Hard to believe these colorful beauties are gluten-free, allergy-free, and vegan, as well as free of any artificial color. Don’t they look like they must be bad for you? Nope, 100% natural, GF, and free of all top food allergens. I was inspired to make them after finding that India Tree has a line of all-natural food coloring. This was an exciting find, indeed, since I’ve never been very happy with the line of natural colors from Seelect, and I really don’t like feeding my children artificial dye. Particularly my multi-food-allergic son, Lennon, who seems overly reactive these days. Just last week he broke out in total body hives after I gave him liquid Ibuprofen, and frankly, I don’t know if it was a medication allergy, or if he was having an allergic reaction to the red dye in the Children’s Advil. Better safe than sorry, so I think we’ll avoid both for now.
These India Tree Natural Decorating Sugars make very pretty pastels, or jewel tones. Add the coloring a drop at a time, until desired shade has been reached. The Jelly Beans I used to accessorize are also all-natural and allergy-friendly from Surf Sweets. And the cute little chicks and bunnies are from Williams Sonoma.
Allergy-Free Easter Cupcakes
Makes 12 cupcakes
- 1/2 cup rice milk
- 1/4 cup vanilla vegan yogurt (I like So Delicious Coconut Milk yogurt)
- 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 cups Authentic Foods GF Classical Blend, or my Basic Gluten-Free Flour Mix
- 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
- 3/4 teaspoon double-acting baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons Spectrum Organic Vegetable Shortening
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 1/4 teaspoons Ener-G egg replacer mixed with 3 Tablespoons rice milk
- 1 recipe Allergy-Free Vanilla Frosting (recipe follows)
- Natural Decorating Colors
- Jelly Beans (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a cupcake pan with 12 liners.
2. Combine 1/2 cup rice milk with the yogurt, and the cider vinegar and set aside.
3. Measure out flour mix by spooning flour into a dry measuring cup, then leveling it off with a straightedge, or the back of a knife. (Do not scoop the flour directly with the measuring cup or you’ll wind up with too much flour for the recipe). Combine flour mix with xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk well. Set aside.
4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine vegetable shortening and granulated sugar. Mix on medium speed 2 minutes.
5. Add vanilla extract and egg replacer to bowl of stand mixer. Mix on medium speed 1 minute more.
6. Using a sifter, sift in the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with rice milk mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture, and mixing until combined, about 30 seconds. Once batter is smooth, spoon about 1/4 cup batter into each liner, filling the liners about three-quarters full. Do not overfill the liners, or they will rise too high.
7. Bake in the center of the oven 20 minutes until a skewer or toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, and cupcakes are a lovely light golden color.
8. Remove from oven and transfer cupcakes to a cooling rack to let cool completely before frosting.
9. Add Decorating Color to frosting one drop at a time, mixing well between each addition, until you’ve reached desired shade. (Note that the blue is extremely saturated, so I found I needed to add a lot of yellow to it to make green –keep adding yellow till it’s pretty, knowing that it takes a lot!) To make multiple colors, divide up your frosting into batches.
Allergy-Free Vanilla Frosting
Makes enough for 12 Cupcakes.
- 1/2 cup Spectrum Organic Vegetable Shortening
- pinch of salt
- 2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 2 Tablespoons rice milk (plus more as necessary)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream shortening and pinch of salt on medium speed, about 2 minutes.
2. Add confectioners’ sugar in three batches, beating after each addition. Add rice milk and vanilla extract and beat until smooth and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
Allergy-Free Easter Cupcakes
© 2011 by Cybele Pascal
For more Easter recipes you might like, try:
(Please note that all my recipes are completely free of all top allergens (wheat, dairy, soy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, sesame, fish, shellfish, and gluten), so as many people as possible can enjoy them. Additionally, all the ingredients are available at Whole Foods, and online at Amazon.com. If you have trouble finding something, let me know and I’ll help you find it.)
SAFETY NOTE: Because each person’s food sensitivity and reaction is unique, ranging from mild intolerance to life-threatening and severe food allergies, it is up to the consumer to monitor ingredients and manufacturing conditions. If manufacturing conditions, potential cross contact between foods, and ingredient derivatives pose a risk for you, please re-read all food labels and call the manufacturer to confirm potential allergen concerns before consumption. Ingredients and manufacturing practices can change overnight and without warning.