These light pumpkin, cocoa and maple dessert bites are perfect when you just want something to curb your dessert craving!
It shouldn’t have been surprising to me that a mere two hours after I made these pumpkin cocoa bites, I walked into the kitchen to discover that there was one lone bite sitting on the plate. It was as though someone had thought better of eating the last one and decided it was best to leave a single treat as a sort of thanks to the cook. Naturally, I took my thanks willingly and popped the light, gently sweetened bite into my mouth.
Years ago, I used to make cakes for friends and the odd client. Fondant and buttercream, royal icing and, best of all, leftover trimmed pieces of spongey cake abounded in our kitchen. As rewarding as it was to see a beautiful cake take form, I eventually grew tired of baking, mixing, molding and decorating for hours on end. Eating the leftover cake trimmings, with a dollop of buttercream, several times each week didn’t do any favors for my waistline or health either.
These days, baking cakes is reserved for special occasions and our house is pretty lean in the dessert department. So, when I make a treat like these bites, my family dives on them like a pack of famished wolves.
I pulled out my stock of whole wheat pastry flour, following my penchant for lightening things up and adding in fiber and vitamins where I can, along with unsweetened cocoa, canned pumpkin and pure maple syrup (I beg of you, use the real stuff here). The pumpkin flavor isn’t strong in these bites as the cocoa tends to be more pronounced, but I get a level of satisfaction knowing that I’m getting a little dose of Vitamin A and antioxidants whenever I pop one of these into my mouth.
My original intention was just to make the bites as is ,with no glaze – just a simple cake-like treat. But as soon as I tasted one, I craved a little something extra, an extra dose of sweetness. The glaze is nothing more than maple syrup and ground cinnamon, topped with a few grains of sea salt for an unexpected layer of flavor. Why should salted caramel get all the credit? Maple salted maple syrup will be the next big thing.
These are perfect for a little something sweet at the end of the day or to pop into lunch boxes. Either way, they are guilt free treats that will curb that dessert craving without breaking the calorie bank.
Other light dessert recipes:
Cookin’ Canuck’s Light Meringues with Pomegranate & Pistachios
Cookin’ Canuck’s Baked Tart Cherry & Cream Cheese Wontons
Healthy Seasonal Recipes’ Healthy Chocolate Hazelnut Raspberry Tart
Lemons & Basil’s Gooey Black Bean & Beet Brownies
Mini Pumpkin Cocoa Maple Bites Recipe
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly coat a mini tart pan (holds 24) with cooking spray.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the whole wheat pastry flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, maple syrup, egg, coconut oil and vanilla extract.
- Add the maple syrup mixture to the flour mixture, and stir to combine. Do not over stir.
- Using about 1 teaspoon for each bite, evenly fill the tart cups with the batter.
- Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a bite comes out clean, 8 to 10 minutes.
- Cool slightly, then remove the bites from the pan and cool on a rack.
- In a small bowl, stir together the maple syrup and cinnamon. Using a pastry brush, brush the top of each bite with a light coating of the glaze. Top each bite with a few grains of sea salt. Serve.
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