Gluten Free Cinnamon Apple Cupcakes Recipe
OK, OK, OK! You have been asking me for more gluten free recipes that are also refined sugar free, low glycemic, low carb desserts and I have been listening. Honestly, I am not all about butter, sugar and starch.
It’s a classic dichotomy – we all want to eat healthier and yet we still want our treats. In essence, we want guilt free treats. And you know what? If you want it then I am going to get into the kitchen and do my best to figure it out for you!
This is a recipe for cupcakes that are so nutrient dense they almost qualify as health food! Notice I said almost. Remember, they are cupcakes! And as such, they should be light, moist and sweet. They should look pretty and feel celebratory. They should be indulgent!
These Gluten Free Cinnamon Apple Cupcakes are packed with fiber, good healthy fats and protein. What they aren’t packed with is gluten, dairy, starch and refined sugar. A combination of coconut flour, coconut oil and eggs can be remarkably transformed into moist cakes without having to combine a number of flours and without a lot of work. In fact the most time consuming and arduous part of this process is waiting for these babies to bake. Running through these cupcakes are little chunks of apple that have been simmered in a little coconut sugar, cinnamon and a bit more coconut oil. The result is homey and yet somehow elegant – they remind me of when I would see my Mom all gussied up for a night out with my Dad; so beautiful and sophisticated but at the heart of it all she was still just Mom.
The frosting is simple, the mixer does most of the work for you and the result is sweet and cinnamony, light and fluffy, yet easy to pipe and contains only four ingredients; egg whites, salt, vanilla and a new found favorite of mine – cinnamon flavored agave from Wholesome Sweeteners. I found a line of different flavored agaves in my grocery store and had to try them all out.
If you have been afraid to bake with coconut flour, don’t be. Yes, it is pricier than other gluten free flours but I made 12 cupcakes with just a mere ½ cup – a little goes a long way! And as I mentioned earlier, you don’t have to combine it with other flours, at least not in this recipe.
Unless you want a coconutty flavor to your cupcakes, be sure to use refined coconut oil in this recipe.
For me, cupcakes are all about having a high frosting to cake ratio so this recipe makes plenty of frosting. If it is too much for your liking, you can store the frosting, covered, in the fridge for a few days. The cupcakes and frosting can both be prepared ahead of time but are best stored separately and frosted the same day you plan to serve them. Store frosted cupcakes in the fridge.
So while I am not sure if you can have your cake and eat it too, I am certain you can eat healthy and still have cupcakes!
- 1 large apple (I prefer Fuji), chopped
- ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons refined coconut oil , melted – use divided
- ½ cup coconut palm sugar
- ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon cinnamon flavored agave (Wholesome Sweeteners) – use divided
- ½ cup coconut flour
- ½ teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 6 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- ¾ cup cinnamon flavored agave nectar
- 3 large egg whites
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard muffin tin with paper cupcake liners.
Combine the chopped apple, 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil, coconut palm sugar, and 1 tablespoon cinnamon flavored agave in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Let simmer for 8 – 10 minutes or until the apples are softened but still retain their shape. Let cool.
Whisk together the coconut flour, salt, and baking soda. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, remaining ½ cup coconut oil, remaining ¼ cup cinnamon agave, and vanilla. Add the coconut flour mixture to the liquid ingredients and whisk well until smooth. Stir in the apple mixture. Divide the batter among the prepared muffin cups, filling almost full. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until the cupcakes feel firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan. While cupcakes cool, prepare the frosting.
Pour the cinnamon agave into a high-sided pan (use a pan a lot larger than you think you will need as the agave increases in size as it boils) and bring to a boil. Continue to boil for 3 minutes (it should have large bubbles or reach 225 degrees on a candy thermometer).
Combine the egg whites and salt, beat in a mixer on low until foamy then increase the speed to high and beat until stiff peaks form. Turn the mixer to low, carefully pour in the agave then turn the mixer back to high and beat until cool, about 7 minutes. Beat in the vanilla.
To assemble, generously frost the cooled cupcakes with the frosting.
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