January 20, 2010

(not so) Red Velvet GF Cupcakes

Ever since I saw Steel Magnolias a billion years ago, I've wanted to make a red velvet cake. But I'm not really a great baker. Baking seems to be more of a science while I'm a "throw a little this and a little of whatever else I have in the cupboard" kind of girl.

But, today was Nancy's birthday and I really wanted to bake her something delicious. Nancy, or Fancy, as I have nicknamed her, is my co-worker who I seriously adore. There are days I actually want to be Nancy. Every once in a while, we take a break and venture down to the Starbucks in our lobby. And every time we do, Nancy stares at the Red Velvet Cupcakes and announces that she really wants one... and will get one next time. But she never does.

So I decided to make her Red Velvet Birthday Cupcakes for a mini surprise office party. I searched the internet forever to find a recipe that would meet all my needs (GF, easy, not crazy healthy but not crazy unhealthy) and found this one from Recipezaar.com. Although it isn't vegan, it can be easily veganized by replacing the eggs with egg replacers. I also love that fact that it doesn't have butter, uses minimal oil, and includes beets for redness. Well ....about the redness. It didn't come out very red. Instead it is a really lovely dark reddish brown. The good news is that the color is probably a result of the 9 tablespoons of cocoa powder which gives this recipe a rich chocolate flavor. Next time, I'll play around with vinegar and buttermilk for a little acid-buttermilk reaction to bring out the anthocyanin in the cocoa powder. See? Science and my NYU nutrition tuition hard at work.

This recipe made 16 decent sized cupcakes. I frosted them with cream cheese frosting and threw some shredded coconut on top. I just hope I don't eat them all before work tomorrow ;)

Gluten Free Red Velvet Cupcakes
adapted from Recipezaar.com
3 Eggs
1 3/4 cup Sugar
1/4 cup Oil
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 can (14 oz) beets, drained
1 tsp gf Vanilla extract
1 cup Brown Rice Flour
1/2 cup Potato Starch
1/4 cup Tapioca Flour
9 tbsps cocoa powder
1 tsp xanthan gum
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda

Preheat your oven to 375 F.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs & sugar until fluffy. While the eggs are beating, combine the beets, oil, applesauce & vanilla extract in a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. Add the beet mixture to the egg and combine well.
Sift together the brown rice flour, potato starch, tapioca flour, cocoa powder, xanthan gum, salt and baking soda. Gradually add to the beet and egg batter, mixing well as you add. Pour into prepared muffin tin and bake for approximately 25 minutes. Wanna make it a cake? Bake for 50-55 minutes.


  1. These were awesome... Seriously you could skip the whole these are good for you part and just let us enjoy them.... Not all your gluten free stuff is delectible, some of it scares me, but this one... where are the leftovers?