Six years ago, I made my very first batch of allergen-free cupcakes for our son’s second birthday. I bought my mix, baked all night, and hoped for the best. It was an absolute disaster.
The kids made faces, some asked their parents innocently what “that” was, and by the end of it, much of my cupcakes ended up on the ground in shreds. It was not good. Unless you were an ant.
By his third birthday, I managed to redeem myself a bit after discovering The Allergen-Free Baker’s Handbook. I made a huge sheet cake, half chocolate and half vanilla, and it was a much better experience than before. The kids actually ate the cake this time, and so did some of their parents.
I really could have stopped there because the recipe really was that good, but because I was on a quest to have an allergen-friendly bakery at the time, I went to work to create a recipe that would be our own and be just a bit more moist and fluffy.
I started with their gluten-free flour mix, which included 4 cups of brown rice flour, 1 1/3 cups potato starch (not flour), and 2/3 cup tapioca starch. From there, I added my own mix of dry ingredients, made my “eggs” with flaxmeal and water and experimented with King Arthur Flour Cake Enhancer until I found just the right blend of moistness and yumminess.
The cupcakes were a success!
I cannot tell you how happy it made me to bless my children and our gluten-free friends with cupcakes that they found to be just as tasty as the “real” cupcakes. My little ones no longer had to look longingly at their friends eating their store-bought cupcakes while they sat in the corner with their own dry, crumbly ones. They could actually enjoy them alongside their friends.
I had high hopes for our “cottage” bakery and wanted more than anything to be able to give others (especially children) the opportunity to enjoy yummy allergen-free treats with their friends and family but have since shut down the bakery because it was difficult to continue in our home. I have continued to share my cupcakes, along with my other allergen-free treats at birthday parties and am now happy to share them with you here. I hope they add a little sweetness to your special days for those on special diets.
- 3T Flaxmeal
- ½ cup + 1T hot water
- 1½ cup flax milk (or other alternate milk)
- 1½ tsp apple cider vinegar
- 3 cups gluten-free blend
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- 1½ tsp baking soda
- ¾ tsp xanthum gum
- ¾ tsp salt
- ½ cup + 1½ T organic palm oil shortening
- 1½ cup evaporated cane juice or organic sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1½ T cake enhancer (optional)
- Preheat the oven at 350º, and prepare baking cups in the cupcake pans.
- Prepare the flax eggs: Warm water on the stove until hot, then and pour over flaxmeal in a small bowl. Cover and let it sit for at least 5 minutes.
- In a measuring cup, combine the flax milk and apple cider vinegar, and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk the gluten-free blend, baking powder, baking soda, xanthum gum, and sea salt. Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the shortening and evaporated cane juice. Mix for 2 minutes on medium speed, then add the flax eggs and vanilla.
- Switch the mixer to low speed, then add the flour mixture and milk. Then add the cake enhancer.
- Pour ¼ cup of batter into the baking cups.
- Bake for 17 minutes, rotating halfway.
- Allow to cool in pans for 3-5 minutes and move to cooling rack.
- 1 cup organic palm oil shortening
- 3 cups =1T organic powdered sugar
- 3T flax milk (or other alternate milk)
- ¾ tsp vanilla
- Pinch of salt
- Mix the shortening, powdered sugar, and milk on medium speed for 5 minutes until light and fluffy. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Add the vanilla and salt and mix until thoroughly combined.
- Scoop frosting into a piping bag with a large piping tip and swirl over cupcakes.