Today’s post is something new — Cupcake Wars: Gluten Free Edition!
As you all know, I’m a Paleo food blogger. However, I don’t always eat “perfect paleo.” *Gasp* Horrible, right? This post is all about how I eat and (more importantly) why I eat the way I do.
I’ve completed two Whole30s: September 2016 and January 2017. I learned a lot from both Whole30s, and they helped me figure out what my body can and can’t handle. After my first Whole30, I realized that I wanted to go completely gluten-free. I am by no means a celiac, but I believe that I have a moderate gluten sensitivity. Even though I can handle gluten (or at least, I could — I don’t know how my body would react to it now, after not having it for so long), a plant-based, gluten-free diet makes my body so much happier.
I am also — for the most part — grain-free. Oats give me horrible stomach pain. In fact, I suffered even worse problems from oats than gluten in my grain-eating days. Now, I stay away from oats at all costs. I also avoid corn, since it’s not friendly to my digestive system either. I love how corn tastes, but the addictive nature of tortilla chips inevitably leads to a “corn overdose” and pain and/or bloating later.
My body handles other grains (rice, et cetera) fairly well. For this reason, I occasionally indulge in gluten-free treats made with rice flour. Just last Friday, I had pesto pasta made with organic brown rice-quinoa-amaranth flour. I also had “Cupcake Wars: Gluten-Free Edition” with my sister!
There are many reasons to avoid gluten, and those reasons have influenced my diet/lifestyle choices. I’m not here to tell anyone what to eat or what not to eat. All I’m sharing is what works for me, which might work for other people. If you’re interested in reasons to avoid gluten, you can check out this article here. Personally, I avoid gluten for its inflammatory properties, painful digestive consequences, and tendency to give me pimples. You can read more about my journey with paleo on my About Page.
When it comes to paleo, I generally follow the 80-20 rule. That is, I eat about 80% paleo and 20% non-paleo. I drink a little full-fat dairy in my coffee, and I occasionally eat cheese. As I mentioned above, I eat some gluten-free grains as treats. Sometimes, I eat beans. Even undesirable things, like white sugar and soybean oil, end up in my food when I eat at a restaurant. Life is all about rolling with the punches, and paleo is all about making things work for you and your body. What works for me might not work for someone else.
Over the past year, I’ve gotten to know my body much better thanks to the paleo diet. I know that it can handle things like cupcakes from Cupcake Wars: Gluten Free Edition! I also know what it can’t handle, and I stay away from those foods. I’ve still got a ways to go to find my “Food Freedom,” as the Whole30 team calls it, but I’m getting there.
To kick off Cupcake Wars: Gluten Free Edition, my sister and I chose two cupcake recipes each. I decided on Beet Red Velvet Cupcakes and Peanut Butter Chocolate Cupcakes (yup, peanut butter isn’t paleo either!), and my sister chose Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes and Banana Split Cupcakes. You can find links to the original recipes at the bottom of this post! They are all delicious recipes from some very talented bloggers. I would highly recommend reading their blogs.
To make these cupcakes work for me, I used all-purpose gluten-free flour. Each and every cupcake turned out great! I love being in the kitchen with my family, so this friendly competition with my sister was very enjoyable.
Here’s how we set it up:
- We printed out two recipes each before the competition, adapted them to make six cupcakes, and shopped for special ingredients.
- We worked on opposite ends of our kitchen island, with common ingredients (GF flour, baking soda, eggs, etc) in the middle.
- Each of us had our own sets of bowls, mixers, and measuring tools.
- Finally, we tied on our aprons, set a timer for two and a half hours, and started baking!
After all the cupcakes were done, our parents and extended family sampled the cupcakes. In all the excitement of baking twenty-four cupcakes, we forgot to implement a scoring system. We didn’t choose a winner! Each and every cupcake was delicious, so I’d say we were both winners. Everyone had their favorites, though. I loved the red velvet cupcakes best. (What can I say? Maybe I’m a little biased towards my own bakes.) . . . I’d say the Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes were tied with the Peanut Butter Cupcakes for my second favorite. My sister loved the Boston Cream Pie and the Beet Red Velvet best, in that order. Overall, Cupcake Wars: Gluten Free Edition was a success!Grab your apron and a friend and host your own #Cupcake Wars: Gluten Free Edition! tell a friend
The best part (besides the eating) was being inventive in the kitchen. Even though my sister and I used recipes from other bloggers, we used our creativity to decorate the cupcakes and overcome some kitchen mishaps. I loved the look on my cousin’s face when I told him the Red Velvet Cupcake had beets in it! He couldn’t even tell. As for the Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes, they actually tasted like boston cream pie. The custard was incredible! My sister’s other treats, the Banana Split Cupcakes, were delicately touched with just enough banana flavor. And the Peanut Butter Chocolate Cupcakes . . . how do you go wrong with chocolate and peanut butter? They were like peanut butter cups in cupcake form! I am so grateful to the bloggers who contributed recipes: Lindsay from Life Love and Sugar, Naomi from Bakers Royale, Traci from Vanilla and Bean, and Sally from Sally’s Baking Addiction.
We had so much fun baking, frosting, decorating, and eating our cupcakes. If you love baking, I would highly recommend hosting your own Cupcake Wars: Gluten Free Edition. “Gluten-free” isn’t a necessity if you tolerate gluten — just figure out what works for you! If you want to do Cupcake Wars: Vegan Edition, go right ahead. The most important part is having fun! Hanging out with my sister and challenging myself in the kitchen was such a wonderful experience. I would do it again in a heartbeat.
If you would like to use any of the recipes we used, you can click on the links right here!
Thanks for joining me today! I hope you enjoyed learning a little about my journey with food. Comment below if you enjoyed reading about Cupcake Wars: Gluten Free Edition!