Sunday, June 3

Birthday [Carrot Cake] Cupcakes

Thursday was my birthday, and I made myself a special treat. Carrot cupcakes. Free of grains, gluten, dairy, eggs, soy, almonds, refined sugar...
This was my first experience with chestnut flour - baking or eating - and I must say, it will definitely not be my last. (I'm glad I signed up to get a small bag of it every couple of months through Subscribe & Save!) The cupcakes turned out moist, soft, and cinnamon-y delicious. Chestnut flour has swag.

I frosted the cupcakes with a quick glaze-style icing I made from palm shortening, shredded coconut, maple syrup, local honey, and coconut oil. I spooned that on while it was still liquid, then topped them with leftover grated carrot and organic dried coconut flakes and left to set.
These were good by themselves, better enjoyed with a cup of coffee, and best with a bowl of coconut ice cream on the side!
The recipe made ten cupcakes, and it was the perfect amount to share with my husband and enjoy my birthday. I ate more than half of those ten in about twenty-four hours. It was my birthday and I indulged.

I saw the recipe featured last month at Brittany Angell's gluten-free, dairy-free site Real Sustenance, and bookmarked it for my special day. If you have never checked out Brittany's blog, head over there now and look at her recipes. I have made two of them now, these cupcakes and the Samoa cookies (original recipe). She is very talented and I'm so glad to have found her blog!

I made the cupcakes according to Brittany's recipe, with a few ingredient changes, less sweetener, and a misstep in mixing. It is a forgiving recipe, because they still turned out great! I give her all credit, however I only will list the ingredients I used and the steps I took to make these cupcakes.

[Grain-Free, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Soy-Free, Almond-Free]

Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Recipe credit: Brittany Angell,

What you need:
  • 1/4 cup natural applesauce (no sweeteners added)
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil
  • 1 teaspoon gluten-free, alcohol-free vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cup Chestnut flour
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon 
  • 1/4 cup Sucanat
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder 
  • 1 cup washed, peeled, grated organic carrots (I minced mine in the small food processor)
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar*
What you do:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Line muffin tin with 10 paper liners.
Measure wet ingredients (applesauce, coconut milk, grapeseed oil, vanilla, and vinegar) into a large bowl, stir together to combine.
Add in the dry ingredients (chestnut flour, cinnamon, sucanat, baking powder) and blend with a spatula. Pour in grated carrots and gently fold together until batter is evenly mixed.
Scoop the batter into muffin cups and place into the oven. Bake for 30 minutes.
(Cupcakes will be finished when toothpick comes out clean.)

These cupcakes are delicious. It was fun sharing them and hearing the reactions - "full of flavor," and "If I hadn't been told already that these are gluten-free and dairy-free, I wouldn't have known!" "Yummy!"

I'm happy to report to you, grain-free does not mean delicious dessert free. You can come up with a special birthday treat for any diet. Do you have a favorite annual celebratory treat that needs converting or replacing, to be safe and healthy for you and/or loved ones? Do share and I'd love to brainstorm with you about substitutions and new ideas. And check out for more great ideas.

Playing around with cupcakes and my Gerbera daisy plate

It was a treat to find my Gerbera daisy plant blooming on my birthday.
I thought it didn't make it through the late ice storm we had,
but it's got two beautfiul red flowers on it now!

Another birthday, another year of life and many things to be thankful for. Every year I am a little surprised at how different a birthday is as an adult. I don't know why it's taking me such a long time to adapt to that difference from childhood. But it is better, especially when you have a best friend/spouse and a precious baby girl to spend it with. 28 years of life accomplished, and so many more to come!