Diabetic Friendly

Diabetic Friendly Pineapple, Citrus, and Macadamia Nut Cupcakes

At the Virginia Renaissance Faire, I often get asked if I have anything diabetic friendly. And people dealing with diabetes are delighted when I say, “Yes! I do have diabetic friendly baked goods.” One of my taste testers, who is diabetic, once told me, ” I didn’t know diabetic friendly baked goods even existed” as she happily ate a Diabetic Friendly Cherry Almond Scone.

After I created Banana Cake with Banana, Pineapple, Coconut, Macadamia Nuts, Crystallized Ginger, Zest and Crushed Anise Seed and with a Dairy-Free Option, Gluten-Free Banana Cupcakes with Banana, Pineapple, Coconut, Macadamia Nuts, Crystallized Ginger and Zest and with a Dairy-Free Option, and Vegan Banana Cake with Banana, Pineapple, Coconut, Macadamia Nuts, Crystallized Ginger and Zest, it was time to create the Diabetic Friendly version. However, using the same general format, with bananas, pineapple and coconut was not very friendly. So it was time to start over. And I’m so glad I did! These are incredibly moist, flavorful cupcakes which are high in fiber and high in protein. In fact, they are so yummy that they fooled my neighbor, who is now another one of my taste testers- she didn’t believe they were diabetic friendly. And at only 18 grams of carbohydrates per cupcake, they can be safely incorporated into most diabetic diets.

This recipe is presented as a suggestion and may not be appropriate for all diabetics. Please check with your doctor or dietitian to determine if food items made using this recipe can be safely incorporated into your diet.

The Inside Scoop

When I first set out to create diabetic baked goods, I knew I had to do something about the flour mix. All-purpose flours typically contain 21 grams of carbohydrates per 1/4 cup- far too many carbs to allow room for additional ingredients.  My Diabetic Flour Mix was the result of extensive experimentation to produce a flour mix that was high in fiber, high in protein, low in carbs and tasted good!

When both volumetric and weight measures are provided, the volumetric measures should be considered approximations. The standard measure for a cup of Splenda is 24 grams. By volume, this measure will be less than 1 cup. Precise measuring is essential for diabetic baking to ensure accurate carbohydrate counts.

Warm eggs hold more air than cold eggs. To warm eggs quickly, place the eggs, still in the shell, in a bowl of warm (not hot) water for 10 minutes.

Crack eggs into a small bowl before adding to the batter. That way, it is easy to remove any bits of eggshell or bloody eggs. Whisk the eggs to break up the protein.

It is necessary to drain the excess pineapple juice to keep the cupcakes from becoming too wet and collapsing. To drain the excess juice, use a slotted spoon or a small sieve to measure out the pineapple. Let the excess juice drain off before placing the pineapple into a bowl.

Combine my Diabetic Flour Mix, all-purpose flour, quick oats (not instant or regular), sweeteners, baking soda, cinnamon, zest and salt in a separate bowl; mix until leaveners and salt are evenly distributed throughout the flour. This helps to ensure an even rise.

Whisk together the eggs and oil. This mix will begin to thicken or emulsify, which helps provide structure for the cupcake. Then whisk in the vanilla and pineapple.

Make a well in the flour mix and add the egg mixture. GENTLY fold the flour and egg mixes together. My Diabetic Flour Mix is very high in gluten proteins; any more than a gentle folding will cause it to become tough.

To bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 9 cups of a cupcake or muffin tin with paper cupcake liners; spray the cupcake liners with non-stick cooking spray to prevent the cupcakes from sticking to the liner.

I use a 2-ounce cupcake as my standard when measuring out batter.

Due to variations in oven temperatures, begin checking for doneness after 20 minutes. If the cupcakes are firm to a gentle touch and appear baked, insert a metal cake tester into a cupcake. If the metal cake tester is mostly dry (pineapple may leave a slight trace of moistness), the cupcakes are done. If cupcakes are not done, continue baking until a metal cake tester confirms that they are baked. I use a metal cake tester, rather than a toothpick, because metal cake testers are more accurate. Once done, place the cupcake tins on a metal cooling rack to cool for 10 minutes.

Perfectly baked cupcakes.

When your cupcakes have cooled for 10 minutes, it is important to remove them from the cupcake tins and place directly on a cooling rack so that the cupcakes do not stick to the pans or become wet from condensation as the cupcakes cool.

For the frosting, I used regular Cool Whip, rather than the Lite version because the Lite version had more carbohydrates per serving! However, the regular Cool Whip had more calories. Pick the version with which you are most comfortable.

If adding Macadamia nuts, chop them finely, then bake in a 350 degree oven for 5 minutes before using. Baking nuts not only enhances their flavor, but also helps to keep the nuts crisp.

Cupcakes without Macadamia Nuts.
…and with Macadamia nuts!


Diabetic Friendly Pineapple, Citrus, and Macadamia Nut Cupcakes

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
By Connie Teunis Serves: 9
Cooking Time: 20-23 minutes

An extremely moist, flavorful pineapple and citrus cupcake that is packed with protein and fiber. And only 18 grams of carbohydrates per serving!


  • Makes 9 Cupcakes, 18 grams of carbohydrates per cupcake
  • Cupcake Ingredients: Carbs
  • 46 g./ ½ c. Diabetic Flour Mix: 28.0 g. of carbs
  • 30 g./ ¼ c. All-Purpose Flour: 21.0 g. of carbs
  • 40 g./ ½ c. Quick Oats: 27.0 g. of carbs
  • 12 g./ 1 T. Splenda Blend: 12.0 g. of carbs
  • 12 g./ ½ c. Splenda Granulated: 12.0 g. of carbs
  • ¼ t. Baking Soda: 0.0 g. of carbs
  • ¼ t. Salt: 0.0 g. of carbs
  • 1 t. Cinnamon: 2.0 g. of carbs
  • 1 t. Finely Zested Lemon Peel: 1.4 g. of carbs
  • 1 t. Finely Zested Orange Peel: 1.4 g. of carbs
  • 2 Large Eggs: 0.0 g. of carbs
  • 1 t. Vanilla: 0.0 g. of carbs
  • 240 g./ 1 c. + 1 T. Crushed Pineapple packed in Juice, Partially drained: 28.0 g. of carbs
  • ¼ c. Canola Oil: 0.0 g. of carbs
  • Frosting Ingredients:
  • 90 g./ 1 ¼ c. Whipped Topping (e.g., Cool Whip): 20.0 g. of carbs
  • 6 g./ ¼ of a 25 g. pkg. of Jello Sugar Free Instant Banana Pudding Mix: 6.0 g. of carbs
  • 14 g./ 2 T. Macadamia Nuts, Finely Chopped: 2.0 g. of carbs
  • Total Carbohydrates: 160.8 g.



To Make the Cupcakes:


Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.


Line 9 cupcake cups with cupcake liners; spray paper cupcake liners with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.


Use a slotted spoon to measure out the crushed pineapple, allowing excess juice to drain. Place the crushed pineapple in a small food processor. Pulse for a few seconds to break up any large chunks of pineapple.


In a medium bowl, combine both flours, the quick oats, Splenda Blend and Splenda Granulated, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and lemon and orange zests. Whisk together. Make a well in the middle of the flour mix; set aside.


In a small bowl, whisk the eggs until frothy. Add the oil; whisk to emulsify. Add the vanilla and pineapple; whisk until completely mixed.


Pour the liquid mixture into the well in the flour mixture. Gently fold the wet and dry ingredients until just combined; there may be spots of dry flour.


Gently measure 2 ounces of batter into each of the 9 prepared cupcake cups. Place in the oven and bake for 21 - 23 minutes, or until a metal cake tester, when inserted into the middle of a cupcake, comes out mostly dry. (The pineapple may leave a trace of moisture on the cake tester.)


Remove from the oven and place on a metal cooling rack for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, remove the cupcakes from the cupcake tin. Place cupcakes on the cooling rack and cool completely.


To Make the Frosting:


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Chop macadamia nuts into small pieces. Place on a small baking sheet and bake for approximately 4 minutes, until nuts begin to brown and an aroma rises. Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack to cool completely.


Measure out the Cool Whip and place into a small bowl. Sprinkle the 6 grams of instant pudding on top. Fold together to combine.


Top each cupcake with 9 grams (approximately 2 tablespoons) of frosting. Sprinkle the prepared macadamia nuts on top.




Diabetic Flour Mix

Ingredients                                                 Carbs        

30.0g./ 4T Sprouted Whole Wheat
         Or Whole Wheat Flour             21.0g. 
27.5g./ 5T Wheat Germ*                             12.5 
16.0g./ 4T Wheat Bran*                                7.0 
   7.0g./ 1T       Amaranth ***                          4.75
 11.0g./ 2T      Oat Flour**                              10.0

91.5g  per cup                                              55.25 carbohydrates per cup 

* Grind in a coffee grinder or a grinder specifically intended for grinding grains.

** Look for oat flours with lower carbohydrate counts.

***Amaranth can be found among gluten-free flours, at Nuts.com, or at health food stores. If not, substitute cornstarch, potato starch or tapioca starch, although the carbohydrate content is higher.

Nutrition Information Per Cup:
Total Carbs:              55.25 g.
Total Fat:                     4.75 g.
Total Fiber:              16.13 g.
Sugar and “other”: 23.00 g.
Protein:                    17.10 g.

To make a larger batch to store for future use:

Ingredient x5

Sprouted Whole Wheat
           Or Whole Wheat Flour 150.0g.
Wheat Germ                              137.5g.
Wheat Bran                                  80.0g.
Amaranth                                     35.0g.
Oat Flour                                       55.0g.
Total weight for 5 cups:         457.5 g.

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