Sunday, February 28, 2010

Gluten free carrot cupcakes for a gluten free picnic

Friday night was a gluten free potluck picnic (Steph has blogged here) which was originally cheese themed so I decided to make my food gluten free & cheesy.  For my savoury food I changed my mind heaps of times when trying to decide what to make but right from the start I thought that for my sweet food I wanted to make gluten free carrot cupcakes with a cream cheese frosting.

The first batch of cupcakes I made were these from A Gluten Free Day.  I made them earlier in the week before the picnic planning to freeze them since I like to be organised.  When they were freshly baked they were beautifully light & fluffy but because they don't actually have grated carrot in them (which I didn't realise until I started making them) they were not what I wanted.  So I left them for us to eat but they were incredibly stale by the next day.

So it was the night before the picnic & I started worrying about how I was going to have time to prepare anything, especially given that Thursday nights are a struggle for me because I go to prenatal pilates in the evening.  But for some reason I managed to have an amazingly productive thursday the day before the picnic - worked a completely hectic 10 hour day, did 2 days worth of dishes, got dinner ready & made a new batch of cupcakes all before I went to pilates. I was hoping that these cupcakes would work because I really did not want to be making a second batch later that evening & luckily they did!  These were really nice - full of chunky bits due to the walnuts & raisins & really tasty.  Unfortunately they had started to go a bit stale by the next night but apparently that is just the way it seems to be with gluten free baking.  I based these cakes on a recipe from recipezaar which is apparetly from Gluten Free Goddess but I did change quite a few things so my recipe is below.


Carrot Cupcakes

  • Orgran egg replacer equivalent to 3 eggs)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup apple sauce
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 cups orgran self raising gluten free flour
  • 3/4 cup dessicated coconut
  • 1 1/2 cups carrots, shredded (about 4)
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup walnuts


  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees
  2. Prepare cupcake liners or grease a muffin tray
  3. In a mixing bowl, beat the egg replacer & oil and beat; add the brown sugar and beat until smooth.
  4. Beat in the apple sauce, vanilla, cinnamon and spice.
  5. Add in the flour and beat until combined. (The batter should be a bit thicker than wheat flour batter.).
  6. Add in the coconut, carrots, raisins, and nuts; stir with a wooden spoon to combine.
  7. Put the batter evenly in the cupcake liners or muffin tray and place the pan in the center of a pre-heated oven.
  8. Bake until the cakes are firm, and a wooden pick inserted into the center emerges clean, about 15-20 minutes (or longer if necessary).
  9. Cool on a wire rack and frost with cream cheese icing.
  10. For cream cheese icing, beat tofutti cream cheese with icing sugar

Monday, February 15, 2010

Gluten free sponge cake - CNYE potluck

When I was invited to Steph's place for a CNYE potluck I immediately panicked because I don't really make much in the way of Chinese food.  I decided that for my dessert I would make mango pudding.  My best friend's sister owns a Chinese restaurant & when I used to go there when I was omni she would always give me delicious mango pudding so I got her recipe & gave it a go.  The first time I made it I used gelatine free mango jelly in it & it was absolutely disgusting.  So I gave it another go using agar agar & while it was better it still wasn't super tasty. 

Then I threw a bit of a tantrum (because none of my savoury food was working either) & decided that I would just make a cake.  In a nod to CNY, I decided to include lychees so I made a sponge filled with lychees, strawberries & soyatoo.  I wanted all my food to be gluten free so everyone could eat it & found a recipe from a blog called Cooking with Dia which looked really easy & didn't have 4 different types of gluten free flour.  This recipe is super easy & turned out really well - my only problem was that it didn't make nearly enough to make 2 cakes & I actually had to make a second cake for the other layer.  

115gm vegan spread (I used nuttelex)
115gm gluten free self raising flour (I used the orgran brand)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 egg replacers (read back of box for instructions)

115 gm unrefined caster sugar
icing sugar

Cream the vegan spread, extract and caster sugar together.
Slowly add in the egg replacers and mix in with the vegan spread and sugar.
Meanwhile sift the flour twice and slowly fold into the mixture.
Stir together until nice and creamy.
Split the batter evenly between to 6″ sandwich tins.
Bake at 180°C (356°F) for 20 minutes.
Turn out on cooling rack.

I actually broke the top layer when I was taking it out of the tin which is why there is a massive crack in the top of the cake - oops!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Grigons & Orr

My best friend has just moved back from a 6 year stint in Perth & we used to always do breakfast together.  I don't often go out for breakfast, but now that he is back I think it will become a much more regular thing.  I had a couple of places that I wanted to check out for brekky & one was Grigons & Orr, especially after reading Steph's review.  I have been wanting to go there for ages & it is only an 8 minute walk from my work so can definitely see myself going there fairly regularly from now on because my breakfast was delicious!

I had the pan fried tofu with mushrooms & spinach.  I have no idea what spices the tofu was coated in but it was delicious!!  It was also not a super heavy breakfast which I liked.  I also ordered a nectarine iced tea which was filled with diced fresh nectarine & mint & was also really good.  I think they do all day breakfasts so that sounds perfect to me for a workday lunch!

Grigons & Orr
Cnr Chetwynd & Queensberry Streets
North Melbourne