot soon.

  • Daniela @ FoodrecipesHQ November 22, 2013, 2:03 am

    I’ve used Quinoa flour a couple of times, the first one was a disaster. I loved that you combined it with sweet potato, sounds like a good mix to me! Wedding planning: must be rather challenging to make it all right when you work and do all the other stuff…
    Daniela @ FoodrecipesHQ recently posted…Savoy Cabbage and Potato Soup with grated Leicester Cheese and Greek YogurtMy Profile

  • Christine @ Gotta Eat Green November 22, 2013, 3:22 am

    What are you talking about.. these are adorable! And probably the healthiest recipe for cupcakes I have ever seen! I have only used quinoa flour a handful of times and I really liked it.. has a good flavour to it, compared to a lot of other GF flours.
    Christine @ Gotta Eat Green recently posted…Peanut Butter Banana Bread [Vegan and Gluten Free]My Profile

  • Heather Murphy November 22, 2013, 4:04 am

    haha I hate that word too, but when their moist, their moist.. :) I wish I had just 1/2 the photography skills you have! Oh, and the cupcakes look delicious! I think it’s perfectly acceptable to serve any kind of dessert on Thanksgiving!

  • Kelly @ Kelly Runs for Food November 22, 2013, 4:12 am

    I love sweet potato anything, so these look awesome! I’ve never used quinoa flour before, but I see it at the store all the time. I’ve felt the same way lately with work (minus the wedding planning), so I totally get how you feel. I will be spending my Friday night in pjs, haha. Have a great weekend!
    Kelly @ Kelly Runs for Food recently posted…Friday ObsessionsMy Profile

  • Elise @ 9toFit.com November 22, 2013, 4:15 am

    These look so good! I’ve never cooked with qunoa flour before I need to look into that
    Elise @ 9toFit.com recently posted…Feature Friday: Working Out & Eating InMy Profile

  • Erin @ The Almond Eater November 22, 2013, 4:32 am

    Hahhaha I DO hate the word moist, how did you know? These do look MOIST though and super delicious, so I guess it’s ok this time. Keep truckin’ along busy girl! Or maybe I should suggest a nap? Happy Friday!
    Erin @ The Almond Eater recently posted…Eat These to Live LongerMy Profile

  • Holly @ EatGreatBEGreat November 22, 2013, 5:04 am

    Yay for cupcakes! I make have a slight obsession with them! ;-) I’ve actually never bought quinoa flour before, but a lot of the healthy dessert recipes I’ve been seeing lately call for it, so I’m definitely going to have to check that out. Love the addition of the sweet potato puree!
    Holly @ EatGreatBEGreat recently posted…{Guest Post} The Carrageenan ControversyMy Profile

  • Sam @ Better With Sprinkles November 22, 2013, 5:18 am

    I’ve never tried baking with quinoa flour! I’m going to have to give it a shot soon to see how I like it…and then make these cupcakes, of course ;-)
    Sam @ Better With Sprinkles recently posted…Five Things Friday 11/22/13.My Profile

  • Davida @ The Healthy Maven November 22, 2013, 7:11 am

    Hate the word moist. Love you.

    Oh those days when you have nothing to say but gorgeous pictures that need some words in between. I feel ya. You could talk about whatever you wanted and I’d still come back.
    Davida @ The Healthy Maven recently posted…{Five On Friday} Random Ramblings #3My Profile

  • Kelli H (Made in Sonoma) November 22, 2013, 8:36 am

    I love anything sweet potato! These look so adorable! I’ve never used quinoa flour…I should try it!

  • Hillary | Nutrition Nut on the Run November 22, 2013, 11:13 am

    I’ve never tried baking with quinoa flour, but I’d like to!

    Excited for your blog redesign. Did you hire someone, or are you doing it yourself?

    • Sarah November 22, 2013, 12:12 pm

      I found someone to help me. I kept telling myself I was going to sit down and watch a few tutorials to change things around but there is no way I would ever have time for that!

  • FitBritt@MyOwnBalance November 22, 2013, 11:41 am

    These looks delicious! I’ve never used quinoa flour before. My mom used sprouted flour once and I almost died so since then I’ve stuck to regular flour when needed. Quinoa sounds interesting though!
    FitBritt@MyOwnBalance recently posted…Friday’s Food & Fitness: Dance Dance Dance!My Profile

  • Erica {Coffee & Quinoa} November 22, 2013, 3:00 pm

    OK, I’m going to have to go ahead and disagree with you – these ARE the prettiest cupcakes in the world! I can’t believe they are gluten-free – I am so not brave enough to try to concoct any gluten-free baked goods. You are amazing! And I am an enormous sweet potato fan, so these sound like heaven, especially with that cream cheese frosting. Mmmm.

  • Consuelo @ Honey & Figs November 23, 2013, 12:46 am

    Oooh healthy cupcakes are my favorite! And these look so great and I wouldn’t have told they were healthy if I hadn’t read the tittle ;)
    Have a wonderful weekend! x
    Consuelo @ Honey & Figs recently posted…Savory Cornmeal Waffles with Poached Egg, Salmon and AsparagusMy Profile

  • Ashley November 23, 2013, 5:43 am

    I’m going to have to try these for my mom and sister! So many gluten free baked goods I’ve tried and just so heavy! And then maybe I can also eat a few … on a Friday night after a ridiculous week of work : ) That sounds like a great plan! haha
    Ashley recently posted…33 Thanksgiving Recipe IdeasMy Profile

  • Jan @ Sprouts n Squats November 23, 2013, 2:04 pm

    I used to bake with Quinoa flour all the time until
    I realized I was allergic to it. It gives me hot flushes and headaches unfortunately as I did really love baking with it.

    These look delicious! And I’m sure using Spelt flour would probably work just as well too.
    Jan @ Sprouts n Squats recently posted…Friday FavouritesMy Profile

  • Sarah & Arkadi November 23, 2013, 2:05 pm

    We can always use this gluten-free recipe for some of our friends! Thanks!

  • Anastasia November 23, 2013, 5:38 pm

    Oh, wow, these look amazing! I know that my daughter would go crazy over these so I will have to make them for her soon. I have never baked with any flour alternatives before so this will be a new experience for me.
    Anastasia recently posted…Weekly LoveMy Profile

  • Jasmine | The Gluten Free Scallywag November 24, 2013, 2:36 pm

    Gosh, these look delicious. I do love a light, fluffy and ‘moist’ gluten free cupcake. I might try them out with some pumpkin puree I have in my fridge :)
    Jasmine | The Gluten Free Scallywag recently posted…Decadent Cheesecake Brownies, For Mum: Gluten Free RecipeMy Profile

  • Christie @kissesandkale.blogspot.com November 24, 2013, 3:51 pm

    These look so good! I’ve never cooked with quinoa flour before, I usually use brown rice flour. I’ll have to try it and this recipe though!
    Christie @kissesandkale.blogspot.com recently posted…11/24 Weekly Meal and Fitness PlanMy Profile

  • Alex @ Kenzie Life November 24, 2013, 4:37 pm

    I’ve never baked with quinoa flour but maybe I should give it a try!
    Alex @ Kenzie Life recently posted…How to Do an Energy CleansingMy Profile

  • Jillienne @ ChasingRaspberries November 25, 2013, 9:40 am

    I love the scene you have set for these cupcakes! They are adorable and look scrumptious! I honestly want one for a mid-morning snack right now.
    Jillienne @ ChasingRaspberries recently posted…It’s Tri Time!My Profile

  • Mary @ Fit and Fed November 27, 2013, 10:47 pm

    Cool! I have never used quinoa flour yet but now I’m intrigued, I’m going to save this recipe to try. I’ve always loved squash or sweet potato in baked goods so this will be a natural for me.
    Mary @ Fit and Fed recently posted…It’s Not About the Turkey | Our Vegetarian ThanksgivingsMy Profile


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