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

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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 (131 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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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; 1St Edition edition (April 26, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 158761166X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1587611667
  • Product Dimensions: 7 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 (131 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #168,937 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews
127 of 129 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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45 of 46 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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123 of 134 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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