Gluten Free Vegan Vanilla Cupcake (xanthan free, refined sugar free, soy free)
Ok first, this cupcake also has lemon and raspberry fillings, BUT, for SEO purposes, I’m keeping it shorter. Now, on to cupcakery!
This past weekend I took on the challenge of a cupcake competition at the Ottawa VegFest. Now, the thing with me competing in cupcake competitions is that…. um. I kinda don’t fit in any of the categories. GF, Xanthan free, Vegan, Soy free, and Sugar free don’t exactly exist (yet ;) ). Personally, I figure if you are going to bake, go all the way and do it right. Stick to real food only. Cut the allergens. Cut the sugar. Avoid xanthan gum. Forget the soy. What does that mean for most competitions? um, it means I get a little bit of a head scratching response. How can you cut all that stuff and make it good??
Its good. Trust me. :)
If you’ve tried any of these GF, Vegan, xanthan free, Refined sugar free, soy free treats:
(if not, get on it! they’re awesome!)
The thing with these competitions is that they really inspire me to invent recipes under short time constraints. Whether or not I win is irrelevant. The creations that come of it are fabulous and totally worth it.
Now, I will say, though, this past Saturday was brutal. I baked and experimented from 3 pm till 1 in the morning, straight. Spent over 100$ in ingredients. Made 2 kinds of cupcakes, 6 kinds of fillers and icings (recipes for those coming soon, you get 2 below :)) , brought them to the competition the next morning, and was told they wouldn’t sample them both because I had too many entries (although there was no mention on entry limits in the rules). I was a bit deflated. My fabulous, beautiful lemon raspberry cupcakes sat untouched.
*sigh* What can i say, prepping for these is intense :)
Anyways, at least I can give you guys some recipes! That was totally worth it. :)
When I get a recipe right, I feel like the sky opens and angels sing. This new one I have been trying to make for YEARS. And every time, I failed. Miserably. Gluten free, xanthan free, vegan, soy free and refined sugar free vanilla cupcakes are like the sacred prize. They just don’t exist. They’re either hard as rocks, gummy sludge, or gritty. Or horrendously awful tasting (I once tasted one that had unroasted quinoa, chickpea, and corn grits all in at the same time. um. not so much. :S ).
These cupcakes have a super, super light crumb. They’re moist. No gritty texture AT ALL. They’re like clouds of loveliness and they’re even good the next day! No, seriously. Amazing.
If you are nut free, I do provide some suggestions for substitutions, but I’ve never tried them, so I don’t know how they will work. In theory they should be totally fine, but the cupcake will turn out differently. If you do it, please let me know how they turn out. :)
Here we go, enough chitchatting. You get 3 recipes here- the cupcake, lemon icing, and raspberry topping. :D
I find the key to this recipe is the potato starch- it makes a fluffier end product (if you are nightshade free, try subbing with arrowroot starch, may be less fluffy end result). Also, the palm sugar- I bought it in solid lumps at a local asian grocer (Ottawa- Kowloon Market)- it let the recipe stay light coloured and didn’t overdo the wetness.
NOTE: This recipe is featured on the Simply Sugar and Gluten Free blog link up. Submit your recipes too and view other great creations!
Vanilla Lemon Cupcake (GF, Vegan, Gum Free, Sugar Free)
NOTES: Omit the lemon for a vanilla cupcake. I used solid palm sugar I found at Kowloon Market, a local asian grocer, and shaved it against a grater. It looks like small very light golden hockey pucks. Also- mix the wet ingredients first so the agar powder has time to gel, before mixing the dry ingredients.
- 1/3 cup frozen banana, thawed
- 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 tbsp agar agar powder
- 1/3 cup olive oil (or light oil of your choice)
- 1/3 cup coconut milk (nut free: try 1/4 cup oil and 1/4 cup dairy free milk of your choice)
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup water (nut free baker– omit)
- 2 tsp home made lemon extract (directions below- you’ll need 1 cup fresh lemon juice to make) (or else omit)
- zest of 1 lemon
- seeds of 1/2 vanilla bean (or 2-3 tsp vanilla)
- 2/3 cup white rice flour
- 2/3 cup (don’t pack the cup) shaved palm sugar
- 1/4 cup tapioca starch
- 1/4 cup potato starch (nightshade free: try arrowroot, will give different results)
- 1/3 cup almond flour (nut free: try 1/3 cup quinoa flakes, roasted at 150 for 30 min to remove saponin)
- 1/4 cup coconut flour (nut free: try 1/4 cup chickpea flour)
- 1/3 cup brown rice flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- To make the lemon extract: get 1 cup fresh lemon juice, and simmer on medium heat until it reduces to 2 tbsp. It will be a dark thick syrup, and super lemony. It will take 30 min to an hour. Use 2 tsp of this for your cupcake, and the rest will be for your icing.
- Mix all the wet ingredients except the lemon zest, and blend with a hand blender or food pocessor. then fold in the lemon zest.
- Mix all the dry ingredients in a separate bowl, and sift to remove lumps. The palm sugar may be lumpy- press through as much as you can and the rest, fold into the mix.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well. Scoop into muffin tins and bake at 350 for 20 min or until the tops are firm.
- Wait about 2-3 minutes before removing the cupcakes from the tins- they are very fragile when hot. Let cool on racks for an hour or two before icing.
Zesty Lemon Icing and Raspberry Reduction Filling
- 2 tsp home made lemon extract or to taste (see directions above for how to make it)
- 1/4 cup grated palm sugar
- 1 tbsp cashew nut butter (optional)
- 3/4 cup unhydrogenated palm oil shortening (or you could try coconut oil)
- colouring: a pinch of crushed saffron and a tiny pinch of tumeric (optional)
- This icing is a ‘to taste’ kind of thing- add the ingredients, give it a blend in your blender, add more or less to see if you like it. Its pretty simple, and all about the consistency and flavour you prefer. Try blending it first without the nut butter, and then add it afterwards to see if you like it.
- done! :)
Raspberry Reduction Filling
NOTE: This filling takes ages of work. *aaages* If you simply want to use strawberries, I won’t hold it against you :)
- 4 cups frozen raspberries
- 3 cups frozen strawberries
- 3/4 cup unhydrogenated organic aplm oil shortening
- grated palm sugar or agave nectar to taste
- nut butter of your choice- optional, to taste
- vanilla extract, optional, to taste
- Put the raspberies in a deep skillet or sauce pan, and bring the heat up to medium-high. Stire afew times to make sure they aren’t sticking to the pan.
- After about 20 min, the berries should be loose and mushy and very liquidy. Press them through a strainer to remove as much of the seed as possible- this took me about 15 min, and it was a bit laborious.
- Put the raspberry puree back in your pan and add the strawberries. Boil on medium heat (if its splattering then lower the heat) for about 1.5 hours until the strawberries have totally dissolved and it is a very thick jam-like consistency with little water. Stir to make sure the mix doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
- Add the berry paste to a food processor. Soften the palm oil and add a little bit at a time until you like the consistency of the raspberry filling- more means its stiffer, less means its more liquid. Add also the flavourings to taste. Done. :)