Before I get into talk about these awesome cupcakes I want to share that my first newly released book The Essential Gluten Free Baking Guide Part 1 is now available for Kindle! (Part 2 will also be available very soon!) The price is only $9.99 per book. For more info on the content check out the FAQ or read some of the reviews on amazon!
8lbs of Almond Flour and 19 different recipe trials- this recipe took me nearly 5 full days of work. Phew.
Cupcakes are easy to throw together, really easy when you use grain based flours + eggs. But the grain free flours (at least the nut based varieties) are pretty heavy and without the use of eggs they are not likely to bake up light and fluffy. My mission the past few months has been to bang out as many Grain, Egg and Sugar free recipes as possible. This combination of “free’s” is really hard to come by! I hear all the time from various readers that they tried to convert their favorite grain free recipes to egg free with disastrous results as its really not easy to do, and takes quite a bit of patience. I’m starting to scheme and dream about the recipes for my next book and my game plan is to experiment heavily with all the various grain free flours and create as many recipes as possible without the use of eggs! The challenge of these cupcakes was exciting, and I’m feeling a strong drive to continue on this learning journey.
These cupcakes, to be perfectly honest are more like brownies than cupcakes. But, I do believe I stretched the restricted ingredients to the fullest of their “light and fluffy” potential. With that being said, they are not light and fluffy.. BUT I am happy to say that they are lighter than a brownie. This recipe will be a work in progress, as I experiment heavily with the other grain free flours I’m sure I’ll make some fun discoveries in how to achieve the exact texture that I want. For now, I’m pretty pleased with these results!
Often, I like to provide all kinds of substitution instructions. Today I will not be doing that too extensively. Why? Little changes to this recipe make a big difference, a very big difference infact. 1/2 tsp more or less of liquid will make these cupcakes bake perfectly or fall in the last few minutes in the oven.
A few things I learned along the way: Almond Flour is HEAVY. I started this project using it as my primary flour and no matter what I did, the rise I could get was extremely limited. Flax Meal is slightly lighter than Almond which is why I used it as almost 50% of the mix. The more I used, the lighter the cupcakes became.. but when I went beyond the 50% mark the cupcakes started to get an off putting gummy texture. The Starch and Cocoa Powder help provide some lift, but I had to be careful with the amount I used as they made the cupcakes hard as rocks if I used too much. I did not test out any other nut and seed flours, so if you have that desire- feel free to give it a try. But be prepared that you may need to experiment a little.
*Every time I post an almond flour recipe, I get asked multiple times is coconut flour will work. Coconut flour works extremely, extremely different. Trying to use it in place of almond will almost always provide bad results*
Different types of sugar affect this recipe as well. I did the majority of my trials with Organic Cane Sugar as thats what I was most stocked up in. In my last few trials I used Sucanat and Palm sugar and noticed I needed to make a tiny change in the liquid amount as Sucanat and Palm contain less moisture than Cane Sugar! I did not experiment with xylitol or any other “sugar free” sugars. If you want to do this, I think it would be safe to try- but I cannot guarantee perfect results.
You’ll notice that this batch is on the small side. I did this due to the sheer volume of times that I needed to retest the recipe. Unfortunately I ran out of almond flour just as I finished the recipe and was not able to source anymore locally to see if the recipe functioned well as a double batch. So, for now I’m leaving this in your hands. If you give it a try, please come back and let us all know how they turned out.
Grain & Egg Free Chocolate Cupcakes.
1/2 Cup + 1 TBS Blanched Almond Flour
1/2 Cup Flax Meal
1/4 cup + 2 TBS Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
5 1/2 TBS Starch (Tapioca or Arrowroot)
3/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
1/8 Tsp. Salt
1 3/4 Tsp. Baking Powder
(If you are able to eat it, I highly recommend Double Acting from Bob’s)
1 1/2 Tsp. Vanilla Extract
1 Tsp. Oil
5 TBS Milk (Dairy or Nondairy- any variety)
1 3/4 Tsp Apple Cider Vinegar.
Note: If using Cane Sugar follow the ingredients listed above. If you choose to use Sucanat or Palm Sugar add an extra 1/2 Tsp Vanilla extract or milk as the recipe will need that extra bit of liquid).
- Preheat oven to 350 Degrees. Line 6-7 cupcake tins with liners.
- In a bowl, combine all cupcake ingredients. At first when you stir the batter will look very dry. As you mix it, it will gain a thick wet consistency.
- Spoon the batter into the cups. If you want your cupcakes taller divide the batter among only 6 cups. (I personally like using 7 cups).
- Bake 23-25 minutes. (I use a toothpick to test for doneness. it won’t ever come out completely clean, but I look to make sure the stick isn’t covered with wet batter.
- Remove from oven, and place the cupcakes into a sealed bag. The tops of these cupcakes can get on the hard side, and placing them to cool in this warm environment provides the best overall texture.
- Once cooled, top with frosting!
As these sit, over time I found that they dry out some. A quick 30 second trip to the microwave will make them nice and soft again.
Cookie Dough Frosting
1/2 Cup- 3/4 Cup Blanched Almond Flour
7 TBS Milk (Dairy or Nondairy)
1/2 cup- 3/4 Cup Granulated Sugar (to taste)
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
Pinch of Salt.
2-3 TBS Starch (Tapioca or Arrowroot).
Allergy Free Chocolate Chips.
Note: any variety of granulated sugar can be used here- keep in mind that the color of the sugar will affect the frosting. For those that like to use honey and other liquid sugars – feel free. You just may need to adjust how much almond flour and starch you use to thicken the frosting.
- Combine in a sauce pan the Almond flour and Milk. Depending on how thick you want your frosting you can use more or less almond flour. Add the Sugar (to taste), Vanilla and pinch of salt and continue to stir over low heat. The mixture will thicken (and the granules of the almond flour will become less obvious). A a few minutes add as much starch as you would like to create your desired thickness. Place in the fridge (or freezer) to cool.
- Once chilled pipe or spread frosting onto (cooled) cupcakes. Top with Chocolate Chips!
One of the things that I dislike about frosting in general is the way that it is hard to travel with. I loved this recipe as it developed a thin “skin” and therefore travels well and will look nice even if it comes into contact with plastic wrap.
Yields 6-7 frosted cupcakes.
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