Chocolate Peppermint Mini Cakes

I was on a mission to make a Christmas-themed treat that was both gluten and dairy free. Chocolate is always a good idea, and peppermint pairs nicely this time of year. First I planned to bake cupcakes, until I realized I had no cupcake papers, hence the title 'mini cakes'. The result was a baby layer cake filled with rich chocolatey mousse and topped with light and fluffy whipped cream. Sprinkled with candy canes for some crunch and an edible Christmas tree. 

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CHOCOLATE PEPPERMINT CUPCAKES

  • 2/3 c. dairy free buttermilk (combine 2/3 c. almond milk + 1 tsp. lemon juice, allow to sit for a few minutes)
  • 2 chia eggs (2 tbsp. chia seeds + 5 tbsp. water, sit for a few minutes)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 c. coconut sugar
  • 1/3 c. maple syrup
  • 1/4 c. melted coconut oil
  • 3/4 c. applesauce
  • 1/4 tsp himalayan salt
  • 1/2 c. cacao powder
  • 1/2 c almond meal
  • 1 1/4 c. gf all-purpose flour
  • 3-4 drops peppermint essential oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly spray a muffin tin and set aside. Combine all ingredients from buttermilk through salt in a large mixing bowl. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk cacao, almond meal, gf flour until combined and 'sifted'. Gradually add the cacao and flour mixture to the wet ingredients, whisking until batter is smooth. Pour batter into muffin tins and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. 

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CHOCOLATE AVOCADO MOUSSE 

  • 2 ripe avocados, pitted and scooped from peel
  • 1/3 c. bittersweet chocolate chunks, melted and slightly cooled
  • 2-3 tbsp. almond milk
  • 3 tbsp. unsweetened cacao powder
  • 1/4 c. agave nectar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. himalayan salt 
  • 2-3 drops peppermint essential oil

Add all ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth. Scrap down sides of processor and give a final blend to make the mousse extra creamy and delicious!

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TOPPINGS

  • Coconut whipped cream (I buy mine in the natural frozen section, it is by the So Delicious brand; you can also make it at home)
  • Candy canes, crushed
  • Melted chocolate to make 'trees' (see tutorial below)

To assemble, cut cakes in half side-to-side, fill with avocado mousse. Place top half on the mousse filling and finish with a dollop of coconut whipped cream. Sprinkle with candy canes and place a chocolate Christmas tree in the center. 

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For these edible Christmas trees, melt bittersweet chocolate, allow to cool slightly. Pour into a plastic bag or piping bag. Cut a small hole in the corner of the bag. Pipe small tree shapes onto a piece of foil. Place in the freezer for at least 30 minutes. Carefully peel the trees off the foil and use as toppers on the cakes!

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Hope you all LOVE this recipe as much as I do! Send me your photos on Instagram if you make them and let me know in the comments below what your favorite Christmas treat is!

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