I will be in touch regarding your prize. Thank you to everyone who entered. If you didn’t win, be sure to read through the end of this post – I’ve got another great opportunity for you!
About four weeks ago I had one of those unforgettable meals. A dinner so deliciously indulgent and perfect, to which all others will be subsequently compared. And I didn’t even blog about it, because a) I didn’t make it and b) I was way too busy eating to bother taking pictures.
I ate a dozen cupcakes for dinner. Maybe more. But at least that many.
I know what you’re thinking. “Where in the world is it socially acceptable to eat a dozen cupcakes for dinner, and more importantly, why wasn’t I there?”
The answer is Cupcake Camp! This special event, co-organized by my good friend Jen (aka, the Beantown Baker and my partner for Bloggers Bake for Hope) is essentially a potluck for cupcake lovers. You bake, you go, you eat. And with about 50 amateur and 20 professional bakers represented, there’s a lot of eating to be done. If you need a visual, check out this recap on Flickr – but beware, doing so on an empty stomach may be dangerous. (By the way, the Bailey’s Mint Chocolate Chip minis are my contribution!)
Or maybe you’re thinking something else. You think I didn’t have it in me to truly stumble off the wagon and skip that far away. Well, I didn’t. It was a special occasion and I brought my best “Go Big or Go Home” attitude. It was worth every last sweet sugary crumb and creamy lick of frosting. When I decided there was no more room for cupcakes (for the third time) I promptly returned to my regular scheduled healthy eating and planned not to see another cupcake for a very long time.
As I’m sure you can imagine, it was a long, torturous two weeks I went without a cupcake. It only took that long to find another reason to break out some cupcakes. Two reasons, actually, and they both arrived in the mail: Signature Brands‘ newest ready-made frosting flavors and Elana Amsterdam’s Gluten-Free Cupcakes: 50 Irresistible Recipes Made with Almond and Coconut Flour. I already told you about one frostings last week. S’mores flavored frosting, otherwise known as the reason I baked up some all-natural, sugar-free, cinnamon graham crackers. The second flavor I received was Oreo Original Creme icing. Just like the s’mores frosting, I wanted to whip up something healthier with which to enjoy the frosting, and Elana’s book arrived just in time. The colorful pages are chock full of tempting cupcake recipes ranging from classic Vanilla to Flourless Chocolate Hazelnut and Cherry White Chocolate Chip, but I chose to start off with a traditional chocolate cupcake.
Although I suppose they’re not so traditional when you consider that they’re gluten-free and made with high-fiber coconut flour. They’re free of dairy and refined sugar, too. All of the sweetness in Elana’s recipe comes from agave syrup, though I went out on a little limb and slashed some calories by using stevia extract, and making up the liquid volume with almond milk. I also cut the amount of fat in half, again using almond milk to replace the volume. So, leaving out gluten, dairy, sugar, and most of the fat, what could I possibly be left with? Chocolate, of course! A deeply rich and moist chocolate cake, each tender crumb perfectly indulgent and guilt-free at the same time. One good enough to satisfy even my mother-in-law, the only woman I know with a more discerning palate than myself. (Surprise! There was stevia – and you didn’t make a peep about it!) If you think these cupcakes are hard to make, you’re mistaken: the simple ingredients are whisked together in ten minutes flat, and out of the oven eighteen minutes later. With a pouch of Oreo Original Creme in your pantry, frosting them is even more of a breeze.
Friends, I no longer need a special occasion to eat cupcakes. Or rather, every night becomes a swanky affair because I can eat a chocolate cupcake. I may not eat a dozen in one night, but I could very well eat one cupcake every night, for a dozen nights in a row, the whole time pondering why I feel like I’m cheating when I’m really not cheating at all.
Note: A few of you have pointed out the the frosting is not gluten-free or sugar-free. I am aware of this, and did not claim that it was either of these. My intent here was to pair the indulgent frosting with something a little bit healthier, to make a more balanced treat. I did not want to simply post about the frosting without also sharing a recipe that I felt my readers would appreciate – something healthy and delicious, like you would expect to see here. The chocolate cupcakes happen to be gluten-free and sugar-free. I do not follow a gluten-free diet, but I do enjoy working with gluten-free flours since they are usually less-processed and higher in fiber and protein.
Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free Chocolate Cupcakes
Adapted from Gluten-Free Cupcakes: 50 Irresistible Recipes Made with Almond and Coconut Flour
1/4 cup (28gm) coconut flour*
1/4 cup (20gm) unsweetened, natural cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon pure powdered stevia extract, such as NuNaturals
4 large eggs
2 tablespoons (28gm) coconut oil, melted
2 tablespoons agave nectar
1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line a muffin tin with 9 paper cupcake liners.
In a large bowl, whisk together the coconut flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, and stevia. In a second bowl, whisk together the eggs, coconut oil, agave nectar, and almond milk. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, and beat with a handheld mixture for several minutes, until thoroughly combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally, ensuring that no lumps remain.
Divide the batter among the paper-lined cups. Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out with just a few moist crumbs. Cool for one hour, then frost and serve.
Cupcakes can be stored in the refrigerator, tightly covered, for several days.
Nutritional Info (cupcakes only, does not include frosting)
Servings Per Recipe: 9
Amount Per Serving
Total Fat: 5.7 g
Cholesterol: 82.2 mg
Sodium: 178.1 mg
Total Carbs: 5.7 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.3 g
Protein: 3.4 g
*A note about coconut flour: some of my friends have pointed out that it’s expensive, which is certainly true compared to white flour. However, if you consider that an average batch of cupcakes will only require 1/4 – 1/2 cup, it makes sense that a 1-lb bag should last you quite a long time. Depending on how often you make cupcakes, of course.
This recipe is featured on the May 17th, 2011 edition of Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays at Simply Sugar and Gluten Free.
Like my idea of pairing a healthy, natural homemade baked good with convenient and tasty frosting for a quick, sweet treat? Intrigued by the S’moores and Oreo Creme Icing I’ve had the pleasure of sharing with you? Signature Brands is offering a generous prize package to one of my readers including both icings, plus all of the other goodies you see pictured above.
To enter, just leave a comment telling me what you would like to with either of these frostings (keep it clean, kids!). For an additional entry, you can tweet about this giveaway – with a link, pretty please – and let me know that you did by leaving a second comment.
The contest will close next Sunday, May 22nd at midnight. I’ll choose a winner at random and post on Monday. Good luck!