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Root Beer Cupcakes Trial: Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Nut-free

May 18, 2012

May is Celiac Disease Awareness Month. Although Joseph does not have Celiac Disease, we have really benefitted from the awareness of this disease that has come up recently. This year, the American Celiac Disease Alliance is hosting a Cupcakes for a Cause event where they invite those who have been gluten-free to post a picture of gluten-free cupcakes, the number of which is equal to the number of years you have been gluten-free. So, I took the opportunity to try out adapting these Root Beer Cupcakes from Taste of Home to be gluten-free.

The Changes

I subbed GF all purpose flour 1:1 for the regular flour, and added 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum per cup of flour. Instead of using butter, I used canola oil. And instead of whipped topping, I used canned coconut milk, which I’ve seen many other people whip into frosting. And since I couldn’t find the root beer candies, I decided to go without.

The Method

In a large mixing bowl, cream together oil, sugar, and eggs.

In another large bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Add them to the sugar mixture a little bit at a time, alternating with the root beer. Beat well after each addition. I found that it seems especially thin after adding the root beer, but it would thicken up after a minute of beating.

Spoon into paper-lined muffin cups. The recipe said it only made a dozen, but I think next time, I would make at least 18.

Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove to wire rack to cool completely. To make frosting, stick a can of full-fat coconut milk in the fridge overnight. Discard the liquid, and whip the solid milk with enough powdered sugar to taste. Frost immediately before serving, as this frosting melts quickly.

Root Beer Cupcakes

Adapted from Taste of Home

Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Nut-free


  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups King Arthur Gluten-Free Multipurpose Flour*
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground all spice
  • 1 cup root beer
  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar

In a large bowl, cream oil, sugar, and eggs together. In another bowl, combine multipurpose flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and allspice. Add to the sugar mixture a little at a time, alternating with root beer, beating well after each addition. Beat until batter starts to thicken.

Fill paper-lined muffin cups 3/4 full, then bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing the cupcakes to a cooling rack.

For frosting, put the can of coconut milk in the fridge overnight. Discard the liquid, then beat the remaining solid with powdered sugar. Frost immediately before serving.

*To make your own flour mix, follow these instructions from King Arthur: Whisk together 6 cups (32 ounces) King Arthur stabilized brown rice flour; 2 cups (10 3/4 ounces) potato starch; and 1 cup (4 ounces) tapioca flour or tapioca starch. Store airtight at room temperature.

cover copy copy


This recipe is featured in my cookbook The Best of the Rice of Life: Over 70 Gluten-free, Dairy-free, and Nut-free Recipes available now in print (Amazon, Create Space) and e-book (Kindle, iBooks, nook, Kobo and Smashwords).



What I Thought

The reviews of the original recipe said that these cupcakes tasted less like root beer and more like spice cake. When we tried the cupcakes, though, we could definitely taste a hint of root beer. I’m not sure if that’s because of the relative transparent taste of gluten-free flour. I found I liked the cupcakes better without the frosting. The coconut flavor just didn’t complement it that well. Joseph and his sister only ate half a cupcake when they tried them the first time. Afterwards, though, Joseph wanted them for breakfast. My husband enjoyed it too.

Shared at Gluten-Free Wednesdays, Allergy-free Wednesdays, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, and Made from Scratch Monday

15 Comments leave one →
  1. May 23, 2012 4:05 am

    That looks good! Might have to give them a try.

  2. May 28, 2012 11:30 am

    These cupcakes look absolutely scrumptious! Thank you so much for sharing your recipe on Allergy-Free Wednesdays!

  3. May 29, 2012 10:09 am

    Ooooh yummy! I’m going to give this a try but substitute Tofu for the eggs (egg allergy :p) Please do feel free to link in to our recipe hop that is a weekly event open from 7pm Sunday until midnight Wed. []
    Thank you so much for sharing. I believe this will become a family favorite!

  4. May 30, 2012 4:51 am

    Congratulations, Annaliese, on being a reader favorite from last week’s Allergy-Free Wednesdays! As part of your feature, you are showcased on each hostesses website, mentioned on our Facebook pages, & pinned on pinterest. I can’t wait to see what you have in store for us this week!


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