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Cupcakes are the world’s most adorable pastry—but until now, people with gluten sensitivities struggling to find sweetness on a gluten-free diet haven’t had a cupcake cookbook to call their own. Enter gluten-free guru Elana Amsterdam, who has re-engineered the favored treat for today’s dietary needs. Her colorful collection showcases classics like Red Velvet Cupcakes and Vanilla Cupcakes and features creative concoctions like Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes and Cream-Filled Chocolate Cupcakes. These simple-to-make—and ...
Cupcakes are the world’s most adorable pastry—but until now, people with gluten sensitivities struggling to find sweetness on a gluten-free diet haven’t had a cupcake cookbook to call their own. Enter gluten-free guru Elana Amsterdam, who has re-engineered the favored treat for today’s dietary needs. Her colorful collection showcases classics like Red Velvet Cupcakes and Vanilla Cupcakes and features creative concoctions like Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes and Cream-Filled Chocolate Cupcakes. These simple-to-make—and simply delicious—cupcakes rely on coconut and almond flours rather than the sometimes difficult-to-source gluten alternatives. Some of the recipes are even vegan and dairy-free, and none use refined sugar. With fifty cupcake recipes plus a variety of frostings to mix and match, Gluten-Free Cupcakes offers delightful cupcake alternatives—as tasty as their traditional counterparts—to anyone in need of a little cupcake fix.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Creating great cupcakes requires the use of certain tools. Nothing too fancy is needed here; these are just a few notes to let you know what equipment I keep my kitchen stocked with to achieve perfect little cakes.
A few recipes in this book require a “high-powered” blender. I use the Vitamix brand, though Blendtec will work equally well.
I store all of my flours (and all of my dry ingredients) in glass jars in order to keep them fresh and maintain optimal moisture content. I have found that almond flour and coconut flour can be stored in tightly sealed glass jars in the refrigerator or freezer for several months.
I keep a 1/2-cup measuring cup in the almond flour and a 1/4-cup measuring cup in the coconut flour. I have quite a few sets of measuring cups so that my two boys and I can be making different recipes at the same time and have all the cups that we need—without sharing!
I use an electric handheld mixer in most of the cupcake and frosting recipes in this book, other than a few that call for hand mixing of ingredients.
I use metal measuring cups for both wet and dry ingredients—the old-fashioned kind like my mom used. While general baking guidelines suggest using a liquid measuring cup for liquids to avoid spilling and also because there’s a handy spout for pouring, I prefer to use the dry measuring cups for all of my ingredients. First, having glass around when my children are baking is a bit of a risk. Sometimes the kitchen gets crowded and we get a little wild (imagine ingredients flying everywhere). Second, I find that using less equipment, and fewer different types of equipment, simplifies and streamlines the baking process, thus enhancing my creativity. Lastly, I use the metal measuring cups instead of plastic because plastic is made from petrochemicals that contain endocrine-disrupting compounds.
I find that a rounder, deeper set of measuring spoons works best. With less surface area on top, there is a smaller chance for measuring inaccurately. Again, I use metal measuring spoons rather than plastic. I find that metal equipment wears well and lasts longer than plastic.
Given that I try to stay away from fruit-flavored extracts and flavorings as much as possible, and prefer less processed ingredients such as zest in both my cupcake and frosting recipes, I highly recommend this tool to speed your prep work. Another trick? Use citrus zest as an alternative topping to sprinkles; it’s naturally beautiful, deliciously flavorful, and rich in health-building bioflavonoids to boot.
I use one large and one medium mixing bowl for these recipes. I also use a deep bowl (made by Vietri) for making whipped cream and meringues; unlike other bowls, this one is almost “V” shaped, rather than “U” shaped. Using a bowl that is deep and not very wide is a little trick of mine that helps in aerating cream and eggs in whipped creams and meringues. My boys refer to our Vietri as the “whipped cream bowl,” and easily make a batch of whipped cream in it at the drop of a hat. They are fearless in the kitchen, and this bowl helps them!
I recommend using aluminum muffin pans for making your cupcakes—coated, silicone, and disposable pans will not yield the same results. I use both regular and mini-size muffin pans, depending upon the recipe.
My recipe tester, Karin, went out and got herself three of these just to make sure her oven temperature was exact. I would suggest one, so that you know that your oven is baking at the correct temperature. I keep mine in the oven all the time to confirm that my oven is properly calibrated, and I am providing the correct temperatures. Baking is a science (unfortunately, for the less scientifically minded among us), and temperature is an important part of the equation. If your temperature is off, your results are likely to be off as well. This is one culprit that is often overlooked when the desired results are not achieved.
I use a flexible rubber spatula to scrape every drop of batter out of a bowl of frosting or cupcake batter. I also use a spatula when measuring the cupcake batter into the lined muffin tins—it’s a great tool for leveling out those 1/4 cups of batter.
Be sure to time the cupcakes when you are baking them. There is a window of time in each of the recipes for cupcake doneness. When baking, everything can affect that window—from the weather outside to the climate in which you live. That’s why I give a range for the baking times.
Gluten-free baking can be quite different from “standard” baking, and different gluten-free flours can vary from one another greatly. Recipes using coconut flour have unusually high ratios of wet to dry ingredients—so high, in fact, that some people suspect a mistake in the writing of the recipe. Do not be deterred, though—cupcakes made with coconut flour are absolutely wonderful, and although batter made with this flour can be quite wet, the resulting cupcakes are delightfully fluffy. While ingredient ratios in recipes using almond flour look more “normal,” the resultant batters seem a bit thicker than standard batters made with gluten.
A note on multiplying the recipes—when you want to increase the specified yield, I recommend that you make a second batch, rather than doubling the recipe.
When you are ready to bake, let the oven continue to preheat for at least 15 minutes once it reaches the necessary temperature. I know, this is a waste of energy; however, it will allow all the parts of the oven to come to the needed temperature, and your cupcakes will bake more evenly. Place your cupcakes on the middle oven rack, unless the recipe specifies otherwise. Lastly, please do not open the oven door every 2 minutes! This is a temptation for me every time I bake a batch of cupcakes, but opening the door to the oven changes the oven temperature and can ruin a good batch of cupcakes. Use the oven light if you have one and need to obsess the way I do, and don’t peek until the lower end of the recommended baking range.
I do not recommend making cupcakes more than a day ahead of time. If you do want to make the cupcakes before needed, make them the evening before and allow them to cool in the pans overnight.
Coconut and almond flour cupcakes keep in slightly different ways. I leave my cupcakes made with almond flour out on the counter and they become more moist as the days pass. I live in the dry climate of Colorado—if you do this in a humid climate it may not work, so in that case I recommend you place your almond flour baked goods in an airtight container in the refrigerator after one day. On the other hand, coconut flour cupcakes cannot really be left out for more than 10 to 14 hours or they will harden and turn into rocks. Therefore, I like to store my coconut flour cupcakes in an airtight container in the refrigerator and recommend this for all climates. Frost just prior to serving.
I don’t recommend freezing any of the cupcakes or frostings—these desserts are much better served fresh.
Triple Chocolate Cupcakes
Makes 9 • Sweetness: High
Dark, milk, and white chocolate chips are sprinkled throughout this rich chocolate cupcake. For a more sophisticated version, use only dark chocolate chips. Guaranteed to fulfill your daily chocolate craving.
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3 large eggs
1/2 cup agave nectar
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips (73% cacao)
1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup white chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 9 muffin cups with paper liners.
In a large bowl, combine the coconut flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and agave nectar. Blend the wet ingredients into the coconut flour mixture with a handheld mixer until thoroughly combined, then fold in all of the chocolate chips.
Scoop ¼ cup of batter into each prepared muffin cup.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached. Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for 1 hour, then serve.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Acknowledgments viii Introduction 1
Cupcakes 101: Equipment, Tips, and Ingredients 5
Classic Cupcakes 19
Chocolate Cupcakes 31
Fruity Cupcakes 45
Warm and Spiced Cupcakes 57
Special Occasion Cupcakes 69
Savory Treats 83
Frostings, Fillings, and Toppings 91
Measurement Conversion Charts 104
This is a great book of recipes using almond flour that has less carbohydrate than rice flour. The recipes are outstanding. It is a must have book for people who have gluten sensitivity. The recipes are easy to make. Amsterdam also discusses the ingredients and where to purchase them for great results. I have shared cupcakes with other people who avoid gluten and they love them too!
4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 28, 2012
The sample for this book is 5 pages long! One page is blank, two have the name of the cookbook, and two have photos! I'd like to have seen at least one recipe before I purchased the book!
3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 6, 2011
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Posted December 6, 2011
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Posted October 27, 2011
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