A few weeks ago, my youngest son invited a friend over after school and I wanted to make something extra special for them as an afternoon treat. I don’t bake very often, but when Fall comes around, I love making pumpkin bread and muffins.
Recently, one of my friends made a Pumpkin Cake with Maple Frosting for my birthday. I loved the combination of pumpkin and maple, so fall-like. So, when I spotted some cute Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Frosting on my friend Kate’s Diethood blog, I knew I needed to try making a gluten-free version for my kids.
I’m always looking for ways to make treats a bit healthier, so in the case of these pumpkin cupcakes, I used a mixture of gluten-free flours — almond flour and sweet sorghum flour (a whole grain flour) — in place of regular all-purpose flour. I also reduced the amount of oil in the recipe by swapping in applesauce for half the oil. This is a great trick that I use in quick breads all the time. Although the middles didn’t rise as much as regular cupcakes, no one will notice once they’re frosted.
I thought about making a healthier frosting using Greek yogurt, but decided against it because I didn’t think the yogurt would hold up. So, I indulged the kids with Maple Frosting on top, using low-fat cream cheese in place of full-fat cream cheese (I used 2 teaspoons maple syrup for extra maple flavor) to lighten up the frosting a bit. The kids were thrilled to have a sweet treat, and I felt good that these pumpkin cupcakes were actually on the healthier side. I managed to keep a few for my girlfriend and her family (the one had made my pumpkin birthday cake). They loved these gluten-free pumpkin cupcakes, and couldn’t believe they were actually on the healthier side.
I just participated in a Google+ Hangout on Sorghum. Check out this video to learn more about cooking with sorghum.