Gluten-free Red Velvet Cupcakes

red-velvet-cupcakes2These amazing cupcakes are a worthy addition to your kitchen, with a silky smooth crumb and great flavor. Unlike many gluten-free baked goods, they also stay fresh for several days. If they sit longer than that, you can restore the freshly baked texture by microwaving them for 10 to 15 seconds.

Strangely enough, most of the recipes out there seem to be competing for how red they can make the cupcakes, with some recipes calling for an entire bottle of red food coloring. It seems to me that a bottle (or even a tablespoon) of red food coloring can’t possible be good for anyone, regardless of allergies or food intolerances. I reduced the food coloring to 1 teaspoon (5 ml), which produces an attractive reddish-brown cake. If you prefer, try it with no food coloring. It won’t be the classic color, but it does produce a light chocolate color with the same flavor and texture as the original.

Speaking of chocolate, the verdict is still out on how much can safely be tolerated by fructose malabsorbers. The small amount in this recipe should not cause a problem for anyone, as each cupcake has a 1/4 teaspoon (1.25 ml) of cocoa powder, truly an insignificant amount. Remember, moderation is the key to success on this diet.

Cocoa powder tested moderately high in FODMAPs at the Monash University lab, which means food containing higher amounts of cocoa powder could potentially cause a problem for some people.  Here’s a link to what dietician Patsy Catsos has to say on the topic:  http://www.ibsfree.net/ibsfree_at_last/2013/06/cocoa-powder-moderately-high-in-fodmaps-what-about-chocolate.html. Here’s a link to the update page on the Monash University website, with the most recent information on hot beverages, including hot chocolate:  http://www.med.monash.edu/cecs/gastro/research/updates.html.

Gluten-free Red Velvet Cupcakes

Makes 24 regular size cupcakes

Dry ingredients:

165 grams (1 cup + 2 tablespoons or 270 ml) superfine brown rice flour
300 grams (1 1/2 cups or 480 ml) sugar
55 grams (1/3 cup or 80 ml) potato starch
30 grams (1/4 cup or 60 ml) tapioca starch
2 tablespoons (30 ml) cocoa powder
2 teaspoons (10 ml) psyllium husks
1 teaspoon (5 ml) baking soda
1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt

Wet ingredients:

1 cup (360 ml) lactose-free or regular whole milk, room temperature
1 cup (360 ml) vegetable oil
2 eggs, room temperature
2 tablespoons (30 ml) white distilled vinegar
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
1 teaspoon (5 ml) red food coloring

Heat the oven to 375º (190º C). Line 2 muffin pans with 24 paper liners.  Put the dry ingredients into a large bowl and whisk together.  Put the liquid ingredients into a medium bowl and mix on low with an electric mixer. The milk will thicken as it sours. Pour the liquid into the dry ingredients and mix on low speed until the mixture is mostly combined.. Scrape down the beaters and sides of the bowl. Continue mixing on medium-high for 3 minutes.. Don’t skip this step- the psyllium has to hydrate for proper texture. The batter will be on the thin side, but don’t add any flour- it will bake perfectly.

Divide the batter evenly between the muffin cups. They will be about half full. Bake on the center of the oven for 15 to 18 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick comes out clean after inserting it in the middle of one of the cupcakes. Cool in the pans for at least 5 minutes before removing the cupcakes. Place them on a wire rack and let cool completely before icing them with your favorite frosting. They also taste delicious with a dusting of powdered (confectioner’s) sugar.