Earth Day Cupcakes 🌱 (environment-friendly)

reading time: 2 min

What better way to celebrate Earth Day (April 22) than with a batch of healthy and delicious cupcakes that look like tiny planted trees? 

(How about buying local produce rather than international, not leaving the water running while brushing your teeth, using your bike or public transportation instead of your car, choosing a gas-efficient car, switching off the light when leaving the room, making your own beauty products, using a natural cleaner, replacing those plastic bags with tote bags, lowering your meat and dairy consumption, starting a backyard garden, planting a tree, volunteering to pick up litter, ...)

Alright, alright, there are numerous better other ways to protect and help our planet, but making these plant-based cupcakes is also a great start! Don't you agree?

As a matter of fact, research has found that eating a more plant-based diet can help the environment by cutting your carbon footprint, conserving water and preserving animal and plant habitats. Who knew eating cupcakes could actually help make the world a better place?! :)


inspired by @Fork and Beans

Preparation time: 30 mins 
Main ingredients: cocoa, almonds, dates, basil
difficulty level: easy
makes: 12 cupcakes
suitable for: vegan, lactose-free, gluten-free, sugar-free


2 cups (220g) almond meal *
3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tbsp chia seeds or flaxseed, ground
2 tsp baking powder
a pinch of salt
1 cup (150g) packed soft dates, de-stoned
1 cup (250ml) plant-based milk (e.g. almond milk)
1/3 cup firmly packed fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 ripe banana, mashed

For the frosting:
6 tbsp coconut oil
6 tbsp maple syrup
6 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

cacao nibs
basil sprigs

* you can simply grind whole almonds in a food processor.


Preheat oven to 180°C / 350 °F. Line your muffin tin with paper liners, or lightly grease for a more eco-friendly alternative.

Add ground almonds, cocoa powder, chia seeds, baking powder and salt to a mixing bowl. Whisk to combine. Using a blender, or an immersion blender to puree the soft dates and almond milk. Add the date and milk puree, mashed banana, and chopped basil leaves to the mixing bowl. Use an electric whisk to form an even dough. 

Scoop the muffin batter into your prepared muffin tin, dividing the batter evenly between the 12 cups. Transfer the muffin tin to your pre-heated oven and bake for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. 

Remove from the oven and allow the muffins to cool in their tin for 5-10 minutes. Then remove the muffins from their tin and transfer them to a wire rack to continue cooling.

For the chocolate frosting, gently heat the coconut oil to make it liquid. Mix with the cocoa powder and the maple syrup to a smooth glaze. Allow to cool slightly to let it thicken. Coat the completely cooled muffins with your chocolate frosting. Top with cacao nibs (or chopped nuts) and fresh basil sprigs to imitate soil, bark mulch and little germ buds. I totally copied this concept from Fork and Beans :)

I'm so pleased with how my cupcakes turned out. They are:

& perfect for celebrating Earth Day!

Basil tastes strikingly similar to mint in this recipe and like mint, it goes very well with sweet ingredients such as all sorts of berries and chocolate!