Posts Tagged ‘ cupcakes ’

Gluten-Free, Allergy-Safe Cupcakes? Yes, please!

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

Allergy-Free CupcakeHas this ever happened to you? You see a recipe in a magazine, and the dish looks spectacular. You make it at home, and while the food tastes good it looks nowhere near as beautiful as it did in the photo.

It’s certainly happened to me (and I’m a food editor!). Here’s the truth: It’s not our fault. The food in Parents and other magazines looks amazing thanks to talented food stylists and photographers like Liza Jernow and Tara Donne. Liza is a food stylist extraordinaire. You can see some of her recent work for Parents on cookies and birthday cakes. Photographer Tara Donne recently shot our gorgeous Easter Lunch story.

Now these two are starting Wild Apple, a magazine devoted to gluten-free living. I recently chatted with them about the magazine, and they graciously shared a recipe for a scrumptious allergen-free cupcake.

This is a big undertaking! Why did you decide to publish a magazine?

Being gluten-free for a collective 13 years now, we’ve really seen the market for gluten-free goods change shape. We saw a hole in this expanding category and felt that with our experience in magazines and food we could offer readers something really special.

What will Wild Apple cover?

Wild Apple will share simple snack ideas, well-tested recipes for classics, and menus with which to entertain friends or easily create weeknight meals. It will also feature travel, city guides, profiles on interesting creative people, and roundups of beauty products—all, of course, gluten-free.

Learn how to stock an allergen-free pantry.

What’s your plan to get Wild Apple off the ground?

Our Kickstarter campaign launches today and our goal is to raise the funds required to launch our inaugural issue this fall. We then plan to develop relationships with brands we believe in to carry the magazine forward. Visit Wild Apple’s Kickstarter page.

What are your biggest challenges living gluten-free?

Eating in restaurants and finding on-the-go snacks. When eating out, we make sure our servers know our limitations and that cross-contamination is an issue, especially with deep fryers.

Regarding snacks, it’s always good to keep a bag of almonds – or another nut your kids like – in your purse. We also like to pick up extra in-season fruit at the farmer’s market to have on hand at home. On road trips we stop at grocery stores whenever possible as opposed to fast food options. Here we might pick up snack packs of almond butter, carrots and hummus, or a yogurt. The key with the latter two is to check the ingredient list or look for a “GF” symbol.

What are a few tips for families with kids who are making the switch to gluten-free foods?

Our biggest tip is to become vigilant about reading ingredient lists. Forming this habit is a game changer. Gluten is a protein found in grains such as wheat, barley, farro, kamut, oats, rye, and spelt. In addition to these grains, gluten is sometimes used to make other foods like soy sauce, some vinegars, malt, seitan, salad dressings, and more. Other foods to look out for include crackers, bread, pasta, cream sauces and soups, candy bars, cookies, flavored potato chips and rice mixes. It is also often added to cosmetics, hair creams, and lipsticks.

Focusing on naturally gluten-free foods is also a good way to save money instead of paying big bucks for processed gluten-replacement foods. A homemade meal like roasted chicken, potatoes, and vegetables is already gluten-free and your family will not wonder where the gluten went. This way everyone can enjoy the same meal, which will save you time.

Many kids’ breakfasts, for example, have gluten in them — any quick ideas for moms?

There are lots of options. A few of our favorites are gluten-free oatmeal, quinoa porridge, cream of rice cereal, breakfast taco with egg and corn tortilla, corn tortilla quesadilla, or apple wedges with nut butter.

Tell us about this cupcake recipe.

In a group of children there will always be someone with an allergy so we think it’s easier to just avoid the major players and go straight to something everyone can enjoy. So this recipe is as allergen-free as it gets; there’s no milk, eggs, tree nuts, peanuts, soybeans, or wheat. When baking for others with allergies make sure you’re careful with cross-contamination. Use a fresh sponge and clean everything you’ll be using thoroughly before you start.

Gluten-Free CupcakesChocolate Chip Allergen-Free Cupcakes

(From Wild Apple Magazine)

Makes 2 dozen

These cupcakes have a great flavor and theyre speckled with chocolate chips.  They also happen to avoid some of the most common food allergens: tree nuts, egg, lactose, and gluten. Gluten-free baked goods store well in the freezer. If they are made ahead, freeze them unfrosted and tightly wrapped for up to 1 week. Bring to room temperature and frost them just before serving. Use organic ingredients to enhance the flavor.

When cooking for people who have very sensitive food allergies, avoid buying ingredients that are processed in a facility that manufactures other products containing soy, milk, eggs, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, and shellfish.

• 2 tablespoons freshly ground golden flax meal

• 1 teaspoon psyllium husk powder (found online or in natural foods stores)

• 2 1/2 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour mix (that does not contain guar or xanthan gums)

• 2 teaspoons baking powder

• 2 teaspoons baking soda

• 1/2 teaspoon salt

• 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

• 1/2 cup extra-virgin coconut oil

• 1 1/3 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar

• ½ cup vegetable oil

• 1 1/4 cups rice or soy milk

• 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

• 1/3 cup mini bittersweet chocolate chips

In a medium bowl, whisk together first seven ingredients, set aside. With an electric mixer beat the coconut oil, brown sugar, and vegetable oil together until fluffy, about 3 minutes on high.  Add the milk, vanilla and dry ingredients. Beat for 3 minutes on high speed until well-combined.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Let the batter sit until the oven is hot, about 20 minutes, to allow the flax to thicken the batter. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with paper liners. Fill the cups 2/3 full and add a pinch of chocolate chips to the top of each cupcake. Bake for 35 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking. The cupcakes are done when a toothpick inserted in their center comes out clean. Let cupcakes cool completely before removing from pan.

Chocolate-y Coconut Frosting

Enough to frost 2 dozen cupcakes

When you refrigerate a can of coconut milk, the coconut water separates to the bottom and the cream rises to the top. Refrigerate a can of coconut milk overnight.

• 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips

• 1 cup cream from the top of a can of unsweetened coconut milk

• 1/4 cup extra-virgin coconut oil

• 1/4 cup vegetable shortening

• Pinch fine sea salt

• 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Heat the chocolate with half the coconut cream until melted. Let it cool to room temperature. With an electric mixer beat the remaining coconut oil and vegetable shortening together. Beat in the chocolate mixture. Add the salt and vanilla. Place the bowl in freezer for 10 minutes, until it begins to set up. Continue beating on high until light and fluffy.

Interview has been edited and condensed.

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Food Allergies: Helping Your Child Cope
Food Allergies: Helping Your Child Cope
Food Allergies: Helping Your Child Cope

Photos by Tara Donne; food styling and recipe by Liza Jernow

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A Yummy Cupcake Contest

Monday, October 8th, 2012

Calling all bakers! Dream up your own cupcake creation for a chance to win drool-worthy goodies including a high-end stand mixer. Visit Reynolds Wrap on Facebook to design your own cupcake liner, and pair it with the virtual cake and icing of your choice. (And next time you’re in the kitchen, try the foil-lined StayBrite Baking Cups, which help prevent your batter from seeping out into a goopy mess.)

Submit your masterpiece by October 19, 2012, then check back on October 22 to vote for your fave. The winner will be selected by cupcake wizards Karen Tack and Alan Richardson, authors of the book Cupcakes, Cookies & Pie, Oh, My! (This duo really can make baking magic–just check out the wild cake Karen designed for our zoo-themed birthday bash.) Good luck!

Image: Many cupcakes via Shutterstock

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Star Wars Sweets

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

The creative force is strong with Tammy Bertrand. She hosted an out-of-this-world Star Wars birthday for her six-year-old son, Joey. The Jedis-in-training earned light sabers by playing games, such as docking Darth Vader with a water balloon. Defeating the Empire works up an appetite, and the party guests loved to refuel with Tammy’s homemade Yoda cupcakes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tammy shared her tips for making her yummy Yoda. Whip up a batch of your favorite cupcakes, then follow our instructions to make the face.

Here’s how:

Ingredients:

  1. Candy eyeballs (find them in the baking section)
  2. Wrigley’s Spearmint Gum
  3. Frosting
  4. Food Coloring

Make it:

  1. Add a few drops of green food coloring to vanilla frosting. Mix until even.
  2. Once cupcakes are cooled, frost with green frosting using a knife or spatula.
  3. Fill a pastry bag or Ziploc with green frosting and make two round dots where the eyes will go. Add a wriggly line above the eyes for character, and below the eyes for the mouth.
  4. Press eyeballs onto small rounds of frosting so that frosting comes up around the edges.
  5. Cut gum pieces in half and snip one corner from each to create a point. Stick to the sides of the cupcakes.
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Can’t Stop Thinking About Cupcakes

Monday, October 3rd, 2011

I’m finding it hard to focus at the moment. Not just because it’s Monday morning but because I’ve just spent some time on Nicole Friday’s site, The Cupcake Craze, and all I can think right now is Must…have…chocolate souffle cupcake…)

Like me, Nicole is a mom of two children, ages 6 and 3, who lives in New Jersey. (Those are her boys, Ellis and Edison, at right.) But unlike me, she’s a fabulous baker with her own catering business–just check out the slideshow of scrumptious desserts she’s created. I asked her to share some of her best baking-with-kids tips, and she happily obliged:

1. What’s a home-run flavor combo for kids?

Oreo Cookies & Cream is definitely a hit!  Anything chocolate works with kids, especially a supersize cupcake—chocolate cake with cookies & cream frosting and topped with an Oreo cookie. Simply irresistible!

2. How old were your boys when you started baking with them?

Ellis was 2 (he’s now 3 ½) ; Edison was 3 (now 6).

3. Any fun kitchen missteps you can share?

Oh yeah. Edison added a bowl of eggs–including the shells–to the batter and turned on the mixer. There was no picking out those shells—another batch into the garbage!  Another time, I had cupcakes for an event resting on the counter and Ellis, who was 2 at the time, stuck his fingers in all the cupcakes. (Luckily I made it to the event with  a new batch of “hole-less” cupcakes.)

4. What’s the best task for little ones brand-new to the kitchen?

The key is to start off small,  doing pretty much anything that doesn’t involve fire or hot or sharp things. So you can try beating eggs, adding and mixing pre-measured ingredients, licking the bowls clean. That’s a popular one.

5. Do you have favorite gadgets for kids?

Use a mini ice-cream scooper to fill the liners and a plastic spoon to spread the frosting (though fingers work too!). The picture above shows my boys doing just that.

6. Is there any such thing as a “healthy cupcake” that kids will love?

Yes. It’s all about the ingredients and the size:  I choose mini-cupcakes and sneak veggies and “good stuff” into my cupcakes all the time, especially when my kids are on a veggie strike.  Some ideas and healthier choices include:  applesauce, carrots, sweet potatoes, zucchini, raisins, cranberries, apples, blueberries, strawberries, bananas.  Instead of butter, use canola oil; opt for white-whole wheat flour or whole-wheat flour; use non-fat ingredients such as sour cream, buttermilk, and cream cheese. You can even skip the frosting and dust with powdered sugar.

7.  Care to share a recipe?

Here you go!

Candied-Yamberry Cupcakes by Nicole Friday

Yield: 24 mini cupcakes

Ingredients:

1 pound (2 medium) sweet potatoes

1 cup whole-wheat flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon coarse salt

1 teaspoons ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

¾ cup canola oil

¼ cup sugar

2 large eggs, room temperature

½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

¼ cup applesauce

¼ cup dried cranberries

½ teaspoon orange zest

Preparation:

  1. Boil sweet potatoes over medium-high heat until the center is soft and the skin begins to peel.  Remove from water, set aside and let cool.  When cool enough to handle, scrape skin from the potatoes and mash until smooth.
  2. Preheat oven 350°F.  Line muffin pans with paper liners.  Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices.  Set aside.
  3. With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat together oil, sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, applesauce and sweet potatoes.  Reduce speed: add flour mixture.  Stir in cranberries by hand, until combined.
  4. Divide batter evenly among lined cups filling three-quarters full.  Bake approximately 25-30 minutes, rotating pans halfway through and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Transfer pans to rack or counter to cool before removing cupcakes.
  5. To finish, top cupcakes with mini-marshmallows mounds.  Using a small kitchen torch, brown marshmallows all over and enjoy!

(Note from Nicole: If you don’t have a torch, use the broiler. Works magically–just keep a close watch, otherwise you’ll have super-toasted marshmallows. Or take the no-frosting route and just dust the cupcakes with powdered sugar. Still yummy!)

 

 

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Guilt-Free Cupcakes

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

Need a do-good activity for the week? Here’s a sweet idea: Decorate and send virtual cupcakes to friends and family to help raise money for CancerCare for Kids, an organization that provides free counseling, support and financial assistance for families dealing with a cancer diagnosis. Your tot will get a kick out of decorating the mess-free e-cupcake with sprinkles, piping and other goodies, but we can’t promise you won’t become addicted to playing with the faux frostings either. But it’s not all just fun and games– haircare product company got2b will donate $1 to CancerCare for each cupcake sent in September, up to $10,000… so get decorating!

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Last Chance to Enter Your Cutest Cupcakes!

Wednesday, December 16th, 2009

cupcakeCalling all budding bakers out there, just a quick reminder that it’s not too late to enter the Parents cupcake contest on mixingbowl.com, which ends Dec. 30th. Share your cutest cupcake recipes and photo with us and compete for a chance to win $250 (and some seriously sweet bragging rights!). For a little inspiration, check out the November issue of Parents to see what delightful delicacies we cooked up ourselves. Then get cooking!

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The Cupcake Craze Continues!

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009

101464248 We know you have awesome cupcake recipes. Why not share them with us on Mixing Bowl? Log on from now through Dec. 30 and enter for a chance to win our Parents Magazine Kids' Cupcake Contest (and the $250 prize money)!
Share the cutest, most scrumptious cupcake recipe you've created by entering the original recipe and photo, or log on just to vote for your favorite. Click here for full contest rules and details.
Need a little inspiration? Check out our November issue to see some super fun ideas, like our 'Monkey Around' creations at right.

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Cupcake Wearing

Thursday, September 4th, 2008

Onesie_cupcake_group_shot You know how much we love cupcakes. Well, prepare yourself. Amazingly, cupcakes and onesies have united to form the absurdly cute Cupcake Onesie. You can get them from Baby Bunch, a company that started out delivering baby clothes disguised as bouquets. They’ll expertly bundle up onesies to look like yummy pastries in the color of your choice and send them in a bakery-style box. A bonus: inspiration for a DIY project, anyone?

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