|A new gluten-free dairy-free pumpkin cupcake recipe for Fall.|
Before I get to my pumpkin cupcake recipe, I need to wander off a bit. Just briefly. Because it's who I am. A person who wanders. Ponders. Finds solace in books. I've been like this since girlhood. Curious. Serious. No good at catching balls. Or dressing dolls. I am beyond inept with hair. And eyeliner. Nail polish. I get anxious and non-verbal if I have to wear anything that isn't a pair of jeans.
It might be because I'm a child of The Sixties, that starstruck Age of Aquarius, when kindred souls united for peace, beauty, and rock and roll. As Hunter S. Thompson wrote, "You could strike sparks anywhere. There was a fantastic universal sense that whatever we were doing was right," and there was that "...sense of inevitable victory over the forces of Old and Evil. Not in any mean or military sense; we didn’t need that. Our energy would simply prevail. There was no point in fighting—on our side or theirs. We had all the momentum; we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave."
I've been remembering the beautiful wave lately. The idealism. The hope. The belief that there is more to life than collapsing in front of the television and microwaving hot dogs. The belief that beauty- as Steve Jobs believed- is important, has value. That we are deeply interconnected. That life on Earth is precious- from the house sparrow to the living sea. That we are part of a vast and mysterious collective- not merely of our absurd egos (who natter inside our heads and squander our attention on drama, conflict, acquisition and the need to control)- but of a newly unfolding awareness of astonishing inner space and outer space. Infinity in every direction. The Universe is far more capacious than we ever dreamed. Perhaps even multi-dimensional. A Multiverse.
Which begs the question.
Who am I? Really. I know I am not the car I drive or the laundry detergent I use. I know I am not what I identify with. I am not what I embrace- or reject. Though for years I thought so. I believed my opinions created a self. Made me Me. Now that I am old enough to have lived through countless opinion reversals, I realize opinions are temporary.
And not defining.
Just as I am not my baby teeth. Or my once lactating voluptuousness. Or my sprouting silver hair. Or what music I listen to. Or what jeans I outgrow. I am not even the woman baking pumpkin cupcakes for her readers. Or am I?
Well, maybe I am. Just a little. But wait. Doesn't that make me the sum of what I do? I bake therefore I am? I am trying lately not to be so much of a human doing. And more of a human being.
It's not as easy as one might think.
And therein lies the trouble. The whole thinking thing. Our brain. Our wired hardware. It disconnects us. It addicts us. It overrides the heart and soul of what is really going on. The being we really are. Beneath the seductive and glossy surface of things. The spark that burns from the greater whole.
I see that spark in you. In your words and comments. In your avatar's eyes.
And that spark?
It's why I made you cupcakes.
|Tender pumpkin cupcakes with creamy sweet icing. Happy Fall!|
Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Icing
Originally published October 2011.These moist and tender gluten-free cupcake beauties have just the right balance of pumpkin and sweetness, ginger and cinnamon. They're not too spicy. And they're dairy-free. Yay.
1 cup sorghum flour (or brown rice flour)
1 cup organic light brown sugar
3/4 cup potato starch or tapioca starch
1/2 cup organic cane sugar
1/4 cup almond flour or hazelnut flour
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup organic coconut oil
1 cup canned organic pumpkin
2 organic free-range eggs, beaten or egg replacer*
2 teaspoons Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Extract
For the icing:
2 cups powdered sugar, more if needed
1/4 cup chilled vegan cream cheese (or soft dairy cream cheese)
2-4 tablespoons pure maple syrup, as needed
Preheat oven to 350º F. Line a 12-muffin pan with cupcake liners.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: sorghum flour, light brown sugar, tapioca starch, white cane sugar, almond flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, sea salt, and nutmeg.
Add in the coconut oil by pieces, cutting in with a pastry cutter or your mixer's whisk/whip attachment, until the mixture is sandy. Add in the pumpkin, eggs, and vanilla, and beat on medium high for 1-2 minutes until the cake batter is smooth and stretchy.
Spoon the cake batter into the 12 cupcake liners and smooth out the tops.
Bake in the center of a pre-heated oven for 22 to 25 minutes or so, until the tops are firm but springy. Ovens vary widely, so watch these babies and check with a cake tester if you need to.
Cool in the pan only briefly, until the cupcakes are cool enough to handle. Then remove them from the baking pan and cool on a wire rack for one hour before frosting.
Meanwhile... make your icing.
|This cream cheese icing is dairy-free and vegan.|
Maple Cream Cheese IcingI used vegan cream cheese in this icing and it worked beautifully. It is less stiff than dairy cream cheese. If you are using dairy based cream cheese, I would suggest the whipped style.
Pour the powdered sugar into a clean mixing bowl and add the cream cheese. Start beating to combine the cream cheese and sugar. Add pure maple syrup a tablespoon at a time, just until the frosting is soft and smooth. I only needed 2 tablespoons.
Beat on medium-high for a minute or two until the frosting is glossy, fluffy and smooth. Cover and chill as the cupcakes cool.
Use a clean icing knife to frost the cupcakes.
Chill in the fridge briefly to set the frosting.
To store extras:
Top each chilled/set cupcake with a square of parchment paper, then wrap, bag and freeze.
Makes 12 cupcakes.
Recipe Source: glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com
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We enjoy our sugary treats in moderation, don't we? Gluten-Free Goddess advises consuming no more than 2 tablespoons of sugar a day.
To replace the eggs in cupcakes I have had excellent luck using Ener-G Egg Replacer; in this recipe, replace with 1/4 cup liquid equivalent.
See my vegan cupcake recipes here.
If you prefer a buttery frosting, replace the vegan cream cheese with a good tasting vegan butter, such as Organic Earth Balance, or use organic coconut oil. Add vanilla or maple extract.
To make this recipe nut-free replace the almond flour with a medium weight flour, such as sorghum, millet, or even buckwheat.
For more substitution help, please see my guide to baking with substitutions here.