It’s taken me awhile to get to my giveaway of Elana Amsterdam’s gorgeous new book, Gluten-Free Cupcakes, but trust me, it was worth waiting for. This book is my favorite new cookbook, and it now sits snuggled up next to my other favorite cupcake book, Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World. These two adorable mini baking bibles should be the book ends to every cookbook collection.
So how is this new cupcake cookbook different from Vegan Cupcakes, and why would I want both on my shelves? And why should you, for that matter? Because Gluten-Free Cupcakes is completely different. COMPLETELY. While VCTOTW relies heavily on wheat flour and sugar, Guten-Free Cupcakes is 100% GLUTEN-FREE, and Elana uses agave nectar as her sweetener of choice. 50 delectable cupcake recipes that are all Gluten-Free and Refined Sugar-Free. With luscious photographs, many kid-friendly favorites, and some truly brilliant cupcakes concepts (Cookie Suprise Cupcakes p.36!) this book is sweetness itself. In fact, my favorite thing about this cookbook is the “Sweetness Meter” included in every recipe. That’s right, you can choose your cupcake recipe based upon your sweet craving. If I’m feeling like eating a medium-sweet treat, all I have to do is flip through Elana’s new book and find that perfect Strawberry or Chocolate or Red Velvet medium-sweet cupcake recipe. But for my son Lennon who likes things extra sweet, I can make the White Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes (p.40), and for my other son Monte, who likes things not-too-sweet, I can bake up the savory cupcakes.
How can you get your own copy of this lovely book? Go like me on my FACEBOOK page here, then come back and leave me a comment below letting me know you did so, and I’ll enter your name in the drawing. It’s that simple. If you already like me on facebook, then suggest to your friends on facebook that they also like me, Cybele Pascal, The Allergy-Friendly Cook (yes, you can call me that), and again, come back and leave me a comment, letting me know you did so.
Below is just a sample recipe of what’s inside the covers of this mini-masterpiece. Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Meringue Frosting. Please note that this cookbook is Gluten-Free, Wheat-Free, and Sugar-Free. Many recipes are also Dairy-Free, and all are Soy-Free. It is also Fish-Free and Shellfish-Free (though this might seem like an “of course”, remember some of the recipes are savory!). This is NOT an Egg-Free cookbook, nor is it a Nut-Free cookbook. I chose to bake the cupcakes made with Coconut Flour, which most allergists don’t consider to be a tree nut (please see “A Few Words About Coconut” here). There are several Vegan, Egg-Free recipes, but for a complete collection of Vegan Cupcakes, see VCTOTW. But again, we all need both books in our collection, so go FB me, and I’ll put your name in the pot for a FREE copy of Gluten-Free Cupcakes by Elana Amsterdam!
- 1/2 cup coconut flour
- 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 4 large eggs
- 1/2 cup agave nectar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh strawberries
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 8 muffin cups with paper liners.
In a large bowl, combine the coconut flour, arrowroot powder, salt, and baking soda. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, agave nectar, and vanilla extract. Blend the wet ingredients into the coconut flour mixture with a handheld mixer until thoroughly combined, then fold in the strawberries.
Scoop 1/4 cup of batter into each prepared muffin cup.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached. Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for 1 hour, then frost and serve.
Strawberry Meringue Frosting
Makes 3 cups
My younger son eats this straight out of the bowl!
- 1/4 cup agave nectar
- 2 egg whites
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh strawberries
In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the agave nectar to a boil, stirring constantly. Decrease the heat to low and simmer for 6 to 10 minutes, watching constantly and stirring occasionally, until the agave nectar darkens slightly from its original amber color, then remove from the heat and set aside.
In a deep bowl, whip the egg whites to stiff peaks using a handheld mixer. Be sure to push the beaters around the bowl to incorporate air into the whites. This step is important; if your egg whites are not whipped to stiff peaks, the recipe won’t work. Stop whipping as soon as the egg whites are stiff; overwhipping will result in egg whites that are dry and grainy. The foam of the whites will be stiff enough to stand up in well-defined, unwavering peaks.
Drizzle the warm agave nectar very slowly into the egg whites, while whipping with a handheld mixer, to keep the peaks stiff. The meringue will become pearlescent
Reprinted with permission from Gluten-Free Cupcakes: 50 Irresistible Recipes Made with Almond and Coconut Flour. Copyright © 2011 by Elana Amsterdam, Celestial Arts, an imprint of Ten Speed Press, a division of the Crown Publishing Group, Berkeley, CA. Photo Credit: Annabelle Breakey.