Fluffy Vanilla Funfetti Cupcakes (mostly sugar-free, vegan & gluten-free)


What birthday cake did you beg your mom to make you for your birthday? For me, it was carrot cake, so this post obviously isn’t about me. Nope, this is about Kim. Well, indirectly, I’m not going to talk about Kim the whole time, I’m going to talk about cupcakes.

If you can’t tell already from examples A & B we have a thing for sweet & fluffy baked goods that are in the shape of a cup. I don’t know why, it’s just that the first that comes to mind when we think of sweets tends to be cupcakes. A lot of that reason probably has to do with the fact that we’ve nailed down a few good recipes for lectin-free, vegan cupcakes, whereas the rest of the baking world – donuts, cheesecakes, flan, etc. – is unmapped and lurking with scary monsters. Just imagine the amount of trials it would take to make good, vegan & lectin-limited raised donuts! *shutters in fear*

Fortunately for us, however, there’s so many possible cupcake combinations out there to be explored! Heck, there’s even shows dedicated to making cupcakes (Cupcake Wars, anyone?), so why not take a few recipes to bask in the sunshine of cupcake glory.

“Conceited much?”

“Yeah, just a little bit.”

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Never the less, those of you who are subscribed to our email list (thanks!) received a bonus recipe a few weeks ago for lemon chocolate muffins, which is the first baking recipe we’ve used white rice flour in. While I do love all of our dear email subscribers, I was playing around to see if white rice flour could make fluffy and tender baked goods, as I knew green banana flour’s color wouldn’t play nicely with vanilla cake and colorful sprinkles. To my elation, white rice flour has the ability to make amazing pastries! Plus, given its light color and neutral flavor, it plays nice with with subtle flavors and vibrant colors, such as sprinkles.

When constructed via the traditional creaming method, with the addition of aquafaba, these cupcakes emerge moist, fluffy, and slightly spongy, which is a characteristic of the rice flour. Oh, “what’s the creaming method,” you ask? Glad you asked – it’s when a solid fat, like coconut oil, is beat together with a crystalline sweetener, like erythritol, until fluffy. Then, wet and dry ingredients are added to the mix in alternate batches until the batter is formed. When crystals from a sweetener are beat with solid fat, tiny holes are poked into the fat, thus aerating the mixture. This procedure creates a lighter baked good than assembling the batter via the muffin method, in which a liquid fat, like melted coconut oil, is simply stirred together with a sweetener, which is why cupcakes are lighter than muffins.

To elevate the fluffiness of the cakes, aquafaba that’s been whipped to stiff peaks is folded in at the very end of the process. If you’ve never worked with aquafaba before, it works exactly like egg whites, as its protein content is almost exactly the same as egg whites.

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Just as important as the cupcakes is the frosting! Because what would funfetti birthday cake be without frosting? If you’ve tried our vegan cream cheese frosting, then you’ll no doubt know that we’ve used powdered erythritol before, which is predominately sold by the brand Swerve. While I love the idea of having a powdered sweetener to use in place of powdered sugar in a 1:1 ratio, I found that it doesn’t do the trick. When used in large amounts, Swerve Confectioner’s Sweetener makes the frosting overly sweet, slightly mouth numbing, and it has a cooling effect similar to peppermint on the tongue.

To my delight, there’s more than one way to make a frosting, and it doesn’t have to include any powdered sweeteners! I’ll spare the details because I already talked about the frosting concoction in our matcha scones recipe, but basically, when coconut oil, coconut milk powder, erythritol, and a few other ingredients are blended together and then refrigerated, the frosting of dream’s is created. The end result is fluffy, mildly sweet, and similar to whipped cream in mouth feel. I’m so grateful for Erin McKenna, who created the recipe that this one’s based off of. Thank you for thinking outside the box Erin!

Oh, and about those sprinkles – yeah, they’re not sugar free. Sorry. I’ve yet to find sugar-free sprinkles but I did really want funfetti cupcakes, so I settled for a few grams of sugar. Fortunately, you can find some naturally-colored sprinkles on the internet if you’re not down for artificial food coloring. However, personally, I don’t sweat intaking a little bit of this stuff given I haven’t had any in years and probably won’t for many more years. Never the less, the choice is yours.

Once assembled, these cupcakes are:

  • Irresistible
  • Nostalgic
  • Colorful
  • Soft
  • Perfectly sweet
  • Vanilla laced

If you like what your taste buds are tellin’ ya, leave behind a nice rating, share your thoughts with us in the comments, or show us your creations by tagging @noeggsorham on Instagram.

Go Forth & Devour,
Kim & Ryan

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Fluffy Vanilla Funfetti Cupcakes (mostly sugar-free, vegan & gluten-free)

  • Servings: 7-10
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Print

Fluffy, colorful & nostalgic funetti cupcakes with smooth, perfectly sweet vanilla frosting.

Ingredients

Cupcakes

  • 200 g (1 1/4 c) white rice flour
  • 2 tsp (8 g) baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp (2 g) baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp xanthan gum
  • 4 oz (1/2 c) aquafaba from Eden’s Beans*
  • 120 g (1/2 c + 2 tbsp) erythritol
  • 84 g (1/4 c + 2 tbsp) coconut oil , lightly chilled
  • 4 oz (1/2 c) water
  • 2 oz (1/4 c) full-fat coconut milk*
  • 2 flax eggs (2 tbsp flax + 5 tbsp water)
  • 3 tbsp rainbow sprinkles, plus extra for decorating
  • 2 tbsp vanilla extract

Vanilla Frosting

  • 112 (1/2 c) coconut oil*
  • 32 g (1/4 c) coconut milk powder
  • 2.5 (5 tbsp) water
  • 1.5 oz (3 tbsp) full-fat coconut milk*
  • 30 g (2.5 tbsp) erythritol
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp stevia
  • 1/8 tsp xanthan gum

Directions

  1. Frosting: Add coconut oil to a small pan over medium heat and stir often. As soon as most of the coconut oil is melted, remove from the heat.
  2. Transfer coconut oil to a personal-sized blender or a mini food processor and add in the rest of the frosting ingredients, except for xanthan gum.
  3. Blend for 30 seconds until the mixture is completely smooth. Transfer to a shallow pan or bowl (we used a pie pan) and place in fridge for at least 45 minutes.
  4. After 45 minutes, whisk the xanthan gum into the frosting. If at this point the frosting is too loose, add a touch more xanthan gum to bring it to a spreadable consistency.
  5. Store in fridge until ready to frost cupcakes.
  6. Cupcakes: Pre-heat oven to 350° F and line a cupcake tin with paper liners. If you have tall liners, you’ll likely only need 7 and if you have regular sized liners, you’ll likely need 10.
  7. In the bowl of a stand-up mixer fitted with a whisk attachment or in a metal bowl using an electric hand whisk whip aquafaba until stiff peaks are formed; about 5 minutes.
  8. Transfer aquafaba to a separate bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and place in fridge until needed.
  9. Sift rice flour, baking powder, baking soda, and xanthan gum together into a medium bowl. Set aside.
  10. Whisk together flax eggs, vanilla, coconut milk, and water in a small bowl or measuring cup. Set aside.
  11. Clean and dry out bowl of your mixer and fit it with the paddle attachment. Add in lightly chilled coconut oil, erythritol & salt and beat on medium-high until mixture is fluffy; about two minutes.
  12. Scrape down sides with a spatula and beat in 1/3 of the dry mixture on low speed. Boost speed to medium and mix until smooth.
  13. Add in 1/3 of the dry mixture – scraping down the sides as needed – on low speed, then boost speed to medium and mix until smooth.
  14. Repeat steps 12 & 13 until all of the ingredients are thoroughly mixed in. At this point, remove aquafaba from the fridge and stir in half of it. Then, gently fold in the second half.
  15. Once most of the aquafaba is mixed in – white spots here and there are okay – fold in the sprinkles for just a few seconds. Don’t over-mix here as it the sprinkles’ colors can fade into the batter.
  16. Evenly distribute batter among lined cupcake pan, filling each one 4/5 of the way full. Place in oven for 22-25 minutes until the center is slightly jiggly while the outside is mostly set.
  17. Set pan onto a cooling rack and allow cupcakes to cool in pan for 10 minutes. Then gently transfer the cupcakes directly to the cooling rack to cool the rest of the way – wait at least 30 minutes before frosting cupcakes.
  18. Place desired amount of frosting onto each cupcake (I like a lot) and spread it out across the top. Sprinkle each cupcake with a touch of rainbow sprinkles and enjoy!
  19. To store, place cupcakes on a plate and cover with plastic wrap or store inside a tupperware container and keep at room temperature. Cupcakes will stay good for two days.

*Eden pressure cooks their beans in the can, thus making the aquafaba lectin-free. P.S. aquafaba is the liquid from a can of beans.

*For the coconut milk in the cupcakes and the frosting – if you don’t have full-fat coconut milk on hand, then you can replace it and the water with cartonned or light coconut milk, hemp milk, or flax milk in its place for similar results.

*You can use virgin coconut oil if that’s your preference, however refined coconut oil is milder in flavor, heat-resistant, and more affordable, so that’s what we use!

 

 

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