Saturday, June 18, 2011

Gluten-Free and Vegan Cupcakes with Gibbs



I got together with my friend Gibbs today (you've met her already, when she guest-posted in March, and you should check out her blog, Cupcake Villains Strike Again!) to bake cupcakes. It's always a treat (haha) to bake with Gibbs. She's funny and makes some of the best non-sequitors of anyone I know.


She also just made a homemade lightbox, so she and I had a lot of fun playing around with it and taking interesting pictures (never before has a sweet potato looked so profound).


She's a fantastic baker and, even though she is not a) vegan, b) gluten-intolerant, or c) a trained chef, she is nonetheless VERY talented and innovative and loves to experiment. Her cupcakes always end up tasting delicious, and she comes up with the best flavor combinations.


Today we made Sweet Potato and Pecan Cupcakes with a Brown Sugar and Coconut Buttercream Frosting, as well as Pureed Nectarine Cupcakes with a Nectarine and Brown Sugar Glaze. Even though those are both a mouthful to say, they were absolutely AMAZING. I kid you not. After eating the first one, we both looked at each other and said, "whoa". They were that good. 



Sweet Potato and Pecan Cupcakes: Vegan and Gluten-Free
Makes 12 cupcakes

Ingredients:
1 c.'s worth of a large sweet potato, cooked and scraped out 
1/2 c. chopped pecans
1/3 c. unrefined coconut oil, melted
1/4 c. coconut milk
1 t. vanilla extract
1 c. all-purpose gluten-free flour (we used Bob's Red Mill)
1/4 c. peanut meal
2 T. ground flax meal
1 t. xanthan gum
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/4 t. sea salt
1 t. cinnamon

Prepare:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350'. Mix together all the ingredients, in the order listed, making sure each ingredient is mixed in well before adding the next one. 
  2. Pour into lined cupcake pan. Bake 22-25 minutes, or until they look golden and no longer soft inside.
  3. Set aside to cool on a wire rack. Start making the frosting, or, like us, go for a walk to the local grocery store and pick up some nectarines for the next batch of cupcakes.

Brown Sugar and Coconut Buttercream Frosting
Makes enough for more than 12 cupcakes

Ingredients:
1/2 c. coconut oil
1/4 c. coconut milk
1 c. brown sugar (I used a combination of light and dark)
2 c. confectioners' sugar

Prepare:
  1. In a pan on the stove, bring the oil, milk and brown sugar to a boil over medium-low heat, stirring frequently. When the mixture reaches a boil, remove the pan from the heat and let cool to lukewarm temperature.
  2. When it has cooled down, stir in the confectioners' sugar, 1/2 c. at a time. Beat until smooth and creamy. 
  3. Frost the cooled cupcakes and sprinkle a handful of chopped pecans on top of each cupcake before serving, if desired. 


Pureed Nectarine Cupcakes: Vegan and Gluten-Free
Makes 12 cupcakes

Ingredients:
1 c. pureed nectarine
1/3 c. unrefined coconut oil, melted
1/4 c. coconut milk
1 t. vanilla extract
1 1/4 c. all-purpose gluten-free flour (again, Bob's Red Mill works great here)
2 T. ground flax meal
1 t. xanthan gum

1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/4 t. sea salt
1 t. cinnamon

Prepare:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350'. Mix together the ingredients in the order listed, making sure each ingredient is mixed in well before adding the next one.
  2. Pour into lined cupcake pan. Bake 22-25 minutes, or until they look golden and no longer soft inside.
  3. Let cool on a wire rack and prepare frosting.

Nectarine and Brown Sugar Glaze
Makes barely enough for 12 cupcakes

Disclaimer: we made this compote completely on the fly (after we created a horribly disgusting Earth Balance-based creamy frosting), so I'm going to simply guess as to the measurements. Please don't hate me if I get this recipe a little wrong. The moral of the story is, mistakes happen in the kitchen and are perfectly acceptable and expected; have fun with baking and just try it differently next time!

Ingredients:
1 pureed nectarine
3 T. brown sugar
2 T. coconut oil
2 T. coconut milk
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. fresh lime juice

Prepare:
  1. Bring all ingredients to a boil in a pan on the stove, stirring frequently. Once it has reached a boil, remove the pan from the heat and let it cool and thicken. 
  2. Spoon on top of the cooled cupcakes and let it set before serving. 

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