Gluten-free chocolate cupcakes with ‘buttercream’ icing – and RIE independent play

I made these cupcakes this morning for my friend K’s 40th birthday. The amazing thing was that Bubba G played independently, giving me the time and space to create them.















I learned about fostering independent play from Janet Landsbury and RIE. Here is a brilliant article by Janet on this subject: Stop entertaining your toddler (in 3 steps).

I am sitting here typing and trying oil pulling with coconut oil for the first time as I write this post. Bubba G is blissfully sleeping.

Anyway…. here is the recipe:



For the Chocolate Cupcakes

  • 1 tablespoon raw apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup homemade almond milk (you can also use full fat coconut milk)
  • ¼ cup tapioca flour or arrowroot flour
  • 1 cup gluten free flour (I used chickpea flour – or any other gluten-free flour)
  • ½ tsp. baking powder (non-aluminum)
  • ¾ tsp. baking soda
  • 1 TBSP psyllium seed husks or flax seed meal (ground flax seeds)
  • ½ tsp. sea salt
  • 1/3 cup raw cacao powder
  • 1 TBSP vanilla extract or vanilla bean powder (that’s what I used)
  • ¾ cup coconut sugar
  • ½ cup extra virgin organic coconut oil, liquefied


Chocolate ‘Buttercream’ Icing

  • 1/2 cup plus 2 TB. sweet potato purée – I used half a baked sweet potato (I always use homemade for this, so can’t vouch for the canned variety. I bake my potatoes to bring out the natural sweetness as much as possible, then cool, peel and mash).
  • 3 TBSP coconut sugar
  • 15-25 drops plain or vanilla stevia liquid, to your taste (I used xylitol instead)
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • pinch fine sea salt
  • 1/4 cup raw cacao or carob powder
  • 2.5 ounces GOOD quality dark unsweetened chocolate – (I used most of a Green & Black Organic chocolate bar)
  • 1/4 cup smooth organic sesame tahini (for nut-free)
  • 2 TBSP organic extra virgin coconut oil, melted


For the Chocolate Cupcakes

  • Preheat oven to 176 degrees C. Lightly oil (I used coconut oil) a 12 cup muffin pan.
  • Combine the apple cider vinegar with the almond milk (or coconut milk) in a large bowl. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes to create a ‘buttermilk’.
  • In a medium sized bowl, sift together the starch (tapioca or arrowroot flour), sorghum flour, baking powder, baking soda, psyllium seed husks or flax seed meal, sea salt, and cacao powder.
  • Add vanilla, coconut sugar and coconut oil to your “buttermilk” mixture and stir until well combined. Stir in dry ingredients and mix well.
  • Spoon batter into prepared muffin pan and bake for 20-22 minutes, or until tops bounce back.
  • Remove cupcakes from oven and let cool for fifteen minutes in pan. Remove from pan after that time and transfer to a wire cooling rack and let cool completely.
  • Frost with Chocolate ‘Buttercream’ Icing (recipe below)


For the Chocolate ‘Buttercream’ Icing

  • Place sweet potato, coconut sugar, stevia, vanilla and salt in food processor and process to blend. Add the raw cacao powder or carob powder and process until combined. Set aside.
  • In a small, heavy-bottomed pot, place the chocolate, tahini and coconut oil over low heat. Stir constantly until chocolate melts; remove from heat. Turn the mixture into the food processor and blend everything until smooth and creamy, scraping down sides as necessary.










They are delicious, nutritious, and Bubba G liked them too!

With love and light