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Gluten-Free Cupcakes: 50 Irresistible Recipes Made with Almond and Coconut Flour [Paperback]

Elana Amsterdam
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (100 customer reviews)

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Book Description

April 26, 2011

Cupcakes are the world’s most adorable pastry—but until now, people with gluten sensitivities struggling to find sweetness on a gluten-free diet haven’t had a cupcake cookbook to call their own. Enter gluten-free guru Elana Amsterdam, who has re-engineered the favored treat for today’s dietary needs. Her colorful collection showcases classics like Red Velvet Cupcakes and Vanilla Cupcakes and features creative concoctions like Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes and Cream-Filled Chocolate Cupcakes. These simple-to-make—and simply delicious—cupcakes rely on coconut and almond flours rather than the sometimes difficult-to-source gluten alternatives. Some of the recipes are even vegan and dairy-free, and none use refined sugar. With fifty cupcake recipes plus a variety of frostings to mix and match, Gluten-Free Cupcakes offers delightful cupcake alternatives—as tasty as their traditional counterparts—to anyone in need of a little cupcake fix.

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Gluten-Free Cupcakes: 50 Irresistible Recipes Made with Almond and Coconut Flour + The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook + Paleo Cooking from Elana's Pantry: Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Dairy-Free Recipes
Price for all three: $35.71

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Editorial Reviews


“Elana Amsterdam’s recipes are always beautiful and irresistible, and her gorgeous cupcakes are no exception. Everyone—gluten-free and otherwise—will love this collection of recipes.”
—Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman

“Elana’s lovely book full of wonderful gluten-free cupcake recipes is a must-have for anyone with celiac disease--enjoy these cupcakes!”
 —Peter H. R. Green, MD, Director of the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University

About the Author

ELANA AMSTERDAM is the popular food blogger of Elana’s Pantry, where she has written about gluten-free cooking and baking since 2006 after she and her son were both diagnosed with celiac disease. Elana’s first book, The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook, was named one of the Denver Post’s top cookbooks of 2009. Her writing has appeared in diverse publications including Shape, Natural Solutions, Delicious Living, and Delight magazine. She lives with her family in Boulder, Colorado. Visit

Product Details

  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Celestial Arts (April 26, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 158761166X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1587611667
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 0.4 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (100 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #39,628 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Wellness expert and gluten-free guru Elana Amsterdam is the founder of, a website where she shares simple, healthy recipes and lifestyle advice with her readers. She has written articles for Parents, Shape Magazine, The Denver Post, and Delicious Living and has been featured in a variety of media outlets including Fortune Magazine, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal, and has appeared on CNN and MSNBC.

Her first book, The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook, published by Random House in 2009, was named one of the "Best Cookbooks of 2009" by The Denver Post. Gluten Free Cupcakes (Random House 2011), is full of spectacularly delightful, yet healthy and nutrient dense desserts.

Her forthcoming book, Paleo Cooking from Elana's Pantry, a gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, nightshade-free collection of quick and easy recipes ranging from dinners to desserts, will be released in June 2013. Elana lives in the heart of Boulder, Colorado with an assortment of grueling taste testers that range from her brutally honest husband of 18 years to her two teenage sons.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
113 of 114 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I am an agave hater, but I love this book! July 12, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a beautiful book. The instructions for each recipe are clear and concise, and the photos are scrumptious. It makes me excited about making grain-free, sugar-free cupcakes. I look forward to making all the cupcakes and muffins in this delightful little book -- triple chocolate, red velvet, vanilla fig, apple spice, banana split...YUM! Thanks Elana!

My one small quibble with the book is that Elana uses agave nectar in all but one recipe. I won't use agave nectar because of its high fructose content which is a strain on the liver and creates insulin resistance over a period of time. It's absolutely true that honey and agave can be substituted 1 to 1 or 1 to 1.25 (agave to honey) depending on your preference for sweetness. I would rather use a granulated sweetener that does not raise my blood sugar much at all, though.

For every 1/2 cup of agave nectar that a recipe calls for I substitute 5/8 cup erythritol Zsweet All Natural Zero Calorie Sweetener, 1.5-Pound Pouches (Pack of 2) + 1-2 scoops of KAL stevia extract powder Pure Stevia Extract Powder - 3.5 oz - Powder + 1/2 cup of a liquid like coconut milk or almond milk. I also increase the baking temp by 25 degrees. Everything else in the recipe stays the same. For those of you who have trouble getting unusual ingredients where you live, you can use any granulated sweetener in place of the erythritol. Just skip the stevia if you're using sugar, since sugar is sweeter than erythritol.
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41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another winner, and maybe even better! April 26, 2011
By Jen
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
To start off, I am a HUGE fan of Elana and her work. I have made several recipes from the Gluten Free Almond Flour Cookbook and all are amazing. What I like even more about this cookbook is she branches out from almond flour and uses coconut flour, chia seeds, and flax meal. As much as I love the AFC, they can tend to taste very similar. In this book, there is much more variety, yet still keeping the ingredients list short (love) with most dairy free with even a vegan cupcake. I had to try a recipe as soon as I got the book, so I made a very small batch of the almond poppy seed cupcakes sans frosting. They were amazing. I'm glad to see her use of almond extract too. Honestly, this is gluten free baking at its finest, and I cannot WAIT to try all the recipes. Red velvet cupcakes, goat cheese scallion muffins, souffle cupcakes?! I'm in heaven! And for all you agave haters out there, she even has a honey recipe, and 1:1 substituting has never been a problem for me (I use liquid coconut sugar). Enjoy!
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108 of 119 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Once I got past the Agave problem, it came out well July 17, 2011
Ok, so the first thing anyone who buys this book HAS to know, is that EVERY SINGLE RECIPE uses agave nectar instead of sugar, and that the book DOES NOT EXPLAIN HOW TO SUBSTITUTE regular sugar for the agave.

[*UPDATE* As several people have asked about this in the comments, I want to clarify that AGAVE NECTAR DOES NOT CONTAIN GLUTEN, and it was never my intention to claim that it does. My problem with it has to do with the fact that I don't normally use it or have it in the house, and that I understand it is quite controversial for other reasons. However, it is gluten free **End Update** ]

Frankly, this is pretty annoying, and it is particularly annoying because this was in no way made clear in the advertising for the book. There is one line in the blurb about the recipes "not containing any refined sugar", which is easy to miss and a little ambivalent. Other than that, it really isn't stated clearly anywhere. It really would have been nice if in the front cover, where it says "recipes with almond meal and coconut flour", it would have also said "and agave nectar", to make it clearer to the potential buyers. The recipes also, by the way, use grapeseed oil, but that really isn't a big deal considering that you can easily replace it with canola or vegetable oils or any other relatively flavorless oil.

Ok, so I got this book, realized that it was all agave and debated if to just return it outright to Amazon, since I have no intention of starting to regularly bake with agave. After consulting with some people, however, I decided to give it a try using regular sugar.
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38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars These cupcakes bring joy to my grain-free world! February 18, 2012
Due to my health condition and food allergies, I must eat grain-free and dairy-free and am thus limited to nut flours and coconut flour. While others love almond flour, I only like it somewhat, and it is very expensive. So, I was very interested in starting to cook with coconut flour. From what I have read, coconut flour is quite healthy. It has a high fiber content and decent protein content. It is also less expensive than almond flour. Finally, coconut flour seems healthier to me than the (high-glycemic index) rice-flour, potato starch, gum combinations that so many gluten-free individuals can turn to. My digestive system cannot function with the typical gluten-free rice flour mixes anyway.

I wondered how the coconut flour would taste. I think that its flavor is very subtle and not like that of coconut, but rather it has a very caramel(ized) flavor, which is delicious. The `cupcakes' (I prefer the word muffin...since I don't frost them) are extremely moist. Yes, they are slightly denser that what you might have been used to with wheat-flour muffins/cupcakes. But they are also moister. A definite plus, in my opinion. As I read in another cookbook, one has to stop expecting non-wheat products to taste like wheat-products. Wheat has a taste that we are used to and other flours will not have that taste.

So far, I have made the following recipes from the book (I am an experienced baker):

-Lime cupcakes (but I substituted lemon zest for the lime zest and added poppy seeds). The recipe was a ½ almond flour, ½ coconut flour recipe. Very good. One of my favorites.

-Chocolate banana cupcakes. A coconut flour only recipe. Very moist and good. I am not sure that I love this flavor combination, though.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars good
Good book for grain flour substitute. Never new almond flour and coconut flour could be so useful. Really good recipes
Published 15 hours ago by Camille
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great book. Excellent recipes.
Published 10 days ago by Debbie Arroyo
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Everything was fine. Thank you.
Published 19 days ago by Susan London
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Cookbook
Elana has great recipes for all dietary needs
Published 1 month ago by Marjorie Morrison
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great recipes that gave me delicious results.
Published 1 month ago by bella1
5.0 out of 5 stars Cupcakes for Low Carbers, Easy Substitution For Agave Nectar
I've now made a number of batches of cupcakes from this book, and they have all turned out really well. The latest one was vanilla cupcake with orange cream cheese frosting. Read more
Published 1 month ago by GameMaker
5.0 out of 5 stars I recommend this one to GF friends more than any other ...
Elena did such a fabulous job on this cookbook. I recommend this one to GF friends more than any other cookbook. Simple recipes that are truly delicious.
Published 1 month ago by Jacqueline Freeman
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Love the recipes
Published 2 months ago by Lois Baldi
5.0 out of 5 stars I really like Elana. I've been on her website many times ...
I really like Elana. I've been on her website many times and decided to support her by buying two of her books. Very nice recipes.
Published 2 months ago by Kathleen Humphers
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Wheat Free Recipes
Very good book, easy to make.
Published 2 months ago by Sandra Behn
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