Friday, July 11, 2014

Carrot Cupcakes (GF, Refined Sugar Free, Dairy Free)

If I could only eat one type of cake for the rest of my life, it would definitely be a toss up between a decadent chocolate fudge cake or a moist, nut-free carrot cake. While rich peanut butter filling in the chocolate cake would be definitely tops on my list, either one of them would get automatic bonus for cream cheese frosting. Obviously, cream cheese is a normal inclusion in carrot cake frosting, but the cake itself seems to have as many variations as there are carrot-cake lovers. Pineapple, no pineapple, nut free or thoroughly studded, raisins, craisins, dates or plain-jane are just some of the common twists I've seen, and gosh only knows I've plied some weird and wonderful combinations in the kitchen myself.

That said, I've never seen a recipe for carrot cake quite like the recipe in Amy Green's book Simply Sugar & Gluten Free. That recipe calls for an absolutely miniscule amount of flour for the amount of carrots and nuts, not to mention the liquid ingredients like agave nectar and orange juice! Obviously, the flour is also gluten free, but unlike almost any other gluten free baked good I've come across, there is no gum-based binder to help them stay together. I have to say I kind of made the recipe banking on failure, more to prove to myself that it couldn't be done, but boy, was I proven wrong.

Not only do these perfectly portioned cupcakes bake up perfectly, but they're everything I love about carrot cake - nothing frilly or frou-frou, just enough carefully metered accents to elevate the natural flavour of the carrots that compose 80% of the recipe's volume. I did make some changes, namely nixing the nuts from the original as well as halving the yield, because lets face it, that much carrot cake in my house is a whole world of disaster waiting to happen. Instead, I tossed in a few toasted sunflower seeds for crunch, and the next time I take these for a spin I think I'm going to try either my Homemade Egg Replacer or flaxseed in place of the egg to keep it vegan. Given that I'm growing heirloom, organic carrots again this year, I can't wait to see what nectar-like sweetness is extracted!

Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free Carrot Cupcakes


Carrot Cupcakes (GF, Refined Sugar Free, Dairy Free)
Makes 6
¼ cup amber agave nectar
2 ½ tbsp lightly flavoured olive oil
1 tbsp orange juice
1 tsp vanilla
¼ tsp allspice
¼ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp salt
1 egg
¼ cup sorghum flour
3 tbsp cornstarch
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
2 large carrots, finely grated
¼ cup toasted sunflower seeds
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F and grease 6 muffin cups.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the agave, olive oil, orange juice, vanilla, allspice, ginger, salt and egg until well combined.
  3. Mix in the flour, cornstarch, baking powder and baking soda.
  4. Fold in the carrots and sunflower seeds.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes. Carefully remove to a wire rack and cool completely.
  6. Frost with your favourite dairy-free frosting (or have at it with lashings of tangy cream cheese, I won't tell!).
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 178.9
Total Fat: 9.3 g
Cholesterol: 31.0 mg
Sodium: 28.6 mg
Total Carbs: 22.2 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.8 g
Protein: 3.0 g