I'm trying to use less refined sugars in my cooking...it's going to be a slow process, but I feel better when I'm not eating white sugar, so we are going to definitely transition away from the white sugar. This recipe is free of refined sugars. It was easy to convert the cake to being refined sugar-free, but when the time came to make frosting, I had no idea where to start. So, originally, I said to heck with it I'll make my usual buttercream frosting, with a little pumpkin spice added, which are the pictures of cupcakes with the white frosting.
But, it was still bugging me that I didn't know how to make a frosting without powdered white sugar...I finally came up with this one, and it's good!
By the way, isn't this cutting board the cupcake are on fantastic? I got it at our farmer's market on Saturday as an early birthday present to myself. :)
1/2 cup applesauce
3/4 cup canola oil
1 cup coconut sugar*
1/2 cup agave nectar*
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups gluten-free flour blend
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
3 large carrots, grated (about 3 cups)
1 cup chopped pecans, optional
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease two 9 inch round cake pans or line muffin tins with liners and set aside.
In a large bowl, beat together eggs, oil, coconut sugar, agave, and vanilla. In a separate bowl combine the flour blend, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ones and mix well. Stir in carrots, then fold in the pecans. Pour into prepared pan or scoop into muffin cups.
Bake at 350F for ~30 minutes for 9" cakes or ~20 minutes for cupcakes, or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
Let the cakes cool for a few minutes in the pan then turn them out onto a wire rack and cool completely.
*You could use 2 cups of white sugar in the place of the coconut sugar and agave nectar.
Coconut Butter Frosting
3 tablespoons gluten-free flour blend
1/2 cup non-dairy milk (like So Delicious Coconut Milk)
1/4 cup coconut butter**
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Whisk together flour blend and milk in a small saucepan, and heat over medium heat, stirring continously, until it starts to thicken. Cook the mixture until it have the consistency of a thick pudding or paste.
Put the mixture in the fridge and let it cool completely...it can be cold for the next step.
Using a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, mix together the coconut butter, coconut oil, and sugar until combined well, about 1-2 minutes. Then while beating, add in the thickened milk mixture and the vanilla. Beat for 7-8 minutes, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture resembling frosting.
**To make coconut butter, place unsweetened shredded coconut in a blender and blend until it turns into a butter.