Cupcakes have always brought a smile to my face. Small little cakes topped with a mound of frosting, this single person dessert always wins my heart over when I see trays of different flavored cakes and icing proudly displayed at a local bakery or cupcake shop. But for people with celiac disease, cupcakes made with wheat flour must be avoided unless a gluten-free variation is available.
I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Elana Amsterdam, author of the newly released cookbook, Gluten-Free Cupcakes: 50 Irresistible Recipes Made with Almond and Coconut Flour. She shares with us a gluten-free Strawberry Cupcake and Strawberry Meringue Frosting recipe as well as telling us about her sons’ favorite cupcakes.
Alice: Celebrating a child’s birthday with a special treat at school is something many children look forward to. For children who live a gluten-free lifestyle, can you offer some suggestions on your favorite gluten-free treats the whole class will enjoy?
Elana: My older son has celiac disease (so do I), and my younger son is gluten intolerant, so I bake gluten free treats for both of them to bring in to their classes for their birthdays. The boys love it when I bring in cupcakes. My younger son asks me to make the Raspberry Cheesecake Cupcakes from my book Gluten Free Cupcakes for all of his school celebrations, while my older son requests the Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting. Of course, sprinkles are a must for them and something their classmates enjoy as well. The best part is none of the children know that they are eating super healthy gluten free treats –they just see (and taste) yummy, adorable cupcakes.
Alice: How is baking with coconut and almond flour different in texture and taste than all-purpose flour?
Elana: The combination of coconut and almond flours is surprisingly “normal” in taste. The number one factor in baking for little ones (or anyone) is taste –children will spit out food that they don’t like, they are the most honest taste testers. The children love the gluten free cupcakes that I bring in for birthday celebrations. The second most important thing is ease of use; people get freaked out when the see gluten free recipes with 14 different ingredients. The recipes in my book Gluten Free Cupcakes are simple (one of them has only 3 ingredients!) and none of them have long lists of complicated ingredients, which makes these recipes a plus for moms. Finally, the recipes are packed with nutritious ingredients (I wouldn’t ever tell that to the children I’m serving them to), so I’m sneaking healthy food into the children in the form of cupcakes, which make me really happy.
Alice: Thanks Elana for sharing all things cupcakes with us today.
Elana and her publisher, Celestial Arts, have given us permission to reprint one of Elana’s favorite cupcake and frosting recipes from her book. I’m so excited to share it with you! Enjoy!
Reprinted with permission from Gluten-Free Cupcakes: 50 Irresistible Recipes Made with Almond and Coconut Flour. Copyright © 2011 by Elana Amsterdam, Celestial Arts, an imprint of Ten Speed Press, a division of the Crown Publishing Group, Berkeley, CA. Photo Credit: Annabelle Breakey.