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Iced Hot Chocolate

Beanloaf Cupcakes

There is a popular food truck and restaurant in Chicago that sells these meatloaf cupcakes with mashed potato frosting.

That pisses me off.

Not just the fact that they are selling ground-up cows and eggs and who knows what else, but also that they make something cute and twee out of such misery. It's heaping insult onto injury. How do people order these meat cupcakes and without hating themselves?

I made my version because I like (some) cute and twee, too, but I like it without dead animal parts. These Beanloaf Cupcakes - I know, "beanloaf" is kind of the antithesis of sexy, but so is "meatloaf" - are savory, robust and flavorful, perfect for dinner at home, a party or potluck. They are easy-peasy to make but do require some steps. It is also very open to adaptation: add different spices, vegetables, shredded vegan cheese and so on. It is reminiscent of a 1970s vegetable loaf but lightened up and cute-ified. I think they have some retro-cool to them. Serve with a bright salad and some green veggies on the side and you have a complete meal.

Makes nine

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly oil a muffin tin or use nine cupcake liners.


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
3 - 4 cloves garlic, minced
2 stalks of celery, diced
2 carrots, diced

In a medium pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Then add the onion, garlic, celery and carrots, stirring until the onions begin to lightly brown, about six - seven minutes. Turn off the heat.


1 cup rolled oats
15.5 oz. chickpeas, drained and rinsed
15.5 oz. black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
2 tablespoons wheat-free tamari (regular or soy sauce works fine for those without gluten issues)
2 tablespoons catsup
2 teaspoons fennel seed
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon Liquid Smoke
Salt and pepper to taste

Pulse the oats in a food processor until they are cut into smaller pieces (not ground).

Add the rest of the ingredients. Pulse until it is all incorporated. (It will be thick.) Add the sautéed veggies from before and pulse but don't over-process. There should be some texture. Add any additional vegetable stock or water by the tablespoon until the mass comes together.

Take about 2/3 a cup, or the size of a baseball, into your hands and shape into a ball. Put in the prepared muffin tin. You should be able to make about nine of these.


In a cup, stir together the following ingredients. Thin with about 1 - 2 tablespoons of water.

1/2 cup catsup
2 tablespoons molasses
1/2 teaspoon Liquid Smoke

Spoon the glaze over the "cupcakes."

Bake for about 30 minutes. It should be a firm on top.

Mashed Potatoes

I couldn't improve on this recipe. Simple and perfect. You will want to make these VERY fluffy and void of any lumps, though, to give the cupcakes the proper look of frosting. Whip those suckers on medium in a mixer or with a handheld mixer.

Allow the cupcakes to cool for a few minutes. We found that the best way for removing them from the pan was with two forks and a plate nearby. You may want to use a knife around the edges first, because the glaze may make them want to stick to the pan.

Frost! Use a plastic bag with the corner cut out or a frosting squeezy thing. Swirl in a pretty way! Sprinkle the top with chives, peas, teeny red bell pepper dice or whatever you like so it looks festive and colorful. You're done!

Serve and enjoy

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