The best gluten-free Easter cupcakes
What says "Easter Cake" like no other? Carrot cake. Well, in this case, carrot cupcakes! Since my boyfriend has been following a no-gluten eating regime, lately I've been twisting traditional recipes to make them ok for him to eat. So here it goes, my gluten-free Easter cupcakes.
If you know me just a tad you'll know that one of my favourite cakes is, by far, carrot cake. This Easter I decided to go with this staple cake and make it gluten-free and the result is, in my opinion (and that of those who scuffed it all) excellent, so I hope you'll enjoy it.
Even this gluten-free version of the spring classic is as easy-to-make as the original and requires only a few simple ingredients that everyone usually keeps in their pantry. The result is nice and moist, with a rich, authentic taste.
The original carrot-cake also has frosting but I preferred not adding any in order to make this recipe both gluten-free and dairy-free. As it is an Easter-themed recipe, I added sugar-coated chocolate eggs to the cupcakes but this is of course up to you. If you do want to decorate your cupcakes this way and you're baking for a gluten-intolerant and / or lactose intolerant person, make sure you choose gluten and lactose-free chocolate eggs.
for the cupcakes:
350 gr carrots
100 gr walnuts
300 gr sugar
240 ml sunflower oil
130 gr corn starch
130 gr rice flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
a pinch of salt
about 24 sugar-coated chocolate eggs (it depends on your cupcakes' size, maybe get a few more just in case)
Put all your dry ingredients (sugar, rice flour, corn starch, vanilla, cinnamon, baking soda and salt) together in a bowl and whisk them until they are well blended.
Chop up the walnuts and add them to the dry ingredients.
Wash and grate your carrots (I don't mind hand grating my carrots because it gives the cupcakes a nice texture, but when I don't have time I just put them in the food processor and they turn out great). Once grated, put to one side.
Whisk all the wet ingredients together in another bowl and slowly add the dry ingredients to the mixture, whisking as you go.
Once your mixture is ready and there are no lumps, add the grated carrots and you're ready to go!
Cooking instructions for plain cupcakes (no chocolate egg decoration) Pour the mixture in the cupcake liners until each is about 3/4 full, then put in the oven at 180° C for about 30 - 35 minutes.
You'll know the cupcakes are ready when the top of the cupcake is springy and soft to the touch. You can also insert a toothpick into the center of the cupcake to see if it comes out clean (moist is ok, you don't want them to be too dry). Aaaand that's it, enjoy!
Cooking instructions for decorated Easter cupcakes (cracked chocolate egg decoration on top)
If you want to decorate your cupcakes with the chocolate eggs on top, the cooking procedure will be slightly different, as it will take place in two steps.
Pour the mixture in the cupcake liners until each is about 3/4 full, then put in the oven at 180° C for about 25 minutes. You'll know its time to pull the cupcakes out of the oven when the top of the cupcake has solidified but the cupcake still needs some cooking (you can check this with a toothpick). You don't want the cupcake to be perfectly cooked because you're going to have to take it out of the oven to place the chocolate egg on top: the cupcake needs to be cooked enough to bear the weight of the egg (if we were to add it before cooking, the chocolate egg would fall into the batter and settle at the bottom of the cupcake). If, instead, we were to put the eggs on the cupcakes when already cooked, we wouldn't be able to crack them and get that nice "wow" Easter effect. So you want the cupcake to be "almost cooked".
Place the eggs gently on each cupcake and then put the cupcakes back in the oven for about 10 minutes. This should give the cupcakes time to finish cooking and the eggs will either start cracking by themselves or be almost ready to. Either way, when you see that the cupcakes are cooked (you can check with the famous toothpick), pull them out of the oven. If the eggs aren't cracked yet you can crack them by hand without lifting them from the cupcakes (they should have nestled in well by now and lifting them would ruin the effect). Just apply a little pressure and the sugar glazing, hot from the oven, will crack easily, giving you that oh-so-springtime effect! This is a magnificent recipe to bring over to family and friends, no one will be able to tell it's gluten free so it's great for those occasions when you have picky eaters and others with food intolerances under one roof. Plus, I think it really captures the spirit of spring with nature flourishing, animals waking up and life restarting its gorgeous cycle. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did! :)
My pantry for this cake:
What you'll need if you're in Europe:
What you'll need if you're in the US or rest of the world: