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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  • Jules wrote:

    I made these up this evening for the GF hubby. Didn’t even wait for icing! (He had a sneak taste with the batter.) The recipe is a keeper. You can taste the coconut flavor subtly, but it works with the chocolate. You’re right, the liquid ratio to the dry seems off, but it works!! Oftentimes the GF recipes don’t even compare to the real thing because of the substitution of the flour. Thanks again for posting the recipe. I’ll be looking for the cookbook on my next adventure to the bookstore. =)

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      Glad you and hubby enjoyed!

  • Nappytales wrote:

    Happy Mother’s day RecipeMom!

    For a sweet-tooth family the idea of eating gluten free seem to be not appetizing at all. But looks like we are wrong! We have a history of diabetic on both our sides and would like to start eating right for our little V transforming one overly sweet cake to an equally healthy sweet delight

  • natalie wrote:

    My daughter is gluten intolerant. After taking gluten out of our diet we have found that all of us are very sensitive to gluten and are now eating following the primal bblurprint.

  • Amanda G. wrote:

    I have a friend who eats gluten free and I would like to learn more about gluten free baking and cooking. I love to bake and would like to incorporate more gluten free recipes in the mix!

  • Casey wrote:

    Great giveaway! I discovered I’m gluten intolerant (among other things) in August after lots and lots of reading. I haven’t ruled out Celiac but I feel SO much better without gluten that I don’t even care. I’ll never go back. I am amazed at what coconut flour has done to help my stomach and I would love to try some new recipes! Right now I just continue to make pancakes. 🙂 Also glad to see the focus on natural ingredients. I feel like a lot of the gluten free items in the stores contain weird ingredients and that’s just like switching out one problem for another. I’d like to use this book to show everyone at my office how amazing gluten free treats can be. Our treat table is constantly full of goodies I can’t have.

  • Sarah wrote:

    several ofmy kids friends have been put on gluten free diets during this school year and it has sent me scurrying around the web for recipes so i can accomodate them and their needs. I know it has been a big change for them and I look for ways to make the transition feel more normal when they are not at their home. Thanks for sharing.

  • Rachel wrote:

    I’ve been contemplating gluten free for awhile to see if it makes a difference with my son’s behavioral issues.

  • judy jursch wrote:

    All three of my grandchildren started eating gluten free within the past few years. At first, I was lost because grandmas usually take great delight in making cookies with and for their grandchildren. I have found many great gluten free recipes on the internet and was thrilled to see the gluten free section on YOUR website Lori! Thank you so much for that!

    P.S. I love the comments you make about your mom. As a mom, it warms my heart to see daughters talk about their moms the way you do!

  • Karen wrote:

    I was recently diagnosed with Hasimotos, an autoimmune thyroid disease. With celiacs gluten causes damage in the intestines, with Hasimotos the immune system attacks the thyroid because it so closely resembles the gliadin (gluten) protein. The hard part is that I don’t feel different/better when I am off gluten but I must eliminate it anyway. Hasimotos also gives me a predisposition for diabetes so every treat I have is precious – I need great recipes! My daughter has a wheat intolerance (the itching makes her scratch herself bloody when she eats wheat) and my son was tested and is sensitive to gluten. I guess we know where they get it:) No Standard American Diet for our family!

  • Sylvia wrote:

    I ´m trying to cut some carbs and flour. This recipe is a good starting

  • Brandi wrote:

    I’m very interested in GF. Those red velvet cupcakes look delicious! I wish my whole foods carried almond flour.

  • domestic diva wrote:

    We are gluten free, and I would love to have a copy of Elana’s new book. Her recipes are great!

  • Lana @ Never Enough Thyme wrote:

    Red Velvet has always been one of my favorite cakes. That chocolatey layer with the luscious cream cheese frosting…my oh my! Great that you’ve developed a gluten-free version for your Mom to enjoy.

  • Sharon wrote:

    my husband and I are going gluten free and I would Love to add treats to my week.

  • Amy T. wrote:

    I have a dear friend who was diagnosed with Celiac along with two of her children. I am their unofficial baker and would love to have this cookbook to bake from. Thanks for the opportunity!

  • Katrina wrote:

    Tasty looking cupcakes!

  • Dena wrote:

    My daughter is adhd & we have found that eating a gluten free diet prevents her from having to take meds. I would love to have this book to make her some amazing cupakes!!

  • carol Karol wrote:

    Hi. I have started to eat gluten free just because it sounds healthier. I really enjoy your posts and read them every day. I have a daughter who is very sensitive and only eats gluten free now. I would really love to win the book!!!!!!!!!

  • Erin wrote:

    Gorgeous Cupcakes!!! So pretty!

  • Lisa in Fort Worth wrote:

    My sister-in-law was just diagnosed Celiacs and is just learning how to manage. This would be a wonderful gift for her.