07 August 2012

Sweet Potato Chocolate Cup Cakes

I have been making these cup cakes for ages, and until last weekend no one knew they had sweet potato or flaxseed in them.  They are so good, and so much like little mud cakes that unless you know they are packed with lots of goodness you really won't know.

If you want to get some extra nutrition into your family, without them knowing, and still give them a sweet treat, try these little cakes. The secrets are to make sure the sweet potato is very soft and very well mashed, almost a puree, so that it combines completely with the dry ingredients, and to beat the oil/egg/flaxseed mixture for at least 5 minutes, so that it is very thick and fluffy. Do not be tempted to skimp on the time or your cakes will be dry, hard little rocks.

1 cup of mashed sweet potato
1 ¼  cups of spelt flour
¼ cup of unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon bicarb soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon of salt
½ cup of buttermilk
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup of olive oil
½ cup of raw sugar
1 large egg
3 tablespoons of flaxseed meal soaked
2 tablespoons of water

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Prepare patty pans.
2. Prick one medium sweet potato with a fork (a lot) and cook in microwave for 5 minutes turning every minute.
3. Combine dry ingredients into a bowl (flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt
4. Combine buttermilk, vanilla and sweet potato until well blended. If you want to keep the sweet potato a secret, make sure you get rid of any sweet potato chunks no matter how small.
5. In a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium high, beat the oil while slowly adding the sugar. Add the egg, flaxseed meal and water – 1 at a time. Beat for 5 minutes. This is important, don't be tempted to skip this step or even shorten the time.
6. On low speed add the sweet potato mix, then the flour mix.
7. Use a 1/4 cup measure to fill patty pans and bake 15 – 20 minutes. Test after 15 minutes, as these cakes do not take well to being over-cooked.
8. Cool on a cake rack, then ice with your favourite chocolate icing.


  1. Hi Cath,

    Where is the best place to get reasonably priced spelt flour?

    Thanks; the recipe looks great!


    1. Where are you? Generally a wholefood store (which is not necessarily a health food store) will be the cheapest if you buy in bulk.

      I buy my flour by the 20kg bag, which I order from The Kitchen Pantry in Croydon, Vic.

      You need to know your prices though - sometimes buying it in bulk is not the cheapest way to buy.

      Add spelt to your price book and start collecting prices, both from shops and online (just remember to factor delivery into the price for online orders).

    2. Thanks Cath,

      I'm in suburban Sydney. I've found it to be quite expensive in health food shops but I don't have the storage for 20kg bags. And a big pantry moth problem from the last time I bought any! I did not know the flour freezing trick that time.



  2. Love your information and would like to try these cakes, but I have never heard of Flaxseed Meal. Would this be in the supermarket or specialty shop pls.

  3. I've heard of spelt flour but not flax seed meal. I have flax seeds & flax seed oil. Can either of those or a combination be used? Otherwise I second Ros's query - where do I obtain this item?

  4. You should be able to get it in the health food aisle of any large supermarket or at a health food shop.

    Flax seed meal is ground flax seed - if you have a mortar and pestle you could try grinding it yourself.

    I certainly wouldn't be adding any more oil to the recipe, and if you do want to substitute flax seed for the meal, you will need to work out the quantity and it will seriously change the texture and finished result.

  5. can i use brown rice flour or millet flour instead of spelt flour? could almond meal be substituted for flaxseed meal? and what alternative could i use for buttermilk? thanks


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