super spinach cupcakes

THAT’S RIGHT, NOW I PUT SPINACH IN THE CUPCAKES. They’re festive for St. Patrick’s Day but so full of yummy vanilla goodness that the kids love them year round, and I don’t think twice about rounding out lunches with one (or even two). 

We still use our whole wheat flour, adding a bit more staying power, but they still don’t even have more sugar than our trusty muffin recipes. In a pinch, you could even add spinach puree to a regular cake mix but this is an easy from-scratch recipe we’ve made several times now, with always-tasty results.

(Looking for more snack or breakfast ideas? We’ve got dozens of ideas for both, and of course there are more healthy muffins too.)

Super Spinach Cupcakes

Adapted from Weelicious Lunches


  • 1/2 cup applesauce (unsweetened)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup frozen spinach thawed, or 1 cup fresh baby spinach leaves
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare mini muffin pan with liners, butter or non-stick spray.

Combine the first set of ingredients–applesauce, eggs, vanilla, spinach, sugar and oil–in a blender or food processor until you only see flecks of spinach. Add the flour, baking powder, soda and salt then pulse until everything is incorporated. Don’t over mix.

Fill each cup 2/3 full and bake for about 12 minutes. The tops should be spongy, bouncing back when you press down on them. Cool on a rack. Store in an airtight container in the fridge. Or freeze using a freezer bag–but wait until they’re completely cooled before storing.



  1. Alison says

    We like these! Thanks Charity. A cross between a muffin and cupcake in my opinion but the 3 year old is thrilled to eat green cake, so cake it is!!

  2. charityc says

    Thats awesome, Alison! You’re right, they’re pretty muffin-y but I love calling all baked goods like these “cake” because my 3-year-old gets more excited about them that way too. :) Thanks for letting us know how they worked out for you guys!

  3. Rosemary Polizotto says

    My kids are very suspicious of green. I’ve even tried passing off spinach laden foods by telling them it’s leprechaun food. No luck. But, I have been able to get them to eat green spaghetti by Barilla. It’s made with spinach and zucchini and barely green. I’ll give these a try!

  4. Kimberly says

    Has anyone tried to make these gluten-free: either with an alternative flour like coconut or almond or with a cup for cup all-purpose gluten-free flour? Not only are my kids picky when it comes to eating their vegetables, my daughter has celiac. This might be a great alternative if I can make it gluten-free.

    • charityc says

      Hi Kimberly! I haven’t but I think those flours would totally work. Give it a try and let us know?



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