Wow. I didn’t think I could pull these darlings off. Seriously. I’ve baked 4 different batches, with variable results. Sometimes brown, some mushy, some over sweet, and just , one was plain out nasty. Vegan Dye Free Gluten Free Red Velvet cupcakes are not an easy beast to conquer, apparently. Especially without xanthan gum!
However, I think I so totally pulled these babies off. They are perfectly sweet, have a thick crumb but not crumbly at all. They have a lovely fruity under note from the strawberries and the beets. Best of all? My gut is pretty darn happy with them (thank goodness. I’ve tasted far too many of them today so I would know by now if I was going to start tripping out lol).
Here they are- in all their natural genuinely red goodness. The secret? Lemon juice instead of baking soda. You want the batter as acid as possible, and I’m so glad for the inspiration from My Diverse Kitchen! Now, I would like these guys to rise a bit higher, but for now, they’re fabulous. If you want to ice them, take a look at this post for some ideas.
Whew. Ok. You ready for this magic red fruity fabulous goodness? Good. Lets get on with the show. :)
Visit this recipe, and other treats at Cybele Pascale’s Allergen Friendly Link Up Page- and submit yours!
GF, Vegan, Dye Free Red Velvet Cupcakes
Note: Prepare and mix the wet ingredients first, so that they have time to soak and gel before adding them to the dry. This makes for a better batter!
- 1 packed cup of fresh shredded beets (about 1 large beet)
- 1 generous cup of frozen strawberries
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (the bottled stuff won’t work for this recipe)
- 1 tbsp agar powder
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup almond flour (either re-grind Bob’s red mill or use a finer ground version like JK Gourmet or Honeyville)
- 1/3 cup coconut flour
- 1/3 cup tapioca or arrowroot starch
- 1/4 cup white rice flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder (I used corn free, aluminum free)
- 3/4 cup coconut sap (it should be soft, and looks like brown sugar)
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder (use the dark type and not the dutch processed type)
- 1/4 tsp salt (I used sea salt)
- Preheat the oven to 375 F.
- Put the shredded beet, strawberries, and water in a blender (I used a magic bullet and it was perfect). Blend till smooth. Measure out 1 cup of the puree and put in a bowl.
- Add to the bowl the rest of the wet ingredients, and make sure to sprinkle the agar powder and mix it all thoroughly.
- In a separate bowl mix the dry ingredients. Push through a fine sieve to get rid of the lumps. The large clumps of coconut sap, break down as much as you can, and whatever’s left dump back into the dry ingredients and mix.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry. It will seem like a dry dough- don’t add more wet ingredients! The crumb of this cupcake is already quite moist, you will make it turn into gum if you add more wet. (I think next batch I may just add more baking powder or a pinch of cream of tartar to help them rise higher).
- Use an ice cream scoop to drop into muffin cups. This batter makes 10 even, I can’t seem to make it turn out a dozen… working on that! lol
- Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes (or longer if needed).
- Let cool completely before serving. Done! :)
NOTE: Did they seem undercooked in the middle? Are they brown instead of red?
Here’s some tips to help:
- You might have a bit too much batter in each cup, try using a level ice cream scoop.
- When baking with agar powder, it takes about 2 full hours for it to cool and set. What may seem undercooked as soon as its out of the oven, after a few hours, turns out just right- thats the agar solidifying.
- Check your almond flour. If its Bob’s Redmill, it will be too granular and the recipe won’t work- try regrinding it in a coffee grinder or getting it from JK Gourmet or Honeyville.
- Double check your lemon juice and cocoa powder- it must be fresh lemon juice and non-dutch processed cocoa powder. Otherwise, your cupcakes will turn out brown because the batter is no longer acidic.
- Last- try reducing the coconut sap by 3-4 tbsp. Add 1-2 more tablespoons of coconut flour. ( Coconut sap, like other sugars, is a humectant- it attracts/ keeps a recipe moist. Coconut flour is super absorbant it will soak up moisture like crazy and dry out your batter).
I hope this helps! please let me know how it works out :)