Gluten- Free Red Velvet Cupcakes (& 5 Things I’ve Learned From My Mom)

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It’s the day after Mother’s Day, and I’ve decided to honor my Mom today. She was diagnosed with Celiac Disease in the last year, and has had to figure out a whole new way of eating. Imagine decades of eating without thinking about much about what you’re eating.  Switching to a gluten-free lifestyle later in life is no easy task.  As a food blogger, it’s made me become much more aware of what ingredients contain gluten.  And as a result, I’ve been able to add a forever-growing Gluten-Free/Adaptable section here on the RecipeGirl site.  Some recipes are naturally gluten-free, and some include tips on how to easily adapt the recipe to make it gluten-free.  I hope people find this section helpful.

Here are some things I’ve learned from my Mom:

1.  Mom has taught me that eating gluten-free can be delicious. You really can adapt many recipes to be free of gluten, and… thanks to cookbooks like Elana Amsterdam’s Gluten Free Cupcakes, you can still make my very favorite kind of cupcake- Gluten Free- Red Velvet Cupcakes!  Yay!

2.  Mom has taught me that it’s never too late to do something. Mom got her college degree AFTER she retired.  How cool is that?  And I had a 12 year stint as an elementary teacher before taking on the food world.  I never thought I could do what I’m doing now.

3.  Mom has taught me that sometimes worry is really just good, old-fashioned concern and caring. Enough said on that one.

4.  Mom has taught me that holiday traditions are special and memorable. I’m talking things like carving pumpkins, dyeing Easter eggs, and decorating Christmas cookies.  I’m grateful to have grown up with those traditions, and I know that my son enjoys the fact that I’m exposing him to those traditions as well.

5.  Mom has taught me that family is important. Don’t hold grudges, let the resentment go, DO NOT GOSSIP, and have regular family reunions to keep everyone in touch.  I guess I’m guilty of gossip… she reminds me about this one often 😉

Love you Mom- more than words can say- and if I don’t tell you enough… I appreciate everything you have done and continue to do for me.  (And oh, just so you know… you’ve taught me a lot more than 5 things!)

On to business… and a GIVEAWAY!
Elana Amsterdam writes the blog Elana’s Pantry, and she has just published a new book:  Gluten-Free Cupcakes:  50 Irresistible Recipes Made with Almond and Coconut Flour. There are a good variety of delicious cupcake recipes in Elana’s book. Besides baking GF, she also leans toward baking with healthy ingredients, so you’ll see ingredients called for like almond flour, coconut flour, coconut oil, flax meal, natural food coloring, agave nectar, Stevia, grapeseed oil and more. I need more cookbooks like this on my cookbook shelf!

I got my hands on a copy of her cookbook, and I was delighted to find that I actually had all of the ingredients for her GF Red Velvet Cupcakes already in my pantry!  These are delicious- hard to believe, really, that they’re gluten-free.  My son is always a good tester since he has the ability to sense if anything is “weird.”  No weirdness at all… he said they tasted “normal and good.”  I had never baked with coconut flour before, and wondered how much that coconut flavor would come through.  The verdict:  I could definitely taste the coconut.  But I did enjoy the cupcakes- especially combined with the frosting.

This giveaway is now over!  Congrats to commenters #8 (Melinda) and #13 (Rebecca).  You are the randomly selected winners of this cookbook.  Enjoy!

Gluten Free Red Velvet Cupcakes w/ Cream Cheese Frosting

Gluten-free Red Velvet Lovers can now enjoy a cupcake of their own...

Yield: 9 cupcakes

Prep Time: 30 min

Cook Time: 18 min


1/2 cup coconut flour
2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
4 large eggs
2 Tablespoons grapeseed (or canola) oil
1/2 cup agave nectar
1 Tablespoon red food coloring

3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup agave nectar


Prepare cupcakes:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 9 muffin cups with paper liners. In a large bowl, whisk together coconut flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking soda. In a separate bowl, combine eggs, oil, agave nectar and food coloring; whisk vigorously until well mixed. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients; use electric mixer to combine. Scoop 1/4 cup of batter into each prepared muffin cup. Bake 18 to 22 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Let cupcakes cool, then remove from pan and frost.

Prepare frosting:
2. In a deep bowl, whip the cream with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. In a separate, larger bowl, whip the cream cheese and agave nectar until well combined. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture. Spread or pipe onto cupcakes.


*If you're not comfortable with using artificial red dye, look for natural vegetable coloring at health food stores.
*For the frosting, I used a combination of agave nectar and honey. I loved the flavor that the honey added to the frosting!

Source: (adapted slightly from Gluten Free Cupcakes)

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  • Sarah wrote:

    Could I use sugar instead of agave?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      I haven’t tried that…

  • Beverly wrote:

    Does this recipe have to have coconut flour or can you use regular GF All purpose flour

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      I’m not sure.

  • kerri wrote:

    Not happy just tried my first lot of cup cakes with coconut flour I just found at the IGA thought I cold swoop it from plain flour grrrr just didn’t seem right so got on Google and found your recipe will have to try this one next .. wish me luck mine are still in oven lol

  • Hannah wrote:

    Is this recipe also wheat free??

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      I’m not so familiar with that terminology, so I don’t know.

  • Jen wrote:

    You told Cyndi to check with the author of the original recipe but I went to her site and there is no such recipe there. Where did you get the recipe?

    Also has anyone else made these? What was your result? I like to get feedback before making a recipe as I am poor and hate to throw things out if they might not work. 😉


    • Lori Lange wrote:

      It’s in her GF Cupcake Cookbook, but if you contact her on her site, I’m sure she’ll be happy to answer questions.

  • Mrs Robinson wrote:

    My mom-in-law has had to adopt a gluten free diet and I’m soooo happy that I can make these for her and have her enjoy them.

  • Cyndi wrote:

    I made these just like your recipe, but it came out way too dense and heavy. The flavor was ok, but because of the texture I was not a big fan. It is my first time trying to bake GF. Any advise? what am I doing wrong? Another website advised adding applesauce, I think I’ll try that next. Please help, I have to make them for a soccer party this week.

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      I would check with the original author of the recipe-

  • Liz wrote:

    Haven’t tried coconut flour yet but have you tried using beets yet? If you do, you’d be surprised how sweet they turn out and tone down on using whatever you use (agave, sugar, honey, etc). Also, if you’re not a fan of food color, this is the best way to go, and cheaper. 🙂

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      I’d definitely like to try it with beets sometime!

  • Karlene von Dolling wrote:

    wow , these look & sound awesome… I too are now Wheat & Gluten intolerant … 33 years of eating cookies , pastries , breads… What ever I felt like and now the past few years I suffer the moment I eat anything with Wheat or Gluten… Not easy at all… & I live on a Remote Island in Seychelles , so I dont always have all the ingredients … Like the Agave Nectar or even Coconut flour… is there another product I can use Pls … Honey … or Sugar … or rice flour … look forward to following your blog … thks a mil …

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      This recipe comes originally from (it’s her cookbook). Best to contact her to find out what substitutions she recommends.

  • Starlit Simon wrote:

    This my fave GF recipe. Very cocoa’y, I would compare it to really really dark chocolate (80-90%) which, personally, I enjoy. One muffin and I am satisfied. I really loved that the recipe required no dairy (I opted out of the frosting) – because I am also allergic to dairy. Not only that but the ingredients were easy to find and the TEXTURE is just like a regular muffin – GF eaters will know that the texture is often what we miss the most.

  • Sarah wrote:

    Can these be made as a cake? I am baking for my son’s birthday party and a couple of his friends are GF. Any insight would be welcomed. thank you!!

  • Jene Khong wrote:

    Not bad, I never bake with coconut flour before, I guess I have to get use to it. Next time I going to try baking with either rice or soy flour and/or millet. I especially LOVE the frosting.

  • missy wrote:

    Found these just in time for the holidays! We like to make red velvet truffles and I’ve just begun my GF diet a few weeks ago. I wasn’t sure if I would get to make them….Thank You!

  • DK Stangeland wrote:

    I just made these for my daughter. She’s going to a birthday party and will have to take her own treats. In going GF her biggest wish was to still have red velvet cake. She just tried these and loved them.

    Excellent!! Thank you so much.

  • Melissa Stinson wrote:

    Thank you so much for this recipe. My son’s girlfriend has celiac and wanted red velvet cupcakes for her birthday. These turned out wonderful!

  • Shelley wrote:

    I’ve learned that agave nectar is worse for you then high fructose corn syrup. I’d just use splenda…

  • Gina @ Skinnytaste wrote:

    Your momma sounds like a wise woman! These cupcakes look divine, I will try this for my gluten-free friend 🙂