Monday, October 22, 2012

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

Michael and I are enjoying the first real vacation we've had in several years. We're spending time with Michael's sister Lisa and her family in beautiful Fleming Island, Florida. 

It's gorgeous here. Comfortably warm, breezy days, and cool, crisp evenings have just been one of the wonderful things about this trip. Lisa's husband Todd has spent his entire career working in the grocery business and helps stores know the best foods to buy, the best organic items available, the best produce... and BONUS: he loves to cook. Todd gets gluten-free. The first morning we were here Todd decided to make pancakes and from the kitchen I heard, "Carrie, would you like some gluten-free pancakes?" 

Do you know you how rare it is to hear something like that when you're visiting friends or family? Even awesome friends & family? 

And not only did Todd have a gluten-free mix... Todd used a clean mixing bowl and utensils. Todd cleaned and scrubbed the griddle and spatula before he made my pancakes. I think I was seriously speechless for the first time in a LONG time. 

Then that evening Todd made a naturally gluten-free dinner of barbecued ribs (making sure the sauce was gluten-free), twice baked potatoes, coleslaw, and black-eyed peas. Talk about thinking things through and making sure your guests could eat well. I don't know if he and his wife will ever really understand what that means to me. 

So today I decided to make cupcakes. I needed to make dinner and cupcakes for my family. We may be world's apart in our politics, but when people care enough to feed you well, that's truly something special. 

Please keep in mind these delicious little cupcakes are still kind of a work in progress. I made them with the only gluten-free ingredients I had on hand, a boxed mix of Sof'ella Gluten-Free All Purpose Baking Mix that I brought on vacation. This mix contains: white rice flour, navy bean flour (and amazingly has nearly NO beany aftertaste!), cornstarch, tapioca starch, natural flavor (no idea), baking powder, sea salt, baking soda. and xanthan gum. I think because the spices in the cupcake are so strong it masked any aftertaste from the bean flour in the mix. 

Because this mix is primarily for pancakes and waffles I decided to add a tiny bit more baking powder and baking soda to make sure the cupcakes rose as much as they should. 

If you try them with your own gluten-free flour mix, or your favorite gluten-free flours, please let me know what you think! 

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes
free of gluten, casein/dairy, and soy
created by Carrie of
makes 18 cupcakes

Dry Ingredients: 
1 1/2 cups Sof'ella gluten-free all purpose baking mix 
1 cup sugar (actually used 3/4 cup splenda sugar blend for baking -- due to BIL Todd's dietary restrictions)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (I LOVE pumpkin pie spice, cut back if you'd like!)
1/4 teaspoon salt

Wet Ingredients:
1 (15 oz.) can pure pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
3 eggs
3/4 cup extra-light olive oil (best kind for baking)

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tin with cupcake papers. Spritz cupcake papers with nonstick cooking spray to prevent cupcakes from sticking
  • In a large bowl whisk together all dry ingredients. 
  • In a smaller bowl whisk together all wet ingredients. 
  • Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients thoroughly until you have a thick batter. 
  • Scoop about 1/4 cup of thick batter into each cupcake paper. 
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes until a toothpick or knife inserted in the middle of a cupcake comes out clean. 
  • Allow cupcakes to cool completely on a wire rack before frosting. 

Directions for Homemade Spiced Frosting: 
  • Add 1 cup coconut oil or spectrum palm shortening to a bowl and slowly mix in 1 pound of powdered sugar. Mixture will be very crumbly. Add 1-2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice + 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg to the powdered sugar mixture and stir together well. 
  • Slowly add water or milk, 1 tablespoon at a time until frosting is the consistency you desire. 
  • Frost cupcakes and serve. 

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