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Sweet celebration: My gluten-free, vegan cupcakes offer a little something everyone can enjoy on the Fourth of July

By Wolfgang Puck, Tribune Content Agency on

3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

3 tablespoons pure vanilla extract

Prepare the frosting at least 6 hours ahead. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the stainless-steel blade, combine the almond milk, soy milk powder, agave nectar, coconut extract and vanilla. Process for 2 minutes.

With the machine running, slowly pour in half of the coconut oil through the feed tube; then half of the lemon juice; and then the remaining half of each. Continue processing until thoroughly blended. Pour the frosting into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until it has firmed up enough to spread, about 6 hours.

For the cupcakes, position the oven rack in the middle level and preheat the oven to 325 F (160 C). Line two 12-cup muffin tins or four standard-sized 6-cup muffin tins with paper cupcake liners.

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, potato starch, arrowroot, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum and salt. Stir well with a wire whisk until thoroughly blended.


In a separate bowl, combine the agave nectar, hot coffee, coconut oil, applesauce and vanilla. Stir with a whisk until thoroughly blended. Add this wet mixture all at once to the dry ingredients. Stir with a whisk until a smooth batter forms.

Transfer the batter to a large measuring cup, or use a ladle, and pour the batter into the prepared muffin cups until each is nearly full. Transfer to the middle rack of the preheated oven. After 15 minutes, rotate the tins front to back and continue baking until the cupcakes rise nicely, look firm and spring back when gently pressed at their centers, about 7 minutes longer.

Remove the tins from the oven, and leave the cupcakes to rest in the tins at room temperature for 20 minutes. Then, remove the cupcakes from the tins and leave on wire racks to cool completely.

When the cupcakes have cooled completely, use an icing spatula to spread the frosting on top of each one. Serve immediately, or store in a single layer in an airtight container at cool room temperature.



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