Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Healthy Makeover: Gluten Free Vegan Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

I love cupcakes.

And there are certainly times when I just need a sugary treat, like my Coconut Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting. 

There are other times when I want a lightened up version like my Strawberry Coconut or my Cinnamon Raisin Cupcakes.

Then there are times when I want something in between:  Enter the carrot cupcake.

This, my friends, is a gluten-free vegan cupcake that tastes just like the moist carrot cake you remember from your youth.

I actually took this recipe from my Coconut Carrot Cake and made a few modifications.  My original version is pretty darn healthy, but I wanted to see if I could make a gluten-free vegan version that tasted just as good.

I succeeded.

These cupcakes are moist, dense and the frosting...well, it is just icing on the cake ;)

Pineapple Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing
(Makes 12 Cupcakes)

1 1/2 cups grated carrot
1 cup oat flour
1/2 cup oat bran
1/2 cup chickpea flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 tbsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 1/2 cups crushed pineapple
1/4 cup sugar
2 flax eggs
1/2 cup coconut
1/2 cup raisins

1/4 cup vegan margarine (I used Becel)
1/4 cup icing sugar
1/4 cup vegan cream cheese (I used Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese)
1 tsp vanilla

Prepare your flax eggs and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line cupcake pan.

Combine carrots, oat flour, oat bran, chickpea flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon.

In a separate bowl mix pineapple, sugar and flax eggs.  Add dry mixture to wet and mix until just combined.  Add coconut and raisins.

Divide batter evenly into cupcake tins (about 3 tbsp in each) and bake for 20-25 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.  Allow to cool for 10 minutes.

To prepare the icing, cream together margarine, icing sugar, cream cheese and vanilla.

Drizzle icing over cooled cupcakes and devour with pleasure.

OK, I know what you are thinking. "But Tracy, these cupcakes have more calories and fat than your Coconut Carrot Cake."  Well, you would be correct.

However, these cupcakes are still under 200 calories a serving and the protein and fibre numbers are very impressive.

I did mentioned that I wanted something "in between" uber healthy and sheer decadence.  I think these cupcakes fit that bill quite nicely.

Just for comparison, check out the stats on the original recipe from which I adapted the Coconut Carrot Cake.

I can safely say that this gluten-free vegan version is definitely an improvement.  Wouldn't you agree?

Care to share your favourite carrot cake recipe?

Stay Healthy,

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