Gluten Free Coconut-Pecan Carrot Cupcakes

mhoGluten free, RecipesLeave a Comment


This remedy is based on a recipe from Three Bowls: Vegetarian Recipes from an American Zen Buddhist Monastery by Seppo Ed Farrey with Myochi Nancy O’Hara.  I learned this recipe from Sonja Fung, one of my classmates from NCNM!sonja/cq77



makes about 36 cupcakes

  • one cup gluten-free flour mix (I used 1 ½ cup mix)
  • 1 3/4 cup brown rice flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 3 tsp xanthan gum
  • 3 tsp ground Saigon cinnamon (I would add more cinnamon next time)
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom (freshly ground is better)
  • 1 tsp sea salt (can up it to 2 tsp)
  • 1 1/4 cups unsweetened applesauce (Used single serve applesauce cups with cinnamon added)
  • 1/2 cup light agave syrup
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup, grade B (Can use ½ cup honey instead of maple syrup and molasses)
  • 1/4 cup unsulfured molasses (See above)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp grated orange zest
  • 3 1/2 cups packed grated carrot
  • 1 cup chopped pecans, toasted (Used walnuts instead)
  • 1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut, toasted

There’s a lot of prep time. You’ve got to peel and grate carrots, chop and toast pecans, toast coconut. You’ve got to zest the orange, let the eggs and cream cheese come up to room temperature. And be sure to keep those grated carrots in plain view.


Assemble all your dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk them together to aerate and mix well. Set aside.

Using a stand or hand mixer, blend the applesauce with your sweeteners. Mix well. Add the eggs and beat until frothy. Add the vanilla and orange zest and blend together for a minute or so.

Add the dry ingredients and mix well to aerate the batter. If you are using a stand mixer, beat at medium speed for a minute or two. If you are using a hand mixer beat on high.

Using your favorite wooden spoon or silicone spatula/spoonula, mix in the coconut and pecans and carrots.
Your batter will be thick and a little sticky. Spoon the batter into your cupcake cups and smooth out the tops with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon. Fill each cup about 3/4 full if you would like a nice high cupcake. These guys don’t rise much. (I filled them to the top of the cups)

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes. Let cool on a rack for 10 minutes; remove cupcakes from pan and let cool completely before storing airtight.

Orange Cream Cheese Frosting, sugar-free

  • 3/4 cup butter, room temperature
  • 2 boxes cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 tsp grated orange zest
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • a pinch of sea salt
  • light agave syrup, to taste (I used about ¼ cup, maybe less)

Beat the butter until light and creamy. Add the cream cheese, vanilla, salt, and orange zest and beat until well blended. Scrape down the sides.

If you prefer your frosting thick and dense, mix in the agave syrup by hand. Sweeten to taste. (I liked the taste of this way)

If you prefer a light, airy frosting, beat in the agave syrup with your mixer. Sweeten to taste.

Use immediately, or store in refrigerator until ready to use. Let frosting come up to room temperature (about 30 min) and rebeat until desired consistency is reached before using.



mhoGluten Free Coconut-Pecan Carrot Cupcakes

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