Saturday, November 10

Easy Chocolate (Coconut-Chocolate-Chunked-Toasted Walnut) Pumpkin Cupcakes

November is here. The weather is cold. This Arizona girl is freeeeezing in upstate NY. Lets stay inside and eat chocolate and drink lot of coffee. Deal? Good. Thanks. I need all the support I can get. I have the perfect treat for you. And its easy. Double bonus. You know that canned pumpkin or fresh pumpkin puree you might have now that Halloween is over and Thanksgiving isn't quite here yet.... grab that. I want to show you this cool, semi healthy trick. 

The name of this recipe is ridiculous. 9 words might be a bit much for this title, maybe. You see....My awesome amazing super helpful mom was just here visiting and we were talking about different ways to make oatmeal cookies with and without cranberries, white chocolate chips, walnuts, etc and what we came up with was completely crazy long. But it was pure inspiration for changing up my "go to" pumpkin cupcake recipes. 

I have tried this recipe with several different boxed cake mixes and this recipe shortcut works every time and no one is the wiser that I have made this semi-homemade desert/treat/coffee accompaniment using a healthy vegetable. Applesauce is fun to do stuff with but sometimes it can get too watery and too sweet. Pumpkin adds moistness, depth, and vitamins like fiber, E, A, C, K, and iron. Helllo Pumpkin! That's a ton of vitamins :) 

The fun additions like chocolate chunks, unsweetened coconut flakes, and toasted walnut pieces just turn something mundane into extra special coffee house kind of lets-celebrate-life special. Trust me. I just anciently ate one while taking pictures for the blog because I couldn't stop myself. Lol. They are that good. 


1. Grab any boxed chocolate cake mix 
2. Read the list of ingredients on the back - most of them require 2-3 eggs, 1/4 cup of oil, and 1/2 or so of water.  You'll need all that stuff the box mix calls for. 
3. 1/2 can of pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix) 
(optional) 4. 3/4 cup of walnut pieces 
(optional) 5.  1/2 cup of unsweetened coconut flakes
6. 3/4 cup of semi sweet or dark chocolate chunks or chocolate chips - not optional you want that extra chocolate burst  (use your favorite or whatever you have in your pantry) 
7. Chocolate frosting store bought or homemade


1. Preheat your oven to the temp on your box probably 350-400 degrees. 

2. Mix together the chocolate cake mix as directed on the back of the box. ONLY use 1 Tbs of the oil or butter and sub the rest with the 1/2 can of pumpkin puree. 

3. Line cupcake holders with liners and spray them with nonstick spray. 

4. If you are using walnuts, toast them in a nonstick pan for 3-5 minutes over medium heat on the stove until you can smell them. Cool them slightly for a couple minutes and stir them into the cake mix. 

5. Into the cupcake mix, add in the coconut flakes, if using

6. Pour the cupcake mix into the liners then add the chunks or chocolate chips. I just sprinkle a small handful into each section and most of them sink into different spots as they bake. If you are in a hurry, you can just add them to the mix with everything else but this just guarantees that every cupcake has a small handful and they aren't at the bottom of the cupcake. 

7. Bake as directed on the cake mix box. Most cake boxes give specific baking directions for each size of cake pan as well as cupcakes. I do overfill my liners though to create slightly bigger cupcakes so instead of making 24 small cupcakes - do 16 or 18 medium sized treats. 

8. Test the cupcakes using a cake tester or a toothpick. When they are done. Cool the cupcakes in the pan for a minute and then onto a cookie rack or plate. Once they are cool to the touch frost them with your fav chocolate frosting. 

Super delish. Actually a little Healthy. Super Easy. 
Enjoy and Stay warm. Enjoy fall. 
- Stephanie