If you’ve been reading gluten-free blogs for a while, then you are probably familiar with Elana of Elana’s Pantry.
Elana has a new cookbook out, Gluten-Free Cupcakes: 50 Irresistible Recipes Made with Almond and Coconut Flour.
I was intrigued by this cookbook because despite the great looking recipes on Elana’s blog, I still haven’t done much baking with almond or coconut flours. They are, however, healthy substitutes for wheat flour. While some of her recipes use a little bit of arrowroot powder, they are very low in starches and carbohydrates, especially compared to many gluten free recipes (including my own).
This book is mostly about cupcakes with a few muffin recipes and a nice selection of frostings, fillings, and toppings. When you purchase this cookbook, which is only $9.99 at Amazon right now (the list price is $16.99), you will want to start by reading Cupcakes 101: Equipment, Tips, and Ingredients. That section of the book contains important information to ensure that you get good results with Elana’s recipes.
The sweetener used in these recipes is agave nectar. I know some people are not fond of agave due to the high amount of fructose it contains. If that’s the case for you, I still recommend the book, but you will have to experiment with other sweeteners. Personally, I don’t mind using agave occasionally.
Many, but not all of the recipes in this book are dairy free. One of the reasons Elana uses grapeseed oil in some of the cupcake recipes is because it is dairy free. It is the frostings, fillings, and toppings that pose a greater problem, but there are several vegan recipes, and the meringue frosting (see below) is naturally dairy free.
I made the strawberry cupcakes with meringue frosting and have been given permission to share those recipes with you. The cupcakes were moist and tasty, and I was especially impressed with how soft they stayed after a couple of days in the refrigerator.
Elana says not to double the recipes, but I did anyway because I knew 8 cupcakes just wouldn’t be enough. The meringue frosting needs to be eaten soon and does not keep, so don’t double that recipe unless you are sure they will all be eaten. My son enjoyed the extra cupcakes without any frosting for snacks at school.
For the Cupcakes
- 1/2 cup coconut flour
- 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 4 large eggs
- 1/2 cup agave nectar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh strawberries
For the Meringue Frosting
- 1/4 cup agave nectar
- 2 egg whites
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped freshstrawberries
For the Cupcakes
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 8 muffin cups with paper liners.
- In a large bowl, combine the coconut flour, arrowroot powder, salt, and baking soda.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, agave nectar, and vanilla extract.
- Blend the wet ingredients into the coconut flour mixture with a handheld mixer until thoroughly combined, then fold in the strawberries.
- Scoop 1/4 cup of batter into each prepared muffin cup. Bake for 20 to 25 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 frost and serve.
For the Meringue Frosting
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the agave nectar to a boil, stirring constantly. Decrease the heat to low and simmer for 6 to 10 minutes, watching constantly and stirring occasionally, until the agave nectar darkens slightly from its original amber color, then remove from the heat and set aside.
- In a deep bowl, whip the egg whites to stiff peaks using a handheld mixer. Be sure to push the beaters around the bowl to incorporate air into the whites. This step is important; if your egg whites are not whipped to stiff peaks, the recipe won’t work. Stop whipping as soon as the egg whites are stiff; overwhipping will result in egg whites that are dry and grainy. The foam of the whites will be stiff enough to stand up in well-defined, unwavering peaks.
- Drizzle the warm agave nectar very slowly into the egg whites, while whipping with a handheld mixer, to keep the peaks stiff. The meringue will become pearlescent and shiny.
- Allow to cool to room temperature, then fold the strawberries into the meringue. Use right away.
This giveaway is now closed.
The Giveaway: One winner will be sent a copy of Gluten-Free Cupcakes. The giveaway is limited to US residents. To enter you must leave a comment on this post, not on my Facebook page and not an email. If you receive my updates by email, click on the title and it will take you to my blog page where you can leave a comment.
Leave a separate comment for each entry:
- Leave a comment on this post and let me know if you’ve tried any of Elana’s recipes.
- Subscribe via email or RSS (or tell me you already do)
- Post this giveaway on your Facebook page
- Mention this giveaway in a blog post
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The giveaway will end on Friday, May 6th at 11:00 pm eastern time. The winner will have 24 hours to respond after being contacted. The winner will be posted on my Facebook page.
Disclaimer: I was provided with a free copy of Gluten-Free Cupcakes: 50 Irresistible Recipes Made with Almond and Coconut Flour. The opinions in this post are my own.