Coeliac Awareness Week takes place this year from 8-14th of May so when Indigo Herbs asked me to create a gluten free recipe in respect of this I couldn’t say no! Coeliac Disease is an autoimmune disease caused by gluten (a protein naturally occurring in wheat, barley and rye) which results in the immune system attacking the lining of the small intestine when gluten is ingested, even in small amounts. When I was first diagnosed in 2010 I struggled to find decent free-from ingredients, most shops didn’t have designated gluten-free shelves and I was constantly having to explain what it was to people (just for most people to brush it of as a craze/glorified intolerance!). Thankfully, this has changed so much in recent years due to so many people being determined to raise awareness and there are so many alternative ingredients and ready-made products widely available.
I created this recipe using Indigo Herbs quinoa flour, cacao powder, maple syrup and almond butter. There are so many gluten free flours readily available now and I am always looking to add new ones to my recipes so I couldn’t wait to try quinoa flour for the first time! It has a really distinct, nutty flavour and smell that works really well in this recipe. I was expecting a much denser texture because I used it to replace my usual ground almonds so I was pleasantly surprised with how light these cupcakes turned out! If you’ve been following my blog for a while you may have noticed I love to use coconut cream as a frosting base for my cakes and it didn’t disappoint in this creamy, chocolatey almond butter frosting!
For the chia jam:
100g frozen strawberries or raspberries
2 tbsp cold water
1 tbsp chia seeds
For the cupcakes:
2 tsp gluten free baking powder
40g buckwheat flour
60g rice flour
180g melted coconut oil
3 large eggs
175ml unsweetened almond milk
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tbsp cider vinegar
1x 250g carton of coconut cream, chilled overnight (or the top layer of a full-fat can of coconut cream)
6 strawberries, halved (optional)
1 tbsp cacao nibs (optional)
- Start by making the chia jam, add the frozen berries and water to a small pan
- Heat the pan over a medium heat, stirring continuously, for 6 mins so some of the liquid is reduced
- Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the chia seeds and maple syrup, transfer the jam to a bowl and leave it to cool before storing it in the fridge until you are ready to use it
- Preheat the oven to 170oc and line a 12 hole cupcake tray with cases (I use silicone ones)
- Combine the 3 flours and baking powder together in a large bowl
- Add all the remaining cupcake ingredients to a blender or food processor, then pulse 2 or 3 times until everything is combined
- Pour the mixture into the bowl of dry ingredients then stir it all together with a spatula until smooth, do this thoroughly to make sure you don’t get any flour lumps!
- Divide the batter between the 12 cupcake cases then dollop spoonfuls of the chia jam on top of each cupcake (in the centre)
- Bake them for 20-25 minutes until risen and a skewer or knife comes out clean
- Leave the cupcakes to cool in the tray for 10 minutes then move them to a cooling rack (remove the silicone cases if using) to cool completely
- While the cupcakes are cooling you can prepare the frosting, add the coconut cream to a large bowl and beat it with an electric whisk for 2 minutes so it increases in volume
- Add the cacao powder, maple syrup and almond butter to the bowl then whisk for a further minute until you are left with a thick and chocolatey frosting!
- Place the bowl in the fridge until you are ready to use it
- When the cakes have cooled, pipe or spread the frosting on top of the cupcakes then top each one with a strawberry half and some cacao nibs (if using)