This special recipe originated with Margaret Isely and was passed down to her daughter, Heather. Heather updated the recipe to make it gluten-free, grain-free, and vegan. The recipe contains some unusual ingredients—mashed potatoes and sauerkraut—but the outcome is cupcakes that are incredibly moist and unbelievably delicious!
Preheat oven to 350º F.
To make the mashed potatoes, place the quartered potatoes in a saucepan and fill with water to just cover the potatoes. Place over high heat, bring to a boil and cook until the potatoes are fork-tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and drain, reserving an approximately ¼ cup of starchy water. Add the Earth Balance spread to the potatoes and mash with a hand masher or mix with a hand mixer. Lightly salt to taste and add enough of the reserved water to make a creamy consistency and set aside.
Pour the can of beans into a mesh strainer over a bowl to obtain the aquafaba. Let sit, allowing the liquid from the beans to drain into the bowl. Before discarding the can, add ½ teaspoon water and swish around, and pour the water over the beans. The water will help in obtaining all of the aquafaba from the beans.
Lightly squeeze the sauerkraut to make sure all the liquid is squeezed out. Finely chop and set aside.
Add the sugar to a large mixing bowl.
Add the coconut oil in tablespoon-size pieces to the sugar, and using a hand mixer, mix until well combined.
Add the aquafaba and beat until fully mixed.
Mix in the vanilla extract and mashed potatoes and beat until fully combined.
In a separate bowl, whisk dry ingredients together (chestnut flour, potato starch, tapioca flour, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa powder, and salt).
Using the mixer, beat the dry ingredients into the creamed mixture, alternating with the water, until well combined.
Fold in the sauerkraut.
Coat the cake pan or cupcake tins (regular or mini) with coconut oil, or line with unbleached cupcake liners.
Fill the cake pan or cupcake tins with the batter.
For the cake, bake for approximately 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. For the regular-size cupcakes, bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. For mini cupcake, bites bake for 20-25 minutes.
Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack.
Once cool, transfer to a plate and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to allow cake(s) to solidify. Frost with vanilla, strawberry, or chocolate coconut cream frosting (the recipe for the frosting can be found at naturalgrocers.com/recipes).
NOTE: This recipe was developed and tested at 5000 ft. elevation. For lower elevations, we suggest reducing the liquid by 2-4 tablespoons per cup called for, and increasing the baking time as needed.