Gluten-Free & Vegan Chocolate-Almond Cupcakes

by Maggie on September 21, 2010

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I present these cupcakes in honour of three very important occasions!

1) Callum’s 4th birthday party – if you follow me on twitter you know that Callum is obsessed with pirates.

2) This Friday, September 24th is my one year BLOGIVERSARY- is that word in the dictionary yet?

3) Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten-Free – this month’s excellent and timely theme is Healthy School Lunches.

I made these pirate cupcakes (okay, go to Adventures of a Gluten-Free Mom if you want super-amazing decoration skills) for Callum’s 4th birthday party.

His party was going to be my first gluten-free shindig. Not a crumb of gluten to be found. So I wanted a really good cupcake recipe that everyone would enjoy. Not a hard task since gluten-free is so yummy.  And it was a success, thanks to these delightful little cupcakes.

I also wanted a cupcake that wasn’t loaded with sugary junk, in fact I wanted a cupcake that was free of refined sugars. Callum’s guests were my guinea pigs. Lucky them! And they were happy little guinea pigs.

Isn’t he cute?

Healthy Cupcakes?

These cupcakes are great because they’re easy to make, they’re free of refined sugars, and they’re made with almond flour so he gets some extra nutrients. Little does he know!

When Callum goes to school, I know I’ll want to put little homemade treats into his lunch bag. These would make for a perfect snack – a healthy cupcake. In fact, his little buddies will be jealous when he pulls out a cupcake at snack time.

I like to make cupcakes every time we’re invited to a birthday party.  This ensures that my sensitive little dude gets to enjoy a cupcake with his friends and family. Did you know that you can freeze a cupcake that’s already been frosted. Oh yes you can!

These chocolate cupcakes taste great with traditional icing. But in light of my one-year blogiversary, Callum and I frosted them with some sweet chocolate cashew cream icing (recipe below).

If you were sending these delightful cupcakes to school with a healthy lunch, you could frost them with chocolate avocado pudding and your kiddie would get a serving of veggies with his cupcake. What would Jamie Oliver say about that?

Gluten-Free & Vegan Chocolate-Almond Cupcakes

Based on my original cupcake recipe

1 cup non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup tapioca starch or arrowroot flour

1/2 cup sorghum flour

1 cup almond flour

3/4 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp xanthan/guar gum

1/4 tsp sea salt

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used raw cacao)

1/2 cup maple syrup

2 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup coconut oil, melted

Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray or line a cupcake pan with liners.

Combine the non-dairy milk and apple cider vinegar in a large bowl to create a “buttermilk”.  Let this mixture sit for at least five minutes.

Sift together flours and remaining dry ingredients.  It is important that you sift – no one wants a white lump in their chocolate cupcake!

Add the maple syrup, vanilla and oil to the non-dairy milk “buttermilk”.  Stir to combine.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in two batches.  Stir just until combined.  Spoon into cupcake pan (a little more than 3/4 full since they don’t rise very much) and bake for 20-22 minutes.  Test one cupcake with a cake tester or a knife.


Dairy-Free Sweet Chocolate Cashew Cream Recipe

1 cup soaked raw cashews (I soak mine for 24 hours in filtered water simply because my Vitamix won’t be here until December 25th, right Santa Pete?)

5 tbsp maple syrup

1/4 cup dairy-free chocolate chips melted with 1 tbsp of dairy-free chocolate milk

Place drained cashews in the bowl of your food processor (or if you’re really super amazingly lucky, in your Vitamix) and whiz until cashews are in small little bits.

Add maple syrup and whiz again until combined, this will also help make your icing smooth.

Add the melted chocolate and whiz until combined.

Note: this icing is not overly sweet and it has a nice nutty flavour. It goes so well with the cupcakes. Together they’re a yummy afternoon (or breakfast) treat.

How about this?

  • add 1 tbsp of grated orange zest to jazz up the cupcakes
  • frost with chocolate avocado pudding and add 1/2 tsp of almond extract to the pudding
  • No nuts at your school? Try substituting the almond flour with quinoa flour
  • These cupcakes are also linked up to Go Ahead Honey It’s Gluten-Free: Healthy School Lunches which is being hosted this month by Ali from The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen. This excellent gluten-free blogging event was originally started by Naomi of Straight Into Bed Cakefree and Dried.

    Speaking of healthy school lunches, have you heard about the amazing Alisa’s FREE ebook Smart School Time Recipes? Yes, FREE! It’s loaded with all kinds of recipes; gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, and more. It’s the perfect book of recipes for anyone who packs a lunch. And it’s FREE so what are you waiting for?

    And as always, this recipe is linked to Amy’s Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays. She’s got a new look this week so be sure to check it out!

This post is also linked to Gluten-Free Wednesdays at The Gluten-Free Homemaker.