Book Review & Recipe: Gluten-Free Cupcakes - Celiac Disease
May 2 2011

Book Review & Recipe: Gluten-Free Cupcakes

Several weeks ago, a review copy of Gluten-Free Cupcakes by Elana Amsterdam (from the popular blog arrived in the mail. To be honest, I was too busy to do anything but open the package and put the book on a shelf where I put books I owe a review for. It wasn’t until reading a post from Shirley over at Gluten Free Easily about the book that I realized that Elana wrote the book.

Knowing that Elana’s first book focused on almond flour which is fantastic for gluten-free baking, I was excited to check out Gluten-Free Cupcakes which contains 50 recipes for the little treats made with almond and coconut flour. I’m told that coconut flour bakes up nice and fluffy so it also works well in gluten-free baking.

While I’ve yet to make anything in the cookbook, I might have to break my own rule about not buying individual flours to bake. There are many recipes in the book that call only for almond or coconut flour – or some of both. Even the laziest baker in the world (aka me) can’t complain about that. None of the recipes call for a zillion different flours and starches like is common in so many gluten-free baking cookbooks.

The photos in the book are some of the best I’ve seen in any type of cookbook. Overall the book is a delight and worth having just for the photos and knowledge that gluten-free treats are ours to be had if we put forth a little effort to create them!

Here is the list of things that got my attention:

  • Lime Cupcakes
  • Marble Cupcakes
  • Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes

(Savory cupcakes aka muffins)

  • Scallion Goat Cheese Muffins
  • Garlic Cheddar Muffins
  • Spinach Feta Muffins

The publisher of the book graciously allowed us to republish one of the recipes for our readers. I think it’s timely considering the season. Enjoy!

Strawberry Cupcakes

Makes 8

Sweetness: Medium

  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup agave nectar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh strawberries


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 8 muffin cups with paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the coconut flour, arrowroot powder, salt, and baking soda. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, agave nectar, and vanilla extract. Blend the wet ingredients into the coconut flour mixture with a handheld mixer until thoroughly combined, then fold in the strawberries.
  3. Scoop 1/4 cup of batter into each prepared muffin cup.
  4. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached. Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for 1 hour, then frost and serve.

Strawberry Meringue Frosting

Makes 3 cups

Sweetness: High

  • 1/4 cup agave nectar
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh


  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the agave nectar to a boil, stirring constantly. Decrease the heat to low and simmer for 6 to 10 minutes, watching constantly and stirring occasionally, until the agave nectar darkens slightly from its original amber color, then remove from the heat and set aside.
  2. In a deep bowl, whip the egg whites to stiff peaks using a handheld mixer. Be sure to push the beaters around the bowl to incorporate air into the whites. This step is important; if your egg whites are not whipped to stiff peaks, the recipe won’t work. Stop whipping as soon as the egg whites are stiff; overwhipping will result in egg whites that are dry and grainy. The foam of the whites will be stiff enough to stand up in well-defined, unwavering peaks.
  3. Drizzle the warm agave nectar very slowly into the egg whites, while whipping with a handheld mixer, to keep the peaks stiff. The meringue will become pearlescent and shiny.
  4. Allow to cool to room temperature, then fold the strawberries into the meringue. Use right away.

“Reprinted with permission from Gluten-Free Cupcakes: 50 Irresistible Recipes Made with Almond and Coconut Flour. Copyright © 2011 by Elana Amsterdam, Celestial Arts, an imprint of Ten Speed Press, a division of the Crown Publishing Group, Berkeley, CA. Photo Credit: Annabelle Breakey.”

Article Written by:

Kyle Eslick is the founder of Gluten Free Media, as well as the creator of the popular Celiac Support Groups page. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and now Google+!


  1. Thanks so much for the mention, Tiffany! I’m glad I alerted you to the fact that these cupcakes came from Elana. 🙂 I love that the recipes use almond flour and/or coconut flour. Just makes them nutritious as well as delicious. 😉 I’m anxious to try some of the savory ones next!


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