Gluten Free Vegan Baking – German Chocolate Cupcakes

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Baking used to be fairly simple; flour, butter, eggs, sugar and some sort of leavening such as baking powder or soda. These days with the awareness of food allergies, intolerances and lifestyle choices, one needs to think outside the box to accommodate diets other that what is considered traditional .
With the win of Chloe and her vegan cupcakes on Cupcake Wars, the awareness that alternative baking can be just as delicious, if not more, as traditional baking has increased greatly.

Vegan diets consist of no animal products which means that ingredients such as butter and eggs that have traditionally been used to add substance and flavor to gluten-free diets are off limits to vegan, gluten-free baking.

Vegenaise is an egg-free, dairy-free mayonnaise substitute from Follow Your Heart that makes an ideal ingredient in gluten-free, vegan baking. Vegenaise comes in 5 varieties including Organic, Reduced Fat and Grapeseed Oil. The Grapeseed Oil variety is especially good for people who need to watch cholesterol as clinical tests have shown subjects experienced a lowering of LDL (the so called ‘bad’ cholesterol), and an increase in HDL (the ‘good’ cholesterol) with the inclusion of grapeseed oil in their diets.

Baking gluten-free and vegan is not only do-able, it can be very delicious as well. Case in point is these Gluten Free Vegan German Chocolate Cupcakes. No one will miss the absence of gluten or animal products in these treats.

If preferred, an all purpose gluten-free flour blend can be substituted for the white rice flour, millet flour, sweet rice flour and tapioca starch. Use 1 cups all purpose gluten-free flour blend.

Gluten Free Vegan German Chocolate Cupcakes
Cupcakes

Ingredients

cup superfine white rice flour
1/3 cup millet flour
1/3 cup superfine sweet rice flour
1/3 cup tapioca starch
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup coconut milk (shake can well before measuring)
cup Vegenaise
2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
teaspoon pure almond extract

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12 cup standard muffin pan with paper liners.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the white rice flour, millet flour, sweet rice flour, tapioca starch, baking soda, salt and espresso powder.
In a separate mixing bowl whisk together the sugar, coconut milk, Vegenaise and extracts. Add the coconut milk mixture to the dry ingredients and stir or whisk to combine.

Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups, filling each cup about full.

Bake for 20 25 minutes or until the tops are slightly springy and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Leave oven on. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes then remove to a wire rack to finish cooling. Prepare frosting while cupcakes cool.

Frosting

Ingredients

1 cups coconut flakes
1 cup pecans, chopped
4 cups confectioners sugar, measured then sifted
teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt
cup refined coconut oil at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
teaspoon pure almond extract
4 6 tablespoons coconut milk

Directions

Place the coconut flakes pecans on separate baking sheets. Toast in oven until fragrant and lightly browned, about 5 minutes for the coconut and about 10 minutes for the pecans. Watch closely so they dont burn. Let cool while mixing the rest of the frosting.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the confectioners sugar, salt, coconut oil and the extracts. Starting with the mixer on low speed, blend the ingredients until combined. Gradually increase the speed to medium and add the coconut milk, 1 tablespoon at a time until the frosting is the consistency of buttercream frosting. Turn mixer to medium high speed and continue to mix for 3 minutes.

Take a handful of the toasted coconut flakes to use as garnish and add the rest along with the pecan to the frosting and mix well. You may need to add a bit more coconut milk to keep the frosting at a spreadable constancy. Frost cooled cupcakes, sprinkle with some toasted coconut and serve.

Makes 12 cupcakes.

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