NOTICE: This blog is no longer being updated, so medical information may no longer be accurate.

Elana Amsterdam’s New Cookbook: Gluten-Free Cupcakes (Review and Giveaway)

I recently received a complimentary copy of my sweet friend Elana Amsterdam’s new cookbook, Gluten-Free Cupcakes: 50 Irresistible Recipes Made with Almond and Coconut Flour.  So while my boys were spending the weekend with their grandparents, I broke out the eggs and went to town!

I decided to try the Lime Cupcakes, and OMG!  They are absolutely amazing; light, fluffy and melt-in-your-mouth moist.  My husband ate 4 within the first hour!

Okay, fine…I admit it, I ate 6!  SIX!!! 😳

I never would have conjured up the idea to pair lime and cupcakes together but as Mike said, “they are like spring in a muffin tin.”  The lime cupcakes definitely have me charged up to finally figure out how to successfully substitute the eggs called for in the recipe (so my egg-allergic son can enjoy them too).  Elana’s cupcake recipes would make for the PERFECT grain-free breakfast for us (by turning them into muffins), full of protein and healthy fats from the almond flour, fiber from the coconut flour and since they are free of refined sugars, my two little boys can stay focused at school.  Until I conquer the egg dilemma though, Elana does have me covered with a recipe for gluten-free and vegan chocolate cupcakes in her new book, as well as recipes for: Vegan Chocolate Frosting, Vegan Coconut Whip, Vegan Buttercream and Vegan Coconut Frosting (see recipe below).

Photo and Recipe Reprinted with permission from Gluten-Free Cupcakes: 50 Irresistible Recipes Made with Almond and Coconut Flour. Copyright © 2011 by Elana Amsterdam, Celestial Arts, an imprint of Ten Speed Press, a division of the Crown Publishing Group, Berkeley, CA. Photo Credit: Annabelle Breakey

Lime Cupcakes

Printable Recipe

Makes 10
Sweetness: Medium

1/2 cup Coconut Flour
1/2 cup Blanched Almond Flour (packed)
1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt
1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
3 large Eggs
1/2 cup Grapeseed Oil
1/2 cup Agave Nectar
2 tablespoons firmly packed Lime Zest, plus more to decorate (about 3 limes)

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 10 muffin cups with paper liners.

In a large bowl, combine the coconut flour, almond flour, salt, and baking soda. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, grapeseed oil, agave nectar, and 2 tablespoons lime zest. Blend the wet ingredients into the coconut flour mixture with a handheld mixer until thoroughly combined.

Scoop 1/4 cup of batter into each prepared muffin cup.

Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached. Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for 1 hour, then frost, sprinkle with the remaining lime zest, and serve.

Vegan Coconut Frosting

Makes 2 cups
Sweetness: Medium

1/2 cup Coconut Milk (I used full fat canned coconut milk)
1/2 cup Agave Nectar
1 tablespoon Arrowroot Powder
1 tablespoon Water
1 cup Coconut Oil, melted over very low heat

In a medium saucepan, bring the coconut milk and agave nectar to a boil over medium heat. Whisk the ingredients together, then decrease the heat and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, to reduce just slightly, stirring frequently.

In a small bowl, dissolve the arrowroot powder in water, stirring to make a slurry. Increase the heat under the saucepan to medium-high so the mixture is bubbling. Add the arrowroot slurry to the coconut mixture, whisking constantly until the mixture thickens and turns opaque and shiny, about 1 minute. Once the mixture becomes shiny, remove the pan from the heat and gradually blend in the coconut oil with a handheld mixer until well combined.

Allow to cool on the counter for 15 minutes. The mixture will not look like frosting yet—don’t worry; this is okay.

Chill the frosting in the refrigerator for 1 to 11/2 hours, until the frosting fully solidifies and looks opaque white in color. Remove from the refrigerator and whip with a handheld mixer until thick and fluffy. The frosting will be sticky looking and lumps will dissolve during whipping.

Use immediately or store in a glass Mason jar in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Allow the frosting to soften a bit after removing from the refrigerator. Stir with a flexible spatula until spreadable.

Gluten-Free Cupcakes: 50 Irresistible Recipes Made with Almond and Coconut Flour will be hitting store shelves on April 26, 2011.  If you hurry, you can get an AMAZING deal if you pre-order Elana’s cookbook on Amazon, only $9.03 with free shipping…that’s 47% OFF the retail price!!!

For one of my lucky readers though…

To enter for a chance to win a FREE copy of Elana Amsterdam’s new cookbook, Gluten-Free Cupcakes: 50 Irresistible Recipes Made with Almond and Coconut Flour, simply leave a comment!

I will announce the winner on Friday, April 15th, 2011, Good Luck!


  1. Clarissa Shackelford says

    What a delicious giveaway! 🙂

  2. Wonder how that will pair with my key lime frosting. Excited to try a refined sugar free cupcake recipe.

  3. I love her first book, can't wait to see this one! Yummy!

  4. I'd love to win! I'm a huge fan of Elana's 🙂

  5. Michelle Curtis says

    Sounds like a great way to spend a weekend…making cupcakes! YUM

  6. Dang. You outed yourself. Now I will have to do the same in my own review. LOL Cannot let you go down alone! Great review! I just might make these for Easter. They would be a hit for my citrus loving fam!!



    • ROFL! I delayed publishing my post because I was waiting to see if you outed yourself in your post!! Alas…I threw myself off the bus! 😀

      These cupcakes are great Kim, since Mike and I ate the first batch so quickly, I made a second batch with lemon zest (yum!) and I plan on doing orange next time!

  7. Heidi, I would love to try this recipe as soon as you come up with a egg substitute.

    Thanks for the giveaway.

  8. I'm still learning the tricks of gluten free baking. I'd love to try turning some of the recipes (besides those frostings) vegan!

  9. Yummy!

    After having years of problems I've finally been told that I require a gluten and dairy free diet. I've been doing it for about a month now and the difference is incredible!

    At first I'd only eat protein bars and fresh veggies/fruit because they were "safe" but after finding your site I'm inspired to start cooking (and baking!!) new fun things that I used to eat…. and now without the pain!

    Thanks for creating such a great site and sharing your story and recipes with the rest of us.

  10. Off to add limes to my grocery list!

  11. The cupcakes look great! With all these reviews people will be able to get a good idea of the range of cupcake recipes. (Amazon reviews are great, though I find myself increasingly sourcing out bloggers for their opinions as they're often more fleshed out and, somehow, more personal, depending on what I'm looking for.) I have this book requested at the library (currently on order) but I would not say no to owning a copy of this cookbook.

  12. Christine says

    I'd love a copy of the book. With a new corn and refined sugar allergy diagnosis, I've been trying to come up with healthy alternatives to cereal for breakfast. My husband says I can't buy anymore cookbooks though, so winning one is my best option.

    Thanks so much for your blog. With the new corn allergy I'm definitely going to be referring to some of your prior posts and links on facebook as resources.

  13. I would love to add this cookbook to my newly comprised section on gluten-free baking

  14. Those cupcakes look good enough to make egg free after all. Of course, they do they're Elana's. I just FINALLY got a copy of her other cookbook last week. I'd been holding off because of the egg thing but she has so many inventive ideas in there that it is so worth having the book at home. One of my favorite recipes of hers is the flourless chocolate cake made with beet puree. Yum.

    Oh, so can you not have chocolate because of the chocolate or because of the sugar? I've seen several recipes where people make their own chocolate with agave nectar or another sweetener. I'll look up the links if you like.

    • Oh yea! I'm so glad you got a copy of Elana's first cookbook…you will be a GREAT partner for helping me figure out this egg-free dilemma!! I think I'm getting close on her cinnamon muffin recipe, using multiple egg replacers. Oh, and I'm sans chocolate for the next few months…it's not forever though thank goodness (knock on wood)!

      • Do you suppose it would be a fair test if I ground my own almond flour? I've got some blanched, sprouted almonds in my freezer. I've also got an idea on replacing the eggs only who am I gonna foist all these sweets off on? Never mind, let me tell you sister I was not a bit shocked at your eating 6 cupcakes. I do it everytime I bake. I have to taste one which turns into two when they're hot. Then that same "one" when they've cooled half an hour and then I always need sustenance when I'm wrapping the poor pitiful stragglers to freeze. The sacrifices we make for science. Sigh.

  15. Would love a copy of this book! We are new to the gluten-free world, our ten year old was recently diagnosed with Celiac Disease. Cupcakes are to die for!!! 🙂

  16. Oooooooooo, I would love a copy! I have her other cookbook and it is one of my go-to's. I love that she creates such healthy alternatives.

  17. Michelle M says

    My two year old was recently diagnosed with Celiac and its been a real challenge. Besides the diet she has sensory and behavior issues. I've been baking all my life and I'm learning that baking gluten free is not the same thing. I would love to find some gluten free recipes that don't contain garbage and actually taste good.

  18. Jeannine Coleman says

    love, love, love your web page and your FB posts…thank you for getting the word out there!!

    love, love, love cupcakes…would love to have a copy of Elana's book so I can love cupcakes even more!!!!

    thanks for everything you do for us Celiacs,

    Jeannine & Emily (9 y.o.daughter), both Celiac-ers


  19. I am very interested in this cookbook. So, here is my comment to enter.

  20. Yay! Love Elana's recipes! :)Linda

  21. I've had good luck substituting out eggs in cake/cupcake recipes with one egg equal to 1/4 cup water + 1 tbsp arrowroot flour + 1/2 tsp baking soda (1 tsp if the eggs are more for leavening).

    I'd love to get my hands on a copy of this book, in our family we have the challenge of baking gluten/casein/egg/soy/corn-free. We're getting pretty good at adapting!

  22. They look so yum!

  23. I love Elana's almond flour cookbook…This one is definitely on my list of "must haves"

    shell 🙂

  24. I love Elanas first cookbook and would love to have this one as well! Lime cupcakes..yum!

  25. Sarah Skabelund says

    For an egg replacer, have you tried 4 Tablespoons of unsweetened applesauce with 1 tsp baking powder? That or 1 Tablespoon Flax meal with 3 Tablespoons of hot water seem to work the best for me in baked goods.

    I would love to try this. I keep finding new allergies so cooking from scratch is the best for me right now.


  26. Yum! Looks delicious!

    (and may I say, thank you SO much for not doing the whole "like me here, twitter here, post here, etc… for extra entries. those always give me a headache.)

  27. Jennifer C says

    This celiac mom (with a celiac daughter) would love to win. Thanks!

  28. Looks so great!

  29. Oh I would LOVE this, my daughter is obsessed with cupcakes and I haven't made them since going GF. Oh I want to win!


  30. Fabulous job, per usual, Heidi! That photo is just delectable. "Spring in a muffin tin" … who doesn't want that? 😉 Not entering the giveaway, but just had to say great job! Well, except for the part about confessing your cupcake sins. I'm not confessing mine. Thankfully nobody recorded how many I ate … even if I 'fessed up on Twitter. LOL



    • Shirley,

      That photo is gorgeous, I sure wish I could takes pictures like that!

      Oh, not so fast my friend…I know about your cupcake sins and believe you me, I recorded them, LOL! 😉


  31. Ooh, I've been waiting for this for a while. I know a vegan friend of mine who was trying to figure out how to do gluten-free, too. She has a business she does on the side of creating vegan cupcakes and other confections. She had tried a GF cupcake from Whole Foods and was sorely disappointed. She said she would have been embarrassed to sell it. It would be nice to surprise her with a vegan, GF cupcake that actually tastes good. I haven't tried doing any vegan baking yet so I have no clue how to go about substituting all the animal products (milk, eggs, butter) that typically are found in cakes. I recently tried substituting just the cow's milk in a lemon poppy seed cupcake recipe for almond milk. It definitely altered the flavor in a way that I didn't find as pleasing as the cow milk version. And since I'm allergic to soy, that means I have to use some other plant based "milk".

  32. I would love to win this cupcake book! Yummy!

  33. OHHHHHH…where are my keys! I needs me some Lime Cupcakes! I am going RIGHT NOW to the store ( we are out of coconut flour) Where the blast is my other shoe! Dang dog! Got it – outta here.



  34. Joann wilson says

    I would love to win this book!!!!!!

  35. Congrats Elana on your new book.

  36. Christy G. says

    This looks delish!

  37. Kristine L. says

    What a super YUMMY giveaway!!! Good Luck to all!!

  38. awesome giveaway! this cookbook looks fantastic {and delicious!}

  39. Beautiful cupcake! I'd love to get my hands on a copy of that book!

  40. Great post. I was able to get her first book on inter-library loan and ended up making her chocolate chip scones more times than I care to admit.

    I love your idea of changing up the citrus flavor in these. Orange appeals to me very much. No need to enter me in giveaway. I actually ordered this cookbook earlier today on Amazon.

  41. I am new to the Gluten free diet. I have Hashimotos Disease. There's a lot of research that suggests that Gluten is pure poison to a person with this autoimmune disease. I want to say thank you… with cookbooks, websites like yours and the info out there, its made it so much easier to change the way I eat. It would be wonderful to be able to entice the rest of the family into these eating practices with the cupcakes from this amazing cookbook. ~thx again

  42. Michelle Olejar says

    It looks wonderful! I just wish we could use Almond Flour 🙁 I am sure the texture and taste would be altered if a substitution for that was attempted. As far as the eggs, there are some very successful recipes without the use of them. Erin McKenna of Baby Cakes has some awesome recipes. Her secret is to use coconut oil and fruit puree's. Applesauce is usually the one of choice along with increasing the leavening agent, as eggs are binding and leavening. You are just the talent to bridge the gap between awesome artists like Elana & Erin. I trust you will be able to modify these so your beautiful little one can enjoy. I may just have to make a tin of these and just eat them for myself….shhhh don't tell anyone 😉

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Michelle,

      Thank you for bringing up Erin McKenna's book, I have it in my ever growing Gluten and Allergen-Free Cookbook Library. Now that I've been using coconut oil, I can definitely see that helping out, along with the fruit and leavening agents. Great ideas Michelle, I will start tinkering!


  43. Great giveaway! Glad that you are back to posting. Missed your posts during your brief break. 🙂

  44. I would love to have this cookbook! I'm dying for a delicious gluten-free dessert 🙂

  45. Sounds delishh!!! I can't wait to try the cupcakes!! Thanks for posting!

  46. I just found out my 7 year old daughter ahs alleriges to Milk, Wheat, Egg White and Peanut. WOW! This is a tough adjustment for us. Her 3 brothers have no allergies so she is very frustrated. I am so happy I found your website and we have already made the Toll house cookie receipe and the rice crispy treats. Thanks for everything!! The cookbook my help with the cupcakes.

  47. Those cupcakes will get me into trouble!

  48. I have her other cook book and love it. Would love to try her cupcake book as my daughter was just recently diagnosed with gluten and dairy intolerance as well.

  49. Would love that book! Recipe sounds great!

  50. Sounds like a wonderful book.

  51. I have Elana's Almond Flour cookbook and love it! This cupcake looks scrumptious – would love to get a copy of her new cookbook.

  52. That recipe looks delicious!

  53. What an awesome giveaway!

  54. Love Elana's recipes – would definitely love the cupcake cookbook!

  55. I'm in! Elana's first cookbook is my bible; she made me happy to eat again, so I'm really looking forward to the new book.


  57. These look great! Elana's recipes have inspired a ton of my own creations as well!

  58. It would be sucha treat to win this, thanks for being so generous with a giveaway! Visions of Paleo-friendly cupcakes are dancing in my head!

  59. Winner or not, I think I will have to pick up Elana's book and get over my fear of gf baking!

  60. Jodi Gancer says

    I'm so excited to try some of these recipes !!!

  61. Heidi. Since my Vitamix just blew nut milk all over my kitchen I think the experimentation has stopped for the nonce while I figure out how well adrenal burnout and a trashed kitchen go together. 🙂

    In the meantime try 1/2C chia egg plus 1/2 tsp baking soda plus 2 tsp baking powder. Good luck! P.S. My first batch didn't rise properly but I ate them ALL anyway. Yum.

  62. The book looks incredible. My kids would love these!

  63. I miss key lime pie – this recipe seems like it comes close though!

  64. Sounds too good to be true! Yum!

  65. Now I'm sitting at work craving cupcakes… 🙂

  66. These sound fabulous! Would love to win the copy but will buy it if I don't 🙂

  67. Christine Bailey says

    I am excited to try these recipes, and winning the book would be great, but will probably buy it anyway even if I dont win it! 🙂

  68. I just started a GF diet 4 days ago due to tummy troubles and I must say, with recipes like this, why would I even want to go back to the other stuff? 😉

  69. domestic diva says

    Lovely! THanks for the chance.

  70. Millicent Kennedy says

    I love Elanas first cookbook and would love to have this one as well! Got it – outta here. They would be a hit for my citrus loving fam!!


  1. […] Gluten-Free Cupcakes by Elana Amsterdam reviewed by Heidi at Adventures of a Gluten-Free Mom. (BOOK GIVEAWAY) […]

  2. […] not confessing how many I ate, but Heidi (Adventures of a Gluten-Free Mom) did, when she shared Elana’s Lime Cupcake and Vegan Coconut Frosting recipes here. Ellen made marble cupcakes, too, but she also shared the recipe for Elana’s Strawberry […]

  3. […] Allergy-free made many of Elana’s sweet cupcakes, a savory cupcake and also the lime cupcake! Heidi of Adventures of a Gluten-free Mom also tried Elana’s lime cupcakes! (Great minds think alike, I […]

  4. […] has given permission for them to share recipes. Heidi from Adventures of a Gluten-Free Mom made Elana’s Lime Cupcakes. Shirley from Gluten Free Easily shares Elana’s Marble Cupcakes. Visit them and see what they […]