These cupcakes are a new favorite. In the words of The Moosewood Cookbook: “Carob is carob. Chocolate is chocolate…Let carob be itself — its genuine, sweet, subtle self. You will discover it to have a charm and character of its own.” Since Moosewood has been in my family for years — given to me by my mom, pages curdled and stained from from spills, others stuck together — I trust that Moosewood is probably right. Carob deserves to stand on its own as a worthy ingredient, and not just as a chocolate substitute. Personally, I love it. And I love chocolate as well. But since this is a site for people with food allergies, if you can’t have chocolate, these are an indulgence worthy of taking the chocolate cupcake’s place — even if carob is carob, and chocolate is chocolate.
A quick note on coconut cream (used in the frosting): You can find it in the baking aisle of health food stores (I bought mine at Whole Foods), usually next to the shredded coconut. It’s kind of like natural peanut butter in the sense that, at room temperature, the solid separates from the liquid. When it’s cold, it completely hardens. I suggest warming the package in a bowl of warm water before using, if the cream is completely solid. When using in this recipe, you want to use, for the most part, the solid part of the coconut cream. This is what will allow the frosting to harden and form a nice glaze over the cupcakes.
Yield: 12 cupcakes
Gluten Free Vegan Carob Cupcakes:
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup garbanzo bean flour
1/4 cup tapioca flour
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon carob powder (not sweetened)
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup light coconut milk
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon agave nectar
1/4 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 banana, mashed
Sugar Free, Dairy Free Carob Frosting:
1/2 cup light coconut milk
1/3 cup agave nectar
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon coconut cream (the solid part)
1/4 cup carob powder (not sweetened)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1. Prepare frosting at least an hour or two before using so that frosting can chill and harden. To prepare, blend all ingredients in a blender. Cover and chill in refrigerator.
2. Preheat oven to 325.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. Set aside. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat coconut milk, agave, canola oil, vanilla and banana on high. Slowly add dry ingredients and mix on a low speed until incorporated.
4. Fill cupcake tins with liners and add batter a little more than 3/4 of the way to the top of each liner. Bake for 12 minutes, rotate cupcake tin 180 degrees, and bake for another ten minutes. Cupcakes may be a little soft to the touch when you take them out, but they will harden a little more as they cool. Allow to cool five minutes in tins, then on a rack. When cupcakes have completely cooled, frost using about a tablespoon of frosting at first. Add more as needed and spread evenly over the top of the cupcake. This is not a fluffly frosting, but more of a glaze.