Thursday, September 11, 2008

Best Birthday Cupcakes Ever!!

~The Prettiest Low Allergy Cupcakes in the World!~

It was my birthday yesterday, but as my mom, sister and I all have birthdays within 12 days of each other, we celebrate them on the same day, this year being the 7Th (a mutually agreeable Sunday). I, of course, offered to bring dessert, thinking I would like to recreate the strawberry shortcake of my youth that I had loved so much. I thought I would do it in a cupcake style to make it easier for everyone involved to have a little piece of heaven. You can imagine my horror when I realized that strawberry shortcake has very little strawberry in it, and no chocolate at all! (Purists know it as a yellow cake topped with a smidgen of whipped cream and a strawberry perched atop the whole thing). This simply could not do. So I came up with this version, modified from a traditional vegan white cupcake recipe from Krystina Castella's "Crazy About Cupcakes". I did, of course, have to modify it for my numerous allergies and taste preferences, so it looks almost nothing like her version.
This version is delectable with chocolate chips and chopped strawberries inside the moist white cake, topped with my own version of strawberry icing and (of course) a strawberry. Try it and you will agree, it certainly does not taste at all what it most certainly is: gluten free, egg free, corn free, soy free, dairy free, and vegan. It is simply superb!

Meghann's Best Birthday Cupcakes Ever!

1/2 cup (scant) Light Olive Oil
1-1/3 cups Granulated Sugar (or use unbleached cane sugar)
2-2/3 cups G.F. Flour Mix
1/3 cup Bean Flour Mix
3/4 tsp Salt
2 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Xanthan Gum
2 cups Rice Milk
1 tbsp Vanilla Extract
1 tsp Almond Extract
1/2 cup Mini Chocolate Chips (Enjoy Life are great)
1/2 cup Strawberries, chopped

Preheat oven to 350degrees Fahrenheit. Line 22-24 cupcake/muffin pans with cupcake/muffin liners. In a large bowl (I used my stand mixer for this but you can do it by hand with a hand mixer with no difficulties), beat the olive oil, and sugar until crumbly. Evenly sprinkle the dry ingredients over the top (not the chocolate chips or strawberries) and begin beating, adding the milk in a steady stream. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and beat for about 2 minutes on medium. Fold in the chocolate chips and strawberries gently. Fill the cupcake liners 3/4 full, making sure that there are strawberry bits in each one, and poking them down in the mix so they don't burn. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until golden and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool them in the pan and then remove to a plate to ice once completely cool. Top with my icing (below) and a fresh strawberry. Enjoy!

For the Icing:
I wasn't super conscious of the exact measurements, but the gist is this: use 1 cup granulated sugar to 1/3 cup tapioca starch and grind in batches in a coffee grinder until finely ground. Add this to a few tablespoons of organic vegan strawberry jam, add a few tablespoons of water and heat over low-medium heat in a saucepan, stirring constantly until the sugar has dissolved. Allow to cool (I refrigerated it) before icing.

I hope you love these as much as my family did!

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