Gluten Free Lime Cupcakes with Coconut FrostingGluten and refined sugar free lime and coconut cupcakes

This recipe comes from the cookbook, “Gluten Free Cupcakes,” by Alana Elana Amsterdam. She uses coconut oil (yes, it is mostly saturated fat but it has many health benefits–helps regulate blood sugar, helps with weight loss and promotes bone and dental health and healthy skin and hair), and grapeseed oil (a heart healthy oil) in her recipes. And they are delicious!

A note about the agave nectar: Sugar is sugar, no matter what form it comes in. However, some sugars have some added nutrients that you cannot get in the refined white sugars; agave nectar is one of them. It also has a lower glycemic index rating so it does not spike your blood sugar as rapidly as white sugar. All that said, it is still important to limit your sugar intake. The daily recommended allowance is 3 teaspoons if you consume 1600 calories daily. One cupcake, if you use all the frosting (that is a lot!) has approximately 3 teaspoons.

Makes 10 cupcakes


  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup blanched almond flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup grapeseed oil
  • 1/2 cup agave nectar (use organic, raw if you can find it)
  • 2 tablespoons firmly packed lime zest, plus more to decorate (3-4 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 toasted shredded coconut and serve.

Vegan Coconut Frosting

This frosting is a little bit involved, but so worth the effort!
Makes 2 cups


  • 1/2 cup coconut milk (use regular coconut milk, not reduced-fat, or light versions)
  • 1/2 cup agave nectar (use organic, raw if you can find it)
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder (tapioca starch works too)
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 cup  virgin, unrefined 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 1 1/2 hours–or more, 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.
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