Friday, October 15, 2010

Gluten Free, Grain Free Peanut Butter Cupcakes Recipe

We try to visit Michael's parents at least once a week. Sometimes it's more often, sometimes less. On a recent visit we had a wonderful southern meal prepared by Michael's mom Carol. We didn't have anything for dessert planned and I was watching Cupcake Wars on Food Network. We don't have cable or satellite television at our house, so the first thing I do when we get to Michael's parents house is head towards the living room and change the channel to Food Network! Thankfully his parents usually don't mind -- so long as a car race isn't on!

So after an hour of seeing about 1000 cupcakes being made I thought we needed cupcakes for dessert. One problem. Michael's parents aren't gluten free and therefore don't have a full pantry of gluten free flours available. So I made myself at home in Carol's kitchen and started nosing around to see what I could find.

Peanut butter = check.
Eggs = check.
Sugar = check.

Hmm... could you make cupcakes with those basic ingredients from a regular kitchen? I thought it would be worth a shot to try. Surprisingly it worked! Nut flours and butters can be used singularly as a flour in gluten free baking. It worked really well! I will admit, these cupcakes aren't perfect. I made them again last night to double check my recipe measurements and this makes a LOT of cupcakes... so I'm giving you both recipes in case you want to make a small batch or a large batch.

A few tips for grain-free peanut butter cupcakes:
  • Don't overfill the cupcake liners. I made these cupcakes WAY too big, so they were starting to collapse as they cooled. Unlike most gluten free cupcakes, you don't need to add batter to the brim of the cupcake liner, I'd say only fill the liners 3/4 full MAX. (In these pictures, I still made them WAY too big and added too much batter.)
  • Use SMALL or mini chocolate chips. I used regular sized chocolate chips in both batches, and I think the large size makes them heavier and that's contributing to the cupcakes falling slightly when they are cooling. 
  • You can use "real" peanut butter (which is what I prefer) that is simply peanuts that have been ground, or if your family prefers a peanut butter with additives like "Jif" that works too. The only peanut butter Michael's parents had was Jif, and at home I had Maranatha natural peanut butter. The cupcakes turned out great with both kinds.  You could also use almond butter or another nut butter of your choice. 

Gluten Free, Grain Free Peanut Butter Cupcakes
free of gluten, dairy, soy, gums, corn, and other grains
created by carrie forbes of
printer-friendly recipe

Large Batch (15-18 cupcakes)                   
2/3 cup sugar, agave nectar, or honey              
2 teaspoons baking powder                            
1 1/4 cups peanut butter                                  
4 eggs                                                          
1/4 cup water                                              
1 tablespoon gluten free vanilla                         
1/4 cup mini-chocolate chips                         

Small Batch (7-9 cupcakes)
1/3 cup sugar, agave nectar, or honey
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp. peanut butter
2 eggs
2 tablespoons water
1 1/2 teaspoons gluten free vanilla
2 tablespoons mini-chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with paper liners. In a medium sized bowl mix together sugar and baking powder. To the sugar, add peanut butter and cream the mixture together. In another bowl whisk together the eggs, water, and vanilla. Pour the egg mixture into the peanut butter/sugar mixture and mix it together with a fork until it's very creamy and light, like a cake batter. You may need to use a little elbow grease to completely mix the wet ingredients with the peanut butter/sugar mixture. Spoon the cupcake batter into the paper lines until they are NO more than 1/2 - 3/4 full. These cupcakes definitely need room to rise! Lightly sprinkle a few mini-chocolate chips on top of the cupcakes and place in the preheated oven. Bake for 15-18 minutes until they are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle of a cupcakes comes out clean. Allow the cupcakes to cool for about 20 minutes on a wire rack before serving. They are delicious hot or cold. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
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  1. Why must you tease me? Those look SO delicious Carrie!!!

  2. These look so delicious, Carrie! We have an overflow of peanut butter right now since we combined our households again. What a great way to use some of it up...after I get the kitchen organized, that is!

  3. These look so good! I can't believe how creative you are to just look through a gluten filled kitchen and find a way to make an awesome gluten free snack.

    I love your cupcake liners too. Nice autumn theme :D

  4. Jenn-- I did you a favor~! I didn't bring you any! hahaha! lol... I think I'm going to make another batch of mini ones though for our meeting tomorrow, just to test it again and see if they rise better as small muffins... i'll save you one! Maybe the mini-ones would be WW friendly?

    Hunters -- I hope your kitchen gets squared away soon! Moving is so tough!!

    Miel -- Thank you girl! I was so excited when I saw those cupcake liners! lol

  5. Heavens to betsy! These look soooooo good! I'm definitely going to make these. I hope I can figure some way to get to the meeting tomorrow. I can't believe you just walked into Carol's kitchen and came up with this. You continue to amaze me!

  6. Jaime - Thanks chica!! I love that phrase, "Heavens to betsy!!" they are SO easy to make and I bet you could literally make them at just about anybody's house from their pantry!! I love that about them!!

  7. You amaze me, Carrie! You are like the most creative and should have your own tv episode called "Gluten-free survival in a non-gluten-free world"! This recipe looks like a great one for kids to cook in the kitchen. Ok there's your next episode.

  8. Debbie - you are THE Best!!! Thank you so much!!! I love having to figure out what you can do with what you have!! As for your "tv" title.. I LOVE it! And I think it would make a fabulous book title as well!! Hmmm! lol!! :-P

  9. Hi Carrie! Jenn @ A Girl Who Loves Cupcakes recommended that I come visit you! I just started a GF diet (not doc suggested, but I've been having some issues, so I thought I would try it to see if I got some relief)and am really excited to read your story and try your recipes!

    These cupcakes look amazing!

  10. Marisa! Love love love Jenn!! She's the best! I'm so glad she directed you here! If you need ANY help with the gf diet, please let me know! i'll help you in any way I can!

  11. Carrie I love this post! I think it's so cool that you just dug through their gluten-filled kitchen and whipped up some cupcakes. Grain-free to boot! Michael and his parents are super lucky to have you!

  12. Oh WOW! I love peanut butter and I often make a batch of the super simple peanut butter cookies (peanut butter, egg, sugar, baking powder). To see this simple cupcake recipe makes me VERY HAPPY! I can't wait to try these tomorrow!

  13. Hi Carrie! I just stumbled upon your blog and I'm so happy I did. I love it! Thanks for this awesome recipe :) I look forward to reading more!

  14. Now I call that being super resourceful! I love that you were able to come up with a gluten free baked good in a non-gluten free kitchen!! You rock!
    This recipe looks so simple... a perfect one to make with my kiddos (especially since they are both total nut-butter fiends). And I agree with the big chocolate chips making it heavier. I recently made some chocolate pumpkin cupcakes and only had large ones at home. I felt that they did make it heavier (and even tossing them in a bit of gf flour, many of them still sunk to the bottom).
    By the way, my friend, got your badge up on my blog. ;)

  15. OMG I can't wait to make these. Thank you for the recipe!!

  16. Patiently waiting for you to be the next GF blogger with a book deal.

  17. Oh my gosh, those look AMAZING!

    Also, just wondering - did you design your header on your own? I love the style of it!

  18. I think they're cute! I like the look of the large chips, especially!

  19. These remind me of that Peanut Butter Cookie recipe that is in the Bette Hagman books...they are delectable, and could fool even the most devout of peanut butter cookie fans.

    I think I would try this in mini tins...

    Wish my son could still have peanut butter, the other nut butters didn't work out as well.

  20. Now, I have two recipes to try. This looks wonderful. Our whole house is Gluten free so this recipe will fit us perfectly.

  21. From reader Hanunyah: "They turned out great!! Thank you soo much for this recipe! Everyone liked them, and couldn't believe that they had no flour. Thanks Carrie!"

  22. The boys and I used this recipe to make mini-cupcakes tonight. We were out of coconut milk, margarine, and olive oil, so I needed something that didn't call for any of those ingredients. It turned out we had just enough pb when we combined our creamy and chunky pb jars. We baked the minis for 10 minutes which seemed to be just right. The cupcakes turned out beautifully and they were YUMMY! Only thing I would change for next time: we didn't use wrappers, we just greased the pan, and they did stick a bit. THANK YOU for another WONDERFUL recipe!

  23. I just found your blog today. I'm soooo happy! I am attempting to get my feet wet in the GF world. I'm an excellent 'wheat' baker, but I've discovered going GF is a bit tricky at first. So I'm glad to have found your recipes. I just baked these cupcakes, and they smell heavenly. Like others, I've also made wheat-free cookies similar to this recipe. I'm just you think this would also work with Nutella? I have a jar in my pantry that I was going to use in some cupcakes, but I may try this instead, maybe with peanut butter chips on top!


  24. Hi Trish! I bet these would be FANTASTIC with Nutella!! :-) Give it a shot!!

  25. Jennifer you are SO sweet! THank you SO much!! I'm so glad your boys loved them!! That really makes my day!!

  26. I tried these in a silicone pan without the wrappers (I didn't have any wrappers) and they did great.

    We all loved them, I will be making these again, Thanks!

  27. Well, I tried these with Nutella. I made the large batch and just one full jar of Nutella since the measurements were pretty close. The batter was very, very liquid-y. If you can ever remember making a chocolate wheat cake from scratch, you know that batter is usually runny. So I was hoping that these would still rise. They looked beautiful in the oven. But as soon as I took them out the middles sank in. So I made some more in mini muffin tins, hoping the tiny amount of batter would be light enough to rise. They fell flat. So I think the water needs to be cut out and the eggs cut back, and maybe a dallop of sour cream instead for moisture (since it's thick and dense). But the flavor is great...they are perfect for a chocolate fix! They taste just like homemade chocolate cupcakes. I think with just a little bit of fresh whipped cream, maybe drizzled with some chocolate... :-) Oh, and the texture was fluffy and moist despite not having the shape. I did not put the chocolate chips on top of these obviously after seeing how thin the batter was.

    Trish xx

  28. I forgot to mention last night when I posted my comment regarding using Nutella instead of peanut butter than I DID NOT add additional sugar. They were perfectly sweet enough from the sugar that is in the Nutella. They taste even better today and truly taste like a real chocolate cupcake made with a good, quality chocolate. I would just put a rosette of whipped cream on top, if serving to guests, to cover up where the middles sank in. Aside from that, they are wonderful!

  29. What a great idea, Carrie. It's like the old standby flourless pb cookie recipe, but in cupcake form. I'll have to give it a try.

  30. You are brilliant! I've made flourless PB cookies and drop cookies many times but never even thought of something like this. Can't wait to try it!

  31. I have peanut flour but not enough peanut butter so I think I'll try it with the flour. Do you think it will render the same results?


  32. Scarlett - I don't see why they wouldn't work using peanut flour! You may need to adjust the amount of water, since the flour is much more dry than the butter. Let me know how it works!

  33. Carrie,

    They're baking right now, it was really watery, I actually added more flour. I also sub egg-replacer for eggs, I think that's why it's too watery. I hope it works! And I didn't read your bit about overflowing so I think I overfilled it haha okay. As long as it tastes good I'll eat them.

  34. These are still our favorites! I make at least one batch a week - they are that easy! I just whipped up two batches for my son to take to school this week for his birthday treat. (I checked with the teacher first; no pb allergies in his class - yeah!) He absolutely loves these, and with the amount of pb and eggs (protein, baby!), I don't mind him indulging. In fact, we started calling them pb muffins - sounds more acceptable for a mid-morning snack or in the lunch box than pb cupcakes :)

  35. Thank you so much for this recipe. I do keep nut flours on hand but prefer my recipes as simple as possible, which also keeps costs down. I used coconut sugar and these were so easy and delicious!


Thank you for commenting on I appreciate your comments, ideas, stories, and feedback!

To send me recipes to try or for gluten free baking help, feel free to email me at gingerlemongirl (at) gmail (dot) com.



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