I don’t mean to brag but ‘round these parts I am pretty famous for my gluten-free coconut cupcakes. People beg me for them on their birthdays, my daughter-in-law requested hundreds for her wedding reception and they have come in pretty handy when a bribe to my husband is needed. I even had a friend tell me she would gladly wait in line and pay $5.00 for just one of those cupcakes. Yep, they are well loved by the gluten intolerant and the gluten eaters alike. And with 2 cups of refined sugar, a pound and a half of butter and a pound of cream cheese in one batch, what’s not to love?
While that recipe will remain a family treasure to be brought out for special occasions, I figured it was time for a new kind of coconut cupcake – a healthier, leaner, more wholesome cupcake.
These new coconut cupcakes are not only gluten-free but grain-free, refined sugar free and dairy free as well. They contain coconut flour, coconut oil and raw agave. Coconut flour is high in protein and fiber and has fewer digestible carbohydrates than any other flour. Since coconut flour absorbs more liquid than other flours, agave is the perfect sweetener for these cupcakes. Agave is an un-refined sweetener and ranks very low on the glycemic index meaning it won’t spike your blood sugar.
My traditional cream cheese frosting has been replaced with a vegan version using Wholesome Sweeteners Organic Powdered sugar which makes it grain-free also. About a year ago Wholesome Sweeteners switched from using corn starch in their powdered sugar to using tapioca starch. If corn or grain is an issue for you, make sure you read the label to ensure you are getting the new version which is corn free. Aside from no corn, the powdered sugar has a much mellower flavor, not as sharply sweet as conventional powdered sugar.
Hmmm, all in all these cupcakes sound down right saintly to me! But shhhh, don’t tell my husband. He loves the new cupcakes and I guess I must have forgotten to mention to him that they were a healthier, leaner, more wholesome cupcake. For now, let’s just let him think of them as indulgent treats because I am pretty sure I am going to need to do some bribing again fairly soon.
Gluten Free Coconut Cupcake Recipe
¾ cup coconut flour
½ teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ cup coconut oil
¾ cup Organic Blue Agave
5 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ teaspoon pure almond extract
¼ cup coconut milk
1 cup coconut flakes
½ cup coconut oil
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
½ teaspoon pure almond extract
1 pound Organic Powdered sugar
4 – 6 tablespoon coconut milk
1½ cups unsweetened coconut chips or flaked coconut
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 12 standard muffin cups with paper liners.
In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the coconut flour, salt, and baking soda until the coconut flour is no longer lumpy.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, preferably fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the coconut oil and agave for 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the extracts and beat well to combine. Add half of the flour mixture, then the coconut milk and finally the rest of the flour mixture. Beat until combined and not lumpy. With a spatula scrape the bottom and sides of the mixing bowl to ensure all the ingredients are properly combined. Fold in the coconut flakes. Divide the mixture between the prepared muffin cups and bake for 20 -25 minutes or until the cupcakes are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes then remove to a wire rack to finish cooling. While the cupcakes are cooling, make the frosting.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, preferably fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the coconut oil with the extracts to combine. Add the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time and blend after each addition. The mixture may look clumpy, this is ok. Add the coconut milk, 1 tablespoon at a time until the frosting reaches desired consistency – you want it similar to butter cream frosting. Continue to beat for 2 minutes.
Frost the cupcakes generously and top with the coconut chips or flakes. It is best to keep the cupcakes in the fridge if not serving immediately but take them out about 10 minutes before serving to take the chill off for best results.
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