Paleo Chocolate Cherry Muffins
When we moved into our house 3 years ago, I would have never known how much I would appreciate the full grown cherry tree that was already established in the backyard. I look forward to the tree blooming now every year, and watch with anticipation as the little buds turn into yellow balls, then slowly turn into the plump deep red color that signals ripeness.
Last year at this time, I was in the midst of a terrible Ulcerative Colitis flare, and was so ill that I couldn’t muster the strength to pick them. The neighborhood birds had a feast! It felt like such a waste, but then again, I wasn’t even well enough to be baking or cooking so they wouldn’t have been much use.
A year later, and with my health resurrected, I’m making sure to use every last one. I even climbed the tree myself and hung flash tape to keep the pesky birds at bay! The new crop that I just picked last weekend signifies that a year of healing has gone by and I’m celebrating my health this spring by putting cherries into anything and everything I can think of! I’m beyond grateful for healing strength of God and the simple pleasures that I am able enjoy this Spring that I would have never been able to accomplish last year: cooking, climbing trees, chasing my son around, or even being able to carry him up the stairs!
These muffins have gone through quite a few test runs. The first time I made them, they tasted and felt too much like cupcakes and I felt guilty for eating them in the morning! I made them a little more dense by using cacao butter and lowered the honey to make them more muffin like. Cacao butter is a vegetable fat solid that is extracted from the cacao bean. It is naturally caffein-free, high in omega 6 and 9, and gives a slight nutty/chocolate flavor to things. It is also a common ingredient in making chocolate, which is how I make my raw chocolate truffles! They are still sweet and I can’t possibly suggest eating them every day, but you will definitely be tempted to! Also, stay tuned for the Black Forest Cupcakes with Whipped Cream Frosting that were inspired by these muffins.
- 4 large eggs
- ¼ cup honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup cacao butter, melted
- ¼ cup coconut milk
- ¼ cup coconut flour
- ½ cup blanched almond flour
- ¼ cup raw cacao powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup chocolate chips (I use Enjoy Life for soy, dairy, and gluten free)
- ¾ cup sweet cherries, pitted and roughly chopped
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line a 12 cup muffin pan with cupcake liners.
- In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the eggs with the cacao butter for 30 seconds to a minute on medium high speed. Add the honey, vanilla and coconut milk then beat for a minute longer until fully incorporated.
- Combine the coconut flour, almond flour, cacao powder, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl.
- Using a sifter or a fine mesh strainer, sift the dry ingredients into the wet. Beat for one minute, scraping down the sides to make sure everything is mixed well.
- Stir in the chopped cherries and chocolate chips by hand. The batter should be fairly thick and lumpy. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pan, filling each cup to ¾ full.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes. These are dark so it’s hard to tell when they are done by sight, but a toothpick should come out clean and the cake should bounce back when you press your finger gently into the top. Try not to over bake them or they will be too dry!
- I store half in the freezer for later use, and keep the other half on the counter tightly wrapped for 3-4 days.
Shared at Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays