NOTICE: This blog is no longer being updated, so medical information may no longer be accurate.

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free “Hostess” Cupcakes

Homemade Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free”Hostess” Cupcakes, why did it take me so long to try this?  I guess I forgot that “Fresh, Wholesome Hostess and Kids Go Together!” 😯

Did you notice the part about being fresh and wholesome?  I won’t comment on the “wholesome” aspects because I think we can all agree that we know that statement is not true.  But fresh?!  Have you heard the urban legends about the shelf life of these “wholesome” products?  Isn’t it like 84 years?  What do they put in these things that keep them “fresh” for so long? 😀

Anyhoo, can I tell you something?

It drives me insanely nuts when people look at me with pity and say any number of the following statements (yes, they have all been said to me at various times).

“OMG!! I would just DIE if I couldn’t have bread, pizza, beer, cupcakes, and McDonalds anymore!”  Why do people STILL keep writing those things in articles about gluten sensitivity??  We have come a LONG way since then baby!

“Oh you poor, poor thing, having to cook all your own food.” Actually, it’s been a gift to discover a new passion to enjoy with my family.

“It must suck having to live your life.” Actually, my life just keeps getting better and better, thank you.

“Poor Sam, it’s just not fair that he has to grow up not eating McDonald’s.  He’s going to miss such a special part of normal childhood.”  What IS your definition of “normal” anyway??

And the best one?  When my mom breaks into tears, saying “it’s just not fair that Heidi, S&L have all these health issues and can’t eat these delicious desserts anymore” (as she dives into whatever it may be, LOL!). I am just teasing my mom because she really just doesn’t get it yet that we are actually the lucky ones.  Heck, it took me several years and a lot of therapy and self-reflection to finally “get it” too (and is it any wonder after 34 years of being fed messages like the one in the commercial above)?

We do not live a life “without.”  No Siree Bob! 😀

The truth of the matter is that we can actually have “whatever she’s having.”

We just had to rethink things a bit.

We had to begin challenging ourselves to think outside the “processed box.”  Seriously, you’d think that people never ate prior to the the emergence of convenience foods in the 20th century! 😀

And yes, this does include thinking outside the “gluten-free processed box” too, because gluten-free is not necessarily synonymous with “healthy” (especially if one thinks the only way to go is with gluten-free prepackaged foods) nor is “gluten-free” synonymous with “free-of-gluten,” if you want to get really technical about it (again, this is a problem mostly with prepackaged and restaurant foods…well, and other contaminated grains).

Have you read the latest report by Tricia Thompson, MS, RD about Barley Malt Ingredients in Labeled Gluten Free Products??

Did you know that Lipton Onion Soup is no longer gluten-free?

Did you know that Boston Market’s Poultry Gravy is no longer gluten-free (they just made it low-sodium, but added wheat and soy in the process)?

I have recently been begun sharing my journey of changing the way I view food and the baby steps I have been taking for the past 18 months to reduce the amount of prepackaged GF foods I buy, in addition to increasing the amount of naturally gluten-free foods we now eat (those foods that do not come with a Nutrition Label).  I have experienced some rather startling health improvements along the way, so I have decided to amp it up a bit more and make this my final post sharing an idea using a boxed cake mix.  Woo-Hoo, I’m finally graduating! 😀

Of course, the recent discovery of my youngest son’s brand new (and still shiny) egg allergy plus the bonus addition of the positive blood tests for anti-casein IgG antibodies (which I just got back today… HUGE score for Dr. Fine and Enterolab, the blood tests confirmed his findings, which I originally shared here), certainly helped to push me off the edge of the cliff!  Why is it so hard to just let go sometimes??

There are dozens of gluten bloggers out there who have already embraced the idea of making their own Hostess-style cupcakes, so it was easy to borrow their idea and make my own GF and DF tweaks (see how this works?).

I had just purchased the new King Arthur GF Chocolate Cake Mix, so I just used that for my cupcakes (the mix requires 4 eggs, so I am not sure how well that will convert to an egg-free version…another reason I will begin seeking out a good GF scratch cake recipe)!

There is a great photo tutorial over at, so check that out for step by step photos on how to assemble the cupcakes.

I used my apple corer to pull out little cake plugs from the center of each cupcake (Cuisipro also makes a cupcake corer).

There are a lot of different recipes on the internet for the filling, but I just kept it simple and used some dairy-free whipped cream which I made from MimicCreme Healthy Top.

I used one of Carol’s recipes over at Simply…Gluten-Free for the dairy-free chocolate ganache.

I used a recipe for Simple Vanilla Icing for making the swirly Q’s on top, only I made an easy swap of the butter for Earth Balance buttery spread, which is dairy-free.

Here is a little tip I picked up from my cake decorating classes: practice your piping on a flat surface, such as a cutting board, silicone baking mat, etc., before you pipe the design on the actual cupcake!

Just say YES!

The winner of a FREE copy of The Gluten Effect and a FREE ticket to the Gluten Sensitivity and Celiac Forum 2010 is:


Pat said she would like Dr. Vikki Petersen to do an upcoming video segment on:

I would like to hear Dr. Peterson’s thoughts on how our medical and pharmaceutical community can be encouraged to learn more about celiac disease. So often it seems as if there isn’t much research done on it, maybe because there isn’t the incentive of the “glory” of developing a cure for a disease that we already know the cure — avoid all gluten. The longer celiacs go undiagnosed, the more they will need medical treatments for the damage that gluten causes to their symptoms.

Congratulations Pat, I will email you for your shipping information!


  1. Haha, I had to laugh about McDonald's being part of a normal childhood. It's just like Wonderbread – something I've never eaten, so I always joke about it "completing" childhood. I wonder what was called part of a normal childhood before there was McDonald's and all these fast food chains and processed, packaged foods? Whatever it was, it was probably a lot healthier than what's generally considered "normal" nowadays.

  2. So cute! Since I've gone gluten-free, I've only resorted to one box mix – also a Bob's Red Mill. There's really no need – it doesn't save that much time and it certainly doesn't save any money. And you're so creative with all your cooking and baking that you'll have no trouble conquering these latest challenges!

  3. Heidi these look great! My kids would LOVE them!! I can't wait to see what good egg subs you come up with. I too have an egg allergy. Quick question, did you notice the dairy and egg allergy in Luke? Did you have an idea he might be reacting? Liv doesn't seem to be reacting to anything, but given her Celiac status I feel like I should have her tested anyway. Thoughts?

  4. Looks delicious!

  5. OMG these look to die for!!! Love your blog by the way!

  6. That cupcake is luscious-looking! I hope your one last episode with a cake mix doesn't mean there will be no more posts like this.

  7. Heidi I agree with everything you say – as usual! We are eating better than I could've ever imagined and I am so thankful for Callum's diagnosis! If you have any egg-free questions don't hesitate to ask. We're surviving just fine. Hang in there girl. xoxo

    • Maggie,

      You are truly my kindred spirit, I really hope to meet you someday soon!!

      You know what's funny? You are the first person I thought of when we got the results. Do you remember, gosh, maybe 9 months or so ago, when I sent you a twitter photo of my flax egg cake flop?

      And yes, I know you are always there for me my sweet friend!



  8. Love this post! Love the beginning and the end.. anything chocolate draws my attention!!

  9. wheatfreemom says

    I have found replacing eggs in baked goods quite easy. Substitute 1 T ground golden flax with 3 T water. Mix and let sit 5-10 minutes until gummy. This mixture replaces one egg.

    Hopefully that will work for you.



    • Thanks Carrie!

      I have used flax eggs quite a bit (love adding them to meatballs and meatloaf). Can I ask you, up to how many eggs have you successfully eliminated with flax eggs (I've heard up to two in baked goods?


      • wheatfreemom says

        I have only used it for 2 eggs. Check out the cookbook "cupcakes for everyone"-they use ground flax for an egg replacement. Have made the choc chip scones(recipe is on and they turned out great!


  10. I had to laugh when I read the statements you listed! I hear them all the time: "What? You can't drink beer?! Your life must suck." or "I feel so bad for you. What do you eat?!"

    I don't think people realize that I would gladly give up gluten and dairy to feel as well as I do now. Plus, you're right, I love being able to experiment in the kitchen and come up with new dishes.

    Hearing "You're life must suck!" isn't the best way to increase morale!

  11. I just recently came across your blog the other day and I have been really enjoying all your ideas and great recipes. It is funny because I too think it is really fun kind of like a game or something to try and take regular recipes and make them GFCFSF so that everyone in my house can eat the same thing. My husband and I can have diary and wheat, but we have 1 boy CJ with moderate Autism and a little girl Lilli whom I suspect is PDD-NOS she is 2. I have them both on the diet and they are doing so much better now! The dark circles under my son's eyes are gone now.. and his behaviors are so much better. Lilli is starting to have better eye contact and is now starting to talk. Thank you for making this blog I am so excited to learn from you and share it with my family!

  12. I feel for you, all this substitution stuff can make you nuts. As someone who has also found herself to be living gluten, dairy, egg and soy free I can empathize. I found found the easiest thing for me, being a baking nut is to find soy free, vegan recipes and just change out the flour. If a non-dessert item calls for tofu or seitan I use meat (so sue me PETA). Seriously, it is the easiest thing to do. There are even some cookbooks now available, Cybele Pascale's springs to mind which encompass the parameters. I'm trying to think of her name (and can't) but the author of "The Gluten Free Vegan" cookbook, ah, Susan O'Brien is currently working on a dessert cookbook as well.

    So good luck and whether your mom and the rest of society ever "gets" it, I'm with you, we really are the lucky ones.

  13. I also love the comment from my family, "We would have you over for dinner, but it is so hard to cook for you" They mean, we can't just "order a pizza". I love cooking from scratch and trying new things. Something I never would have done, when my options for dinner were chicken fingers, frozen pizza, and many other prepackaged foods. I also love to bake and have a freezer full of homemade snacks for my kids. How many other kids can say their mom bakes for them almost once a week 🙂

    I have now tried the Better Batter and love to bake with it. It comes so quickly! I just ordered a shipment on Sunday and it came today (Tuesday)! Oh the endless possibilities!!

    Thanks for all your wonderful posts!!

  14. Heidi – YUM!

    I need to make these. These were one of my favorite treats pre-gluten free! Yours look awesome, and good idea with the apple core.


  15. Cynthia V. says


    I found your site last night and after reading about your ER visits and all the other comments, I have finally convinced my husband that that is what I have (though undiagnosed). So, he is now "on board" and will totally supporting me (finally!) Anyhow, Between the boys and I, we can't have almonds, milk, gluten, eggs, corn, soy, some fish, etc, etc. So I was excited when I saw this hostess cupcake alternative, and I checked out the The MimicCreme Healthy top – it has almonds in it. I knew it was too good to be true. So does anybody have a way to make your own "whipped cream" without using the mentioned ingredients? I'm a little newer to this and I'm a total recipe cooker and all my old recipes don't work any longer, so we eat sooooo boring -mostly meat and veges and we are getting sick to death of meat and veges!!! I need to liven up our repertoire of foods. Thanks so much.

    • You can whip chilled coconut cream (the thick stuff in canned coconut milk). You can also make a whipped "cream" from raw cashews, if those are okay for you.

    • Hi Cynthia!

      I can't use Mimic Cream anymore either, it contains corn and I found out last year that I have an allergy. My friend Diane over at The W.H.O.L.E. Gang has a recipe for whipped coconut cream:…. Just be sure to keep it in the fridge because it's prone to melting when kept at room temperature for very long.


  16. WOW! That looks amazing! I have been looking on Google at pictures of gluten free cakes (trying to give me motovation for cooking today and to tell myself that gluten free can be good to) then I found this recipie and got excited! I am 11 years old and It is realy hard when I see people eating that kind of food. But when I think about I am probly eating way healthier then them. I can not wait to see what you make next.


  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Iris Higgins, Heidi Kelly. Heidi Kelly said: New Blog Post Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free “#Hostess” #Cupcakes #desserts #gfbirthdaysforkids […]

  2. […] Heidi makes Gluten-free, Dairy-free “Hostess Cupcakes” […]

  3. […] or cake out of this recipe, enjoy! My next mission? Turn it into Hostess Cupcakes. Heidi at Adventures of a Gluten-free Mom got me hooked on the idea. She came up with a recipe for her kiddos, but it won’t work for […]

  4. […] a bunch of gluten-free goldfish crackers, gluten-free fried chicken, gluten-free pizza or even gluten-free “Hostess” cupcakes for the first six months or so (I have “gluten-free transition recipes” all over my […]