These gluten-free cupcakes are nothing short of amazing. They are packed with a sweet flavor and topped with a gorgeous blueberry cream cheese frosting. The best part? These are very easy to make and do not require a slew of gluten-free ingredients so commonly found in other allergy-sensitive recipes. The "flour" ingredient is coconut flour. I have never baked with it before. In fact I have never seen it outside of a bag. The closest I have gotten to it is buying it and stuffing it so far back in my cupboard that I forgot I even owned any...until recently.
I have been eying up Elana Amsterdam's Strawberry Cupcake recipe from her cookbook Gluten-Free Cupcakes for a few weeks now. So I started with that recipe as my base. As I recently made gluten-based strawberry cupcakes I decided to switch things up a bit. In fact, I pretty much changed 50% of the ingredients. Why not be daring? Isn't that what baking is all about?
My absolute favorite summer fruit is the glorious blueberry. I usually have several pints in the fridge during the summer months. Sure enough, an overflowing pint was in there today and was perfect for this recipe.
I also didn't have agave nectar on hand or arrowroot so using what I did have and substituting as I went along produced one incredible, if not kick-@ss, gluten free cupcake.
I also have a love of almonds. Blueberry and almonds go hand in hand. Instead of using vanilla extract (her recipe calls for a significant quantity: 1 tablespoon for just 8 cupcakes) I went with organic almond extract instead at a reduced amount - 1 teaspoon. The flavor combos? PERFECTION.
And of course, a cupcake is not a cupcake until it is crowned with rich and creamy frosting. I considered a standard vanilla buttercream. Even a whipped cream frosting was a possibility. But in the end cream cheese won over (it usually does!). To jazz it up a bit I added 1/2 cup of blueberries processed in my food processor. For a bit of added flavor, I threw in a tablespoon of vanilla sugar during the processing phase. Piped on in a rosette style (Wilton 2D tip) and topped with more blueberries = Beautiful!
*adapted source recipe for cupcakes: Strawberry Cupcakes, Gluten-Free Cupcakes by Elana Amsterdam
WHAT YOU NEED
1/2 cup coconut flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch (gluten-free)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
4 large eggs
1/2 cup honey
1/2 to 1 teaspoon almond extract (you choose, 1/2 tsp will give a milder flavor)
1 cup blueberries dusted with coconut flour to prevent settling in batter during baking
1/2 cup blueberries
1 tablespoon vanilla sugar (or 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract)
4 ounces plain cream cheese at room temperature
2 tablespoons butter at room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
PREHEAT oven to 350F
LINE 8 muffin cups with paper liners. Fill empty cups 1/2 way with water
IN LARGE BOWL, whisk together flour, cornstarch, salt and baking soda
IN MEDIUM BOWL, whisk together eggs, honey and almond extract
POUR wet ingredients into dry and blend with handheld electric beater until smooth
STIR in blueberries
FILL muffin cups 3/4 full
BAKE 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean and tops feel dry to the touch
IMMEDIATELY remove from pan and allow to cool completely on cooling rack
IN SMALL FOOD PROCESSOR, blend blueberries and vanilla sugar until no large pieces remain. You will see a dark purple paste dotted with flecks of blueberry. Set aside
IN BOWL OF STAND MIXER fitted with paddle attachment (or handheld electric beater) combine blended blueberries, cream cheese and butter.
BEAT ON HIGH speed until thoroughly blended and no noticeable lumps can be seen
SLOWLY add in powdered sugar blending until just combined
ON HIGH SPEED, mix frosting for 2-3 minutes
PLACE frosting in the refrigerator to set for 10 minutes before piping
PIPE frosting onto cooled cupcakes, top with fresh berries and a sprinkling of powdered sugar