It’s no secret that I’m a big fat fan of gluten. I love Wheat! HOWEVER, I have multiple friends with gluten intolerance, celiac disease and more that simply cannot eat gluten. I do a lot of baking and I like to cater to everyone, especially when I take treats to an event, so when I bake and it’s not for my family I often bake gluten-free. I also (really) know what it feels like to be the only one at the party with nothing to eat, which is no fun!
Gluten-Free baking is still somewhat of a mystery to me. Honestly, wheat flour is so much more predictable and easy to work with. I had a hard enough time re-learning how to bake without eggs and butter when I first changed my diet! Take out wheat flour too?!? Serious panic attacks in the kitchen! Even after experience with baking gluten-free on and off for nearly three years now, I still sometimes feel like the sun, moon, stars, kitchen temperature and humidity need to all be aligned in order for gluten-free baking to be successful in my house! BUT that’s where the wizardry of Cara Reed of Fork and Beans comes in. She has been in the same position as I have where the first gluten-free baking experiences resulted in a lot of trash bags full of heavy, inedible, brick-like food.
Thankfully, she’s had a lot more practice (or perhaps it’s witch craft!) than I have and she’s got gluten-free vegan baking down to a science so I don’t have to figure it all out on my own. I’ve been using the blends on her site forever now and most often, people simply cannot tell the things I’ve baked are gluten-free, which is no small feat.
There are some tricks though, many of which I’m still learning. Gluten-Free baked goods slice much better after setting. And sometimes chilling (which, as you can see, I didn’t have the patience for in these photos).
Gluten-free batter is also often thinner than a regular batter. I forget this sometimes and try to compensate by adding extra flour, which results in baked goods that are too dry. I might have made some of those classic errors when baking items for this post, um er, even though I should know better! So, just follow the instructions and you might just be golden, ‘mkay?
Now, for those Peanut Butter Chocolate Cupcakes…. Seriously, Just make them. TODAY.
Printed with permission from Decadent Gluten–Free Vegan Baking by Cara Reed & Page Street Publishing (August 5, 2014)
Peanut Butter Chocolate Cupcakes
If ever I am presented with the dilemma as to which cupcake is my favorite flavor combination, hands-down it has to be peanut butter and chocolate. I am definitely my father’s daughter (a man who for his birthday demands us to bring him chocolate peanut butter ice cream for celebration—he will accept nothing less!). I love the slight saltiness of the peanut butter paired with the sweet chocolate. Sheer perfection.
Makes 12 cupcakes
- 1 ½ c/248 g Cara’s All-Purpose Blend (page 166)
- ¾ c/66 g cocoa powder
- ½ c/73 g lightly packed brown sugar
- ½ c/100 g granulated sugar
- 2 tsp/7.5 g baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp xanthan gum
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 c/240 ml nondairy milk
- ½ c/120 ml hot water
- ½ c/120 ml vegetable oil
- 2 Tbsp/14 g flaxseed meal plus
- 6 Tbsp/90 ml water—thickened for 5 minutes
- 1 Tbsp/15 ml apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice)
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
1 batch Nutter Butter Frosting (page 156, recipe follows)
½ c/88 g nondairy chocolate, melted
Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C. Grease or line a muffin pan. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. In a medium bowl, combine the wet together until well mixed. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until just combined.
Pour into the muffin pan and bake for 17 to 20 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan and allow to cool on a wire rack. Frost with Nutter Butter Frosting and drizzle with melted nondairy chocolate. Feeling even crazier? Top with a chocolate-covered peanut.
Nutter Butter Frosting
Pairs with the Peanut Butter Chocolate Cupcakes (page 95).
Frosts 12 cupcakes or 1 two-layered cake
- ½ c/112 g vegan butter, softened
- ¼ c/65 g creamy peanut butter
- 3 c/360 g powdered sugar
- 3 Tbsp/45 ml nondairy milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
With an electric mixer, cream the vegan butter on medium speed until fluffy. Beat in the peanut butter, and then gradually add in the powdered sugar. Add the nondairy milk and vanilla extract until light and fluffy.
CARA’S TIP: If you desire, you can switch to almond butter for this recipe, or if you are allergic to nuts, you can use a nut-free spread like SunButter instead.
Visit Cara Reed at her site: Fork and Beans
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