Kids In The Kitchen: Vanilla and Chocolate Cupcakes

We were late in our planning for Kids in the Kitchen this weekend. Usually, we know in advance what we’re going to make. However, Brittany was unsure the last time we spoke – she wanted to think about it. So when I picked her up yesterday afternoon, I asked her. “No idea,” she said. But after a minute, she’d already decided on dessert – cake, specifically. What kind of cake? Chocolate? Vanilla? (She’s not much for complicated flavors.) Cupcakes? “Cupcakes!” she said. And almost simultaneously, we knew exactly which cupcakes to make.

You see, these cupcakes have made their appearance in our kitchen several times before. Back in May, I hosted a baby shower for my sister (She had identical twin girls, Zoe and Charlotte, on July 6). We needed gluten-free cupcakes that would be baby shower worthy, so I performed a few trial runs before the big day. Brittany was a taste tester during those runs, and had her fair share the day of the baby shower. I don’t blame her – these cupcakes were tasty. Tasty enough to fool even gluten-lovers. They don’t taste gluten-free.

Today, we went one step further. We made them dairy-free as well. Even the buttercream frosting. Of course, this isn’t to say that they’ve become health food – they’re still sugary and made with starchier, whiter flours. So they’re still a treat. Just a treat that won’t make those of us with gluten and dairy issues sick!

Of course, all of this doesn’t matter so much to Brittany. What she is most concerned with is how they taste. And they taste like cupcakes – sweet, simple, and loved by kids and adults alike.

Vanilla and Chocolate Cupcakes, adapted from The Baking Beauties

Makes 1 dozen cupcakes, half vanilla, half chocolate

2 eggs

1/3 c coconut milk

1 t vanilla extract

1/4 t almond extract

6 T virgin coconut oil

1/2 c sweet white rice flour

1/3 c plus 1 T tapioca starch

1/3 c potato starch

1/4 t xanthan gum

3/4 c granulated sugar

1/2 t salt

1 1/2 t baking powder

 1 1/2 T cocoa powder

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin with cupcake papers. In a small bowl, whisk together eggs, coconut milk, extracts, and coconut oil. (warm the coconut oil slightly, if it’s solid, by microwaving for 10 seconds in the microwave.) In a large bowl, combine the sweet white rice flour, tapioca starch, potato starch, xanthan gum, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Mix together the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until combined. Spoon batter into 6 of the cupcake papers, filling half-full. Mix in the cocoa powder into the remaining batter, and spoon remaining batter into remaining 6 cupcake papers.

Bake for 16-18 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, and then remove cupcakes from pan and allow to come to room temperature on a wire rack.

When cool, frost as desired.

Vanilla and Chocolate “Buttercream” Frosting

1/2 c Earth Balance buttery spread (soy-free)

4 c powdered sugar

1/4 c coconut milk

1 t vanilla extract

1/4 t almond extract

1 T cocoa powder

In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, add the buttery spread, 2 cups of the powdered sugar, the coconut milk, and the extracts. Turn the mixer on medium speed and beat for 2 minutes, scraping down the sides, until well-blended. Add the rest of the powdered sugar in batches, whisking in each addition, until the frosting is stiff enough to hold its shape.

Frost some of the cupcakes with the vanilla frosting as desired (we frosted the chocolate cupcakes with the vanilla frosting). Add the cocoa powder to the remaining frosting, and whisk in until well-blended. Frost remaining cupcakes with chocolate frosting.


  1. says

    HOW did you know I have just been CRAVING cupcakes today?? Hmm? That is SO not fair! I want one!!! Actually I’ll take one of both okay? Thank you very much! Lovely picture and I love that you cook so often with your kids! :-)

  2. says

    Oh, how fantastic, Alta and Brittany! I have all the ingredients for the cupcakes themselves. Gosh, wishing I could squeeze in some more time before tomorrow night’s support group meeting to make these. No Earth Balance at our local store, so I think I’ll just use my dairy-free whipped cream as frosting, like Diane did on her cake recently. Anyway, wonderful cupcakes and thanks so much for sharing!


  3. says

    Cupcakes…yum yumm I love cuppies with frosting ! It is sinfully rich yet I indulged in them…can’t resist them :) Thanks for sharing your recipe :)


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