Even the chocolate-date frosting is healthy!

July 10, 2018
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

When Mandy Sacher's daughter refused to eat cauliflower, she asked her, "If you could choose one way to eat cauliflower, what would that be?" Her little girl had a quick answer: in a cupcake! So Sacher, a pediatric nutritionist, came up with the yummy recipe below, which calls for a half cup of the cruciferous veggie (though nobody will guess its there). The vanilla cupcakes with chocolate-date frosting are among more than 140 kid-friendly recipes in Sacher's new cookbook, The Wholesome Child ($25; amazon.com). "I wanted to show how we can feed our children delicious and nutritious recipes that they will actually want to eat and enjoy," she says. Turns out grown-ups are big fans of these cupcakes too—enjoy!

Vanilla Muffins with Cauliflower and Choc Date Frosting

Mandy Sacher

VEG / GF / Nut Free / Dairy Free

Prep Time: 30 mins (+ 1 hour refrigeration time for frosting)

Cooking Time: 15 mins

Makes: 24 mini muffins


5 Medjool dates, pitted

1 egg

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

¼ cup coconut oil, melted

¼ cup (2 ¼ oz) apple sauce (unsweetened)

½ cup (1 ¾ oz) cauliflower, steamed and drained

¼ cup maple syrup

⅓ cup (1.5 oz) buckwheat flour

⅓ cup (1.5 oz) millet flour

⅓ cup (1.5 oz) arrowroot

½ tsp. baking powder

¼ tsp. baking soda

pinch sea salt


1 cup (8 ½ oz) soft medjool dates, pitted

½ cup boiling water

1 Tbsp. coconut oil

coconut cream

cacao powder

1 Tbsp. carob

1 Tbsp. maple syrup

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

pinch of Himalayan rock salt (optional)

  1. To make the muffins, preheat oven to 355F and line a mini muffin tray with muffin liners.
  2. Place dates, egg, vanilla extract, coconut oil, apple puree, cauliflower and maple syrup into a high-speed food processor and process until smooth.
  3. Next, add all dry ingredients and process until well combined.
  4. Place batter into mini muffin liners and bake for 15-20 mins or until a cake tester or knife comes out clean.
  5. Allow to cool on a rack and enjoy them plain or topped with your favourite frosting.
  6. To make the frosting, place dates in a small bowl. Cover with boiling water. Add coconut oil. Allow to sit for at least 10 mins. Once the dates are soft, place the mixture in the blender bowl and add remaining ingredients. Process until it reaches a smooth consistency.
  7. Refrigerate for at least an hour before using on muffins.

Serving and storing leftovers: Serve immediately, store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 4 months.

Tip: Replace the gluten-free flour mix with spelt flour or any whole meal flour. If Medjool dates are hard, soak for 3-5 mins in hot water. Discard excess water.

Excerpted from The Wholesome Child by Mandy Sacher. Copyright 2018 by Mandy Sacher.