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Spiced-Molasses Cupcakes with Maple-Cashew Frosting

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Spiced-Molasses Cupcakes
​with Maple-Cashew Frosting

Last weekend was a weekend of Christmas parties, (last minute) Christmas shopping, and of course… Christmas baking. Being the gluten-free & dairy-free human that I am, dessert is often the thing I skip out on at parties. Sadly, the sugar cookies, pumpkin pie, and chocolate-covered-pretzels are not down my alley. This year though, now that I have my own kitchen, I decided that I would make a point to bring a snack or dessert to each party – so I (and others with food allergies) could have something to eat with everyone else. 
​I settled on mini cupcakes for a few reasons. 1. most parties already had someone making pumpkin pie, pumpkin bars etc. 2. Cupcakes really are not that time consuming to make, but they are a bit more decadent than your average cookie. and 3. mini cupcakes are a perfect size – you can eat 5 and not feel quite as guilty about indulging, and the non gluten free eaters can get a taste of what you’re eating (and see how amazing it is) along with their plate of cookies (its less of a commitment than a cake or pie). 

Needless to say, these particular cupcakes were a hit. The “cake” part is perfectly spiced, and so moist (which is a huge plus for a gf dessert – most end up rather crumbly). And as weird as it sounds, that first ingredient is a vegetable! I did’t tell anyone that a sweet potato was a component of their cupcakes, and no one second-guessed it. While these cupcakes are quite tasty, the real star of the show here is the frosting. I could have easily eaten this stuff by the spoonful if I didn’t have a party to bring these too. The frosting is 100% dairy – free and is incredibly creamy. It was also thick and set up perfectly on each cupcake.

So here you are. The long awaited spiced-molasses cupcakes with maple-cashew frosting. Make these for your next holiday party (or non-holiday related party, or just for yourself), and wow your guests with these perfect, unique, and 100% gluten free cupcakes!

Cupcakes:
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into small cubes
2 cups gluten free flour blend (I used this brand)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 cup almond milk
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
2 eggs
2 Tbsp. freshly grated ginger
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup blackstrap molasses
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Maple-Cashew Frosting
1 cup raw cashews, soaked in very hot water for 30 minutes
2 Tbsp melted coconut oil
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 cup almond milk

  1. Preheat the oven to 375F. Line a mini muffin tin with paper liners or grease well and set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan cover the sliced potatoes with at least 1 inch of water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the potatoes are fork tender, about 15 minutes. Drain the potatoes and place them in a blender and blend until completely smooth and creamy. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl stir together the flour, baking powder, spices and salt. Set aside.
  4. In a smaller bowl whisk together the milk and apple cider vinegar. Let the mixture rest for 5 minutes (this will create a dairy-free buttermilk). Vigorously whisk in the eggs, grated ginger, maple syrup, molasses, oil, vanilla extract and sweet potato puree. Mix until everything is well combined. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl of the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Using a 1/8 cup measuring spoon, drop the mixture into the prepared mini muffin tin and bake in the oven until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the center of a muffin, about 15 minutes.
  5. While the muffins bake prepare the frosting. Drain the soaked cashews and place them in the bowl of a food processor with the remainder of the ingredients and process until smooth and creamy. 
  6. Let the muffins cool in the pan for 10 minutes before gently removing them to a wire rack to completely cool before adding the cashew cream.
  7. Leftover cashew cream will store in an airtight container in the fridge for 5 day. Store muffins at room temperature covered for 3-5 days.