Thursday, March 29, 2012

Carrot Cupcakes from the Babycakes Cookbook

My friend Sarah and I got together at her house for a cupcake baking day. We decided on two recipes - Carrot Cupcakes from the Babycakes cookbook, and the Chocolate Gluten-Free Cupcakes from the Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World cookbook (not pictured). We've made the chocolate ones in the past and since they were such a success, we just had to bake them again. This time, we added some shredded coconut to the batter as we both love coconut! I'm going to focus more on the carrot cupcakes as it was my first time baking anything from the Babycakes cookbook, even though I've had it on my bookshelf for some time now.

All of the cupcakes we baked were both gluten-free and vegan. It was very interesting for me to combine all of these new flours - rice flour, quinoa flour, tapioca flour, and others! Both kinds of cupcake ended up being light and fluffy and tasted very similar to a wheat-based cupcake. I wouldn't have been able to tell the difference unless someone pointed out the cupcakes were gluten-free. In the carrot cupcake recipe, gluten-free all-purpose flour is used, as well as xanthan gum, rice milk, coconut oil and agave nectar. You should be able to find most of these ingredients in the natural section of your local grocery store.

For the frosting, we decided to make a vegan cream cheese frosting using a recipe found in Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World. It was very easy to whip up and tastes fantastic on these carrot cupcakes! In the cookbook, they recommend making vanilla frosting which could work great, too. These cupcakes taste amazing!

This recipe makes 24 cupcakes.

Carrot Cupcakes:
3 cups Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-free all-purpose baking flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tbsp baking soda
1 tsp xanthan gum
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
2/3 cup coconut oil
1 cup agave nectar
1 cup rice milk (we used soy milk instead)
1 T. pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup hot water
3 cups shredded carrots

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Line two 12-cupcake tins with cupcake liners.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg.
Add the oil, agave nectar, milk, and vanilla to the dry ingredients and stir until a thick batter is formed.  Fold in the carrots with a rubber spatula so they are evenly distributed.
Pour approximately a 1/3 cup of batter into each prepared cup.  Bake the cupcakes for 25 minutes on the center rack, rotating the pans 180 degrees after 14 minutes.  Cupcakes are done baking when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Let the cupcakes rest in the pans for at least 20 minutes.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Cream Cheese Frosting: 
1/4 cup non-hydrogenated margarine
1 cup vegan cream cheese , softened
2 cups confectioners' sugar , sifted 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cream together margarine and cream cheese until just combined. Use a handheld mixer to whip while adding the confectioners' sugar in 1/2 cup batches. Mix until smooth and creamy, then mix in the vanilla. Keep tightly covered and refrigerated until ready to use.

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