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Gluten-Free Vegan Red, White, and Blue Cupcakes: Food Allergy Recipe Challenge #8

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This week, I chose to forgo the broader Food Allergy Recipe Challenge and challenged MYSELF to come up with something festive for the 4th of July.  I hope that’s okay, and I promise to get back to your requests (keep leaving them in the comments!) next week.

For the 4th of July, we have several motifs to play with. We have stars and stripes, fireworks, and the good old “red white & blue” color scheme. I chose the color scheme.

It wasn’t that hard to deliver something celebratory, I just adapted my recipe for Red Velvet Cake with Velvet Frosting from my new cookbook, The Allergen-Free Baker’s Handbook .  This is one of my favorite recipes, and a big hit with the little ones, too.  It is equally appealing as a layer cake, but for the 4th, I went for picnic-sized portions, and revised the recipe for cupcakes.  Enjoy! And happy Independence Day!

Gluten-Free Vegan Red White and Blue Cupcakes
Makes 12 cupcakes

These gorgeous tri-color cupcakes were adapted from my own recipe for Red Velvet Cake with Velvet Frosting. I’ve just reduced the proportions and switched up the icing a little to make it even more colorful!

  • 1 1⁄4 cups + 2 Tablespoons Authentic Foods GF Classical Blend, or my Basic Gluten-Free Flour Mix
  • 2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1⁄4 + 1/8th teaspoon xanthan gum
  • ¾ teaspoon double-acting baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾  teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup rice milk
  • 3/4 teaspoon cider vinegar
  • 1⁄4 cup + 2 Tablespoons dairy-free, soy-free vegetable shortening
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons Ener-G egg replacer mixed with 3 Tablespoons rice milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • .5 ounces red food coloring
  • 1 recipe Velvet Frosting (recipe follows)
  • blue food coloring

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a muffin pan with 12 liners.

2. Measure out flour mix by spooning flour into a dry measuring cup, then leveling it off with a straightedge, or the back of a knife. (Do not scoop the flour directly with the measuring cup or you’ll wind up with too much flour for the recipe). Whisk together the flour mix, cocoa powder, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

3. Combine the rice milk and cider vinegar. Set aside.

4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the shortening, sugar, egg replacer, and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the food coloring and mix until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Sift in the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with the rice milk mixture, and beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Beat until smooth, about 30 seconds, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.

5. Divide the batter between the muffin liners, and smooth down the surface using a frosting spatula or butter knife.

6. Bake in the center of the oven for 18 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time.

7. Let cool in the pan on a cooling rack about 5 minutes. Transfer cupcakes to cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.

8. Once the cupcakes have cooled completely, frost with the white half the Velvet Frosting. Then top each cupcake with a blue layer of frosting.  Once the frosting has set, store covered at room temperature. Extras can be frozen for later consumption if you wish.

Velvet Frosting
Makes enough to frost 12 cupcakes

  • 1/2 cup dairy-free, soy-free vegetable shortening
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons rice milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½  teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the shortening and salt on medium speed for 1 minute.

2. Add the confectioners’ sugar in three batches, beating after each addition.

3. Add the rice milk, lemon juice, and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until smooth, creamy, and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Remove half the frosting (for the white layer). Add a few drops of blue food coloring to remaining half of frosting, until desired shade of blue has been reached (for the blue layer).

Gluten-Free Vegan Red White & Blue Cupcakes with Velvet Frosting recipe reprinted with permission from The Allergen-Free Baker’s Handbook: How to Bake Without Gluten, Wheat, Dairy, Eggs, Soy, Peanuts, Tree Nuts, and Sesame. Copyright © 2009 by Cybele Pascal, Celestial Arts, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, Berkeley, CA.

(Please note that all my recipes are completely free of all top allergens (wheat, dairy, soy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, sesame, fish, shellfish, and gluten), so as many people as possible can enjoy them. Additionally, all the ingredients are available at Whole Foods, and online at Amazon.com. If you have trouble finding something, let me know and I’ll help you find it.)

SAFETY NOTE: Because each person's food sensitivity and reaction is unique, ranging from mild intolerance to life-threatening and severe food allergies, it is up to the consumer to monitor ingredients and manufacturing conditions. If manufacturing conditions, potential cross contact between foods, and ingredient derivatives pose a risk for you, please re-read all food labels and call the manufacturer to confirm potential allergen concerns before consumption. Ingredients and manufacturing practices can change overnight and without warning.

Cybele Pascal is the award-winning author of "The Allergen-Free Baker's Handbook" and the "Whole Foods Allergy Cookbook." She lives in Los Angeles with her food-allergic family: husband Adam, sons Lennon and Monte, and their dogs, Izzie and Carly (who also has food allergies). Please visit her website at CybelePascal.com.

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Comments (7)

  • If I made these cupcakes and shared them with all of my gluten-free friends, I might double the number of friends I have! Thanks, Cybele!

  • love the way you adapted your own already gluten free recipe to work for the holiday!!! Having a 4 th July cookout,and these will work for the spark that it is needed,thanks
    Have a good holiday..............

  • These look so yummy, Cybele.

  • My brother has gluten allergies so I'm always looking for great desserts to make for him. Thanks!

  • Thanks everyone, for your comments. Please note that these also freeze really well, so you can make up a batch in advance, and remove them from the freezer on the 4th, an hour before your bbq to come to room temp. A time saver for sure!

  • I am not sure about using food coloring but may give these a shot without it! This is waaaay too early but my sister in law asked me if I could figure out petit fours for the holidays - she wasn't sure how much time would be needed. :) I figured I'd put the request here. It is a family tradition for my husband's side.

  • I made these today and they are great! I love, love, love the frosting recipe with the lemon - it makes all the difference!

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