Elana Amsterdam’s “Gluten-Free Cupcakes” Review

Gluten-Free Cupcakes: 50 Irresistible Recipes Made with Almond and Coconut Flour

I adore Elana Amsterdam, the owner of ElanasPantry.com, a gluten free, grain free and sugar free blog that includes hundreds of recipes made with almond flour and coconut flour. If you know me, I’m really big on coconut flour, and on whole foods, so when Elana sent me a copy of her new book “Gluten-Free Cupcakes: 50 Irresistible Recipes Made with Almond and Coconut Flour“, I was thrilled.

The book, set to release tomorrow (April 26th, 2011), made its way into my home the other day. I didn’t get more than half way through the book before already trying out three recipes. It’s that exciting! Before this book, I was never big on cupcakes in general–but now, gluten-free cupcakes are all the rage at my house. The first gluten-free cupcake I made out of Elana’s book was the traditional “Chocolate Cupcake”. OH MY GOODNESS. That should sum that up.

I then moved on to the Vanilla Cupcake recipe and then the Marble Cupcake. I LOVE how she places a sweetness score on every recipe. Many of the recipes sweetness score is set at a medium, while the “Special Occasion Cupcakes” are sometimes set at high (which is OK for special occasions). If you read my blog lest year, you know how important this is to me after going off all sweets (stevia included) as a dietary challenge. You can read that post here, along with some very inspiring comments from readers.

I wanted to share with you guys the recipe for the Chocolate Cupcake (page 22). Elana seems to use roughly the same proportions of coconut flour to cocoa that I have used in the past on my own, yet she has some definite twists that make it her own. For those who do not wish to use agave in this recipe, you can substitute honey. For a sugar free version, you can melt one cup of xylitol (or coconut sugar) with a tablespoon of water over a small saucepan. This will dissolve down to around 1/2 cup of simple syrup (I’ve used this method and it does indeed work).

I only had TWO left over for the picture. That didn’t last soon after.

Elana Amsterdam’s Gluten-Free Chocolate Cupcakes

1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
4 large eggs
1/4 cup grapeseed oil (I used melted coconut oil)
1/2 cup agave (see notes above for alternate recommendations)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F while lining 9 muffin cups with paper liners.

In a large bowl, combine the coconut flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking soda. In another bowl, whisk the eggs, oil and agave necter. Mix the wet ingredients into the flour mixture until thoroughly combined.

Scoop around 1/4 cup of batter into each muffin cup.

Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a cupcake comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for 1 hour, then frost. Serve!

Makes 9 cupcakes.

Elana recommends her “Vegan Chocolate Frosting” for this cupcake, located on page 92. It’s divine!

After plugging this recipe in NutritionData.com’s free tracking service (I highly recommend this program!), we can find that one cupcake packs a heck of a nutritional punch. Here are the facts per one cupcake:

9 grams of healthy fat, 17 grams of net carbohydrate (if made with agave or honey), 3 grams of powerful protein

Each cupcake is mildly anti-inflammatory (unless you make it with honey or other sugars), very low on the glycemic index (meaning it does not raise your blood sugars rapidly, but very minimally), and contains a healthy ratio of omega-6 fatty acids to omega-3 fatty acids, depending on the fat used.

The next recipes that I am just itching to try are…Cinnamon Crumb Cupcakes (pg. 58), Garlic Cheddar Muffins (savory! – pg. 86), Scallion Goat Cheese Muffins (pg. 84), Strawberry Cupcakes (pg. 24) and Honey Walnut Cupcakes (pg. 66). A weeks worth of baking, I’d say! Can’t wait.

The cupcakes in Elana’s “Gluten-Free Cupcakes” cookbook are definitely made with love (read Elana’s post about how she tested a recipe over 50 times!), and contains recipes for cupcakes that you don’t have to feel guilty consuming. Please do yourself a favor and pre-order (or order) her cookbook so you can experience the mmm mmm goodness that I’m receiving (seriously, these cupcakes are too good).

Until next time, This is The Healthy Advocate.

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