I love birthdays, a good time to reflect on the year of your life and maybe some of the adventures you would want to take for the next year. Growing old doesn't have to be bad, I mean, you are getting wiser, smarter, hopefully happier and more blessed. So, for me this year, with the coming of a baby in 2010 I couldn't help but imagine what the year would hold. Crazy changes, food cravings, and thankfulness. I am so thankful for new life, spring time and my closest family and friends. People that go the extra mile with me, and that love me for who I am. Those are the gifts that you just can't buy or even dream up for yourself. They are God-given blessings that make us who we are. So, for those gifts I am truly appreciative and excited for what the next year of life will bring.
And then there were cupcakes...
I made these as a birthday treat for some friends of mine as a way to celebrate my birthday a few weeks ago. People ask why I make my own birthday treats, and it's a pretty easy answer if you are a gluten-free friend. Mainly, because you know that your kitchen and equipment is clean of gluten, and also because you can control other ingredients. Yet, it is a challenge. So, my friends you may have to invest in a few special ingredients for this recipe, but it is worth it once you have the results. It is a treat to have a cupcake, a beloved and perfect cupcake.
Chocolate Cake/Cupcake Recipe- This recipe makes 24 cupcakes or 2 9" cakes.
1 1/2 cup of sorghum flour
1 cup of potato starch (not flour)
2 cups of sucanat (unrefined sugar cane juice dehydrated) or use beet sugar, palm sugar or coconut sugar
3/4 cup of sweet rice flour
2 ts. of xanthan gum
2 ts. of baking powder
1 ts. of baking soda
1/2 ts. of sea salt
3/4 cup of cocoa powder
1 TB of apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup of light olive oil, or coconut oil
2 cups of water or non-dairy milk
4 farm fresh eggs
2 TB of pure vanilla
Mix all of the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl, and then slowly add the wet ingredients and mix well. Make sure to have all the flours, starches and cocoa powder mixed in well and your mixture should be a thick and almost custard like texture. It is this way because of the starch and the xanthan gum. It will help it rise normally and have better baked texture. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes depending on your oven. Check to make sure you do not burn or dry out, but not gooey in the middles. If you are baking a cake with this recipe, then you will need to bake for 50-60 minutes until done.
I have to say, this peanut butter frosting was a stretch for me, considering I do not use powdered sugar a lot in my baking just because it is such a strong sugar sweetener and I try to avoid even "pure" sugar. But you really can't get the texture of the frosting without the powdered sugar. Liquid sweeteners just don't cut it! So, this frosting recipe is a treat, but I got the comment on how it almost tasted like peanut butter fudge frosting. It was very good, and made the cupcake just pop! Plus it is very easy, dairy free and well, fun to dress up those little baby cupcakes.
Peanut Butter Frosting- for 24 cupcakes
3 TB of organic creamy Peanut Butter
3 TB of Spectrum organic palm oil shortening
2-3 TB of almond milk or other non-dairy milk
3 cups of organic powdered sugar
Mix the peanut butter, shortening, and powdered sugar first and then drizzle the non-dairy milk to loosen things up a bit and use the amount of liquid to determine your thickness to the frosting. If you like a little more drizzly then use more milk, and if you like it more sturdy then use less. It is up to you, but it is best to start out with a little and work your way with more...
I put all of the frosting in a larger zip lock bag and moved it all to one corner, and then cut the corner just a bit with a scissors and then I was able to decorate the cupcakes how I wanted. Some were fun dots, squiggles and then some I just spread it around how I liked it. It was fun too :)
Every once in a while you just need a special gluten-free diary-free treat, and this is one of them. I hope you try it out and remember that eating gluten-free doesn't have to be a curse. Try and remember that gluten-free living will help you and heal you from many ailments, and that it can also be fun and adventurous too. Always a good reminder, I say!
Much love to you today!