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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