Friday, August 3, 2012

Gluten Free Pecan Pie Cupcakes

Well, I've spent the last two days either not feeling well or taking care of the hubby while he wasn't feeling well yesterday.  I apologize for the lack of posts!  I promise that I haven't give up!  Since this is my first week, I'm still trying to figure out what posts I would like to make into series or just have as a one-off.  So, for now, I'm tentatively going to say that Fridays are recipe days!  That being said, I have a tasty treat that I hope you will try out for yourselves.

Today, I'm going to bring you something a little different.  I have mentioned before that I am gluten-intolerant.  For years I never knew why I would always feel sick for seemingly no reason.  Finally, after experimenting with eliminating common allergens from my diet, I realized that I just can't eat gluten, milk, or cane sugar.  I know.  It's crazy!  Luckily, I can still eat most cheeses and cream cheese in moderation.

I have a huge sweet-tooth, so I was pretty bummed when I found out that I shouldn't be eating my favorite sweets.  At no time was this more depressing than during the holidays.  So, I bring you my Thanksgiving dessert from last year - Gluten Free Pecan Pie Cupcakes.

This recipe is adapted from Gluten-Free Cupcakes: 50 Irresistible Recipes Made with Almond and Coconut Flour by Elena Amsterdam.

Makes 11

Here's what you need:

These ingredients can be found in most natural food grocery stores.

1 cup blanched almond flour
2 tbsp coconut flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
3 large eggs
1/2 cup agave nectar or liquefied xylitol
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
If using xylitol: splash of your favorite milk product (I use Blue Diamond Almond Breeze Almond Milk)

Preheat oven to 350*.  Line 11 muffin cups with liners.

In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda, and cinnamon.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, agave / xylitol, and vanilla extract.  If you liquefy the xylitol yourself, be careful adding the hot liquid to the eggs or they may scramble.  Also, you have to work quickly or it will crystallize before you can get all of the batter prepared.  Catch 22?

Blend the wet ingredients into the almond flour mixture with a handheld mixer until thoroughly combined, then stir in the pecans.  If you use liquefied xylitol, you will need to add in your splash of milk in this step.  Almond and coconut flours soak up liquids quickly, which means you need to add in the extra moisture to make up for the inevitable crystallization of the xylitol.

Scoop 1/4 cup of batter into each prepared muffin cup.  I like to use a normal ice cream scoop, as it will usually get the perfect amount of batter into your cup.  Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs.

Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for 1 hour before decorating.

I chose to make a cream cheese icing for these bad boys, and I'm so glad I did!  Be warned, though, that cream cheese icing is not as stiff as buttercream.  You will most likely need to spread the icing with a knife instead of a piping bag.  Again, I am using a recipe from Gluten-Free Cupcakes: 50 Irresistible Recipes Made with Almond and Coconut Flour by Elena Amsterdam.

Makes 2 cups

3/4 cup heavy cream
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup agave nectar

In a deep bowl, whip the cream with a handheld mixer until stiff peaks form.  In a separate larger bowl, whip the cream cheese and agave nectar until well combined.

Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture.  (You can store this frosting in mason jars for up to 2 days, but probably longer depending on your preference.)

I have never been truly great at decorating cakes or cupcakes.  My icing usually looks like an after school baking project with a bunch of kindergartners.  So, I looked up a few decorating tutorials to learn how to make a pretty swirl on the top of my cupcakes with a spatula.

Yes, I always use my fine silver to decorate cupcakes.  Doesn't everyone?

This was the biggest PAIN in my butt.  It took FOREVER.  My family was ready to eat, but I was stubbornly refusing to be defeated by a cupcake.  I'm so glad I stuck it out because look at these beauties!

Now you can add sprinkles, crushed pecans, or whatever else you like to use to decorate cakes or cupcakes.

Then we tasted them, and they were even better.  I will say, though, that the consistency is a bit more like a muffin and less like a cupcake, but it was very good nevertheless.  It was a perfect ending to our healthy and gluten free Thanksgiving dinner.

Do you have any food allergies?  How do you decorate your cakes or cupcakes?

I'm thinking about doing a blog giveaway once I hit 50 GFC followers.  It will be polish related, and will include at least 1 indie polish from a very popular indie seller.  I will announce the prizes once I get closer to the goal!  Get excited, guys, because I think it's going to be pretty good!  Have a great weekend!


  1. I have a lot of food allergies, but luckily since they're mostly skin-related (eczema), I can 'cheat' here and there. I do feel better when I'm not eating the major offenders, though- which are wheat, corn, soy, peanut, apples, tomatoes, oranges. I also have oral allergy syndrome, so I can't eat *any* fresh fruit or things of that nature or my mouth gets overly itchy and my throat starts to close up. So those ones I actually do avoid completely- even just a tomato on a sandwich will do it.

    I used to work as a cake decorator... for icing cupcakes, my quick go-to is the large icing tip. I highly reccomend having one! You don't even need an icing bag to use it, you can use it with a ziploc bag. This is the basic method I use: My personal favorites are the star tips- I always think round tips make the icing look like mounds of poo ;)

    1. Man, you sound so much like me, but I don't have issues with fruit. When I was younger, fruit would make me throw up, but I have my sugars under better control now.

      I actually do use tips quite a bit, but this stuff was way too runny to pipe. If you want to see some of my other works, check out my facebook page at :)