Healthy Bakeware and Grain-Free Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting

Grain-Free, Paleo Cupcakes with Buttercream via DeliciouslyOrganic.net

A few weeks ago we discussed the importance thinking about our cookware. Today I’ll highlight some healthier bakeware choices for all your baking and roasting needs.

Most bakeware sold in stores is made of an aluminum mixture. This aluminum can leach into our food. Non-stick and silicone-coated pans can also leach harmful chemicals and gases into food and the air, so I stick with stainless steel, ceramic, stone and glass.

Here are some of my favorite choices:

Baking Sheets: Stainless steel is a great choice for an all-purpose baking sheet. It heats evenly and is very sturdy. They are a bit more expensive than aluminum, but these pans last a lifetime. You can find stainless steel baking sheets at AmazonThe Baker’s Kitchen, and Azure Standard.

Loaf Pans: America’s Test Kitchen taught me many years ago that a glass loaf pan is one of the best choices for baking. They heat evenly and are very affordable. I have two Pyrex loaf pans for baking needs. You can find these glass loaf pans at places like Amazon, Target and Walmart.

Muffin pans: Stainless steel is another great choice for a muffin pan. I either oil the muffin cups or line the muffin cups with unbleached parchment muffin liners or a 4×4 – inch square of unbleached parchment paper. You can find stainless steel muffin pans at Amazon or Mighty Nest.

Baking dishes: Ceramic and glass baking dishes are my favorites. When I make a casserole, I like a good, sturdy dish that heats evenly. I have 8×8-inch, 13×9-inch, and 11×7-inch baking dishes. These are three sizes commonly called-for in recipes. Pyrex glass dishes are a great option. Many times I’ve found white ceramic dishes at places like TJ Maxx and Marshalls at clearance prices.

Ramekins: These little ceramic bowls aren’t a necessity, but I’ve found them very useful when making custards, individual pot pies and puddings. I prefer the 6-ounce size because it’s more standard than the 4-ounce bowls. I also keep one on the counter next to the stove and fill it with Celtic sea salt. It keeps my salt readily available when I’m cooking and baking.

Stone Bakeware: Stone bakeware is a healthy choice. I prefer baking pizza on a heated stone since it produces a nice crispy crust. Keep in mind if you use stone bakeware, you’ll probably need to add a few minutes of baking time because stone heats up very slowly in the oven. Pampered Chef and Williams-Sonoma sell nice stone bakeware.

Mixing Bowls: Glass Pyrex mixing bowls come in just about every size and are incredibly sturdy. You can purchase them in sets or individually. I have two 4-quart mixing bowls I use for everything. These bowls can be found at places like Amazon and Target.

Measuring Cups: Did you know there is a difference between dry and liquid measuring cups? Liquids should be measured in measuring cups and dry ingredients like flour and sugar should be measured in dry measuring cups. This can make a significant difference in your baking, so it’s a good idea to have both kinds. A good ‘ole Pyrex measuring cup is cheap and will last for many years (I’ve had mine for 15 and the red measure marks on the outside are just starting to fade away). I’ve used many different dry measuring cups and one of my favorites is the Kitchenart adjustable half-cup scoop. It’s compact and easy to use.

If you’re looking for good prices, the best tip I can give is to find a restaurant supply company in your area. Typically, anyone can shop at these stores and I’ve found some amazing bargains, especially for basic white dishes and servingware.

These are my favorite basics to have in the kitchen. What are some of your favorites? Please share your ideas and links!

Grain-Free, Paleo Cupcakes with Buttercream via DeliciouslyOrganic.net

Like good bakeware, basic recipes are always nice to have on hand. A “white” cupcake recipe is a great because you can add different spices, extracts and flavorings to it. This grain-free cupcake is made with coconut flour and is a cinch to throw together. The maple buttercream I paired it with in this recipe isn’t too sweet and you won’t believe how creamy it is! No need to be afraid of the butter. Remember, organic butter is rich in omega-3 and helps fight inflammation. You can change out the maple syrup for honey, sucanat, coconut sugar etc. I only use 1/2 cup of sweetener and I find it’s just the right “touch” of sweetness. But, if you prefer a frosting on the sweeter side you can increase the sugar by 1/4 cup without changing the integrity of the buttercream.

“White” Cupcakes with Maple Buttercream (Grain-Free, Gluten Free, Paleo, Primal)

Serving Size: Makes 16 cupcakes

“White” Cupcakes with Maple Buttercream (Grain-Free, Gluten Free, Paleo, Primal)

Ingredients

    For the Cupcakes:

  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon Celtic sea salt

  • 8 large eggs

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 cup plain whole yogurt (or a coconut yogurt)

  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter or coconut oil, melted

  • 1/2 cup honey (I used clover)

  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • For the Buttercream:

  • 4 large eggs

  • 1/2 cup maple syrup or honey

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • pinch of sea salt

  • 1 pound unsalted butter, softened, each stick cut into tablespoons

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350ºF and adjust rack to middle position. Line muffin pan with unbleached muffin liners or oil with coconut oil or butter. Place all cupcake ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and blend until smooth. Spoon batter into 16 muffin cups and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until just turning golden brown on top and a cake tester inserted in the middle of the cupcakes comes out clean. Cool completely.

In the bowl of a standing mixer, combine eggs, maple syrup or honey, vanilla and pinch of salt. Set the bowl over a pot of simmering water. Whisk constantly until the mixture reaches 160 degrees, about 5 minutes. Beat egg mixture on medium-high with whisk attachment until light and billowy, about 8 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium and add butter one tablespoon at a time. When all of the butter is added, turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl (at this point the buttercream might look curdled, but don’t worry, it will turn creamy). Whisk the entire mixture for 1 minute on high until light and fluffy. Frost the cupcakes and enjoy!

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64 Comments

  1. Monika T

    Thanks for the cookware info! Perfect timing. I was just thinking that I need to go through all my kitchen ware and replace the aluminum and silicone things with safer options. It’s great to find all the information in one place so I really appreciate this post. The cupcakes looks wonderful too and I will be making them when the next occasion for cupcakes arises.

    • Deliciously Organic

      I don’t recommend cooking/baking with flax since the oil in flaxseeds will oxidize at temps above 250 degrees F. I haven’t tried any substitutions for this recipe, so I’m not sure what to recommend.

  2. Christina Hauf

    Carrie,
    I love the basics of this recipe – but what I really want is a pumpkin cupcake. Yummm! i’d probably sub pumpkin puree in for the yogurt…do you have a simple pumpkin cupcake recipe that you swear by?
    thanks! – ckh

  3. T

    Hello, Do you have a suggestion for a trustworthy clover honey? I looked on your pantry list and only saw raw honey listed which i just recently got in my journey towards transforming our kitchen!

    Also, while i have you here, :), I just bought Spectrum Organic “first cold pressed” extra virgin unrefined olive oil. Is this a trustworthy olive oil, do you know?

  4. Michelle

    Love all your bakeware suggestions – quality yet affordable! I have a few stoneware pieces from Pampered Chef (loaf pan, large bar pan, covered baking dish) – love them! We live in northern Iraq and there’s a section of the local bazar (market) that sells used things from the US & Europe (sometimes you can still find Salvation Army or Goodwill stickers on them!). I just happened to find the Pampered Chef covered baking dish set there one day, and got it for $12! (originally $80+) That was quite the happy day for me! :)

  5. Pamela Wright

    This is so helpful, thank you. Would you consider writing about the products you use to pack your girl’s lunches? I saw one post about it in the archives, but there were some round metal things that I was wondering what they are. And what kind of cup do they drink from? Thank you. I have been really turning things around here, with much thanks to you!

  6. T

    Carrie, do you ever use active dry yeast or any type of yeast in order to make your own bread? I was looking at a Red Star yeast that has been recommended to me and the ingredients are “yeast, sorbitan monostearate” This sounds scary. I am going to attempt to make my own bread and many recipes call for yeast. What would you recommend?

    Thanks so, so much for your help! You are helping educate families that are so appreciative of your insight!

  7. MamaNic

    Your buttercream recipe is similar to a Swiss Meringue Buttercream, except you have listed whole eggs. Traditionally, a meringue uses egg whites. Is it correct that you use whole eggs? I am a cake designer by profession, and would LOVE to be able to offer paleo-friendly recipes. Just want to verify that you are using whole eggs. I will definitely give it a try!! Thanks

  8. Cait

    I’m a new reader and so thankful for all that you share! We recently moved after being in transition for a year, so I’ve been starting from scratch with all of our kitchenware. This is a blessing because I’ve been able to get all glass storage and no aluminum or nonstick cookware.
    I was about to buy the Norpro stainless steel jelly roll pans, but kept coming across reviews saying that they weren’t solid stainless steel and warped in the oven. What is your experience with them, and what do you think about them only being coated with stainless steel? I’m worried about scratching eventually.
    I may buy Haeger lead-free, made in the USA stoneware baking sheets and muffin cups, but know they are more breakable.
    It’s also hard to find silpat baking mats that fit the Norpro sizes, except for the actual Sil-pat brand. I know it’s an investment, but it’s frustrating that the cheaper brands have different sizes! I’m thinking the stoneware may stick less than stainless steel, in which case I might not need them.
    I’d love to hear your experiences with these things!

    • Deliciously Organic

      Most stainless steel baking sheets, pots, pans, etc. have an aluminum core, but are completely stainless steel on the outside. Since the stainless steel is only on the outside, I feel fine using them for my baking. I also like to use unbleached parchment paper when I bake cookies and such to prevent sticking.

  9. Shalene

    Carrie, my son’s bday is tomorrow, and I’d like to make some for our small family gathering tomorrow night and then reserve the rest for his party this weekend (so a 6 day gap). Would the cupcakes and icing (stored separately) freeze for a few days so I can use one batch for both events? Or do you think it would poorly compromise the taste?

  10. Hi there,

    Thanks for the kitchenware basics post and recipe. For me, some absolute basics to have in the kitchen would be stainless steel measuring spoons (the kind that Ina Garten uses on her show) and an earthenware pot for making stews in – they hold heat much better and give your kitchen that exotic touch.

    Alana

  11. Maybe a silly question, but I’m wondering if instead of cupcakes I could just increase the cooking time and use a round pan to make a cake instead. I’ve been grain free for a while, but I’m just getting brave enough to try baking and am pretty clueless.

    • Deliciously Organic

      Yes, this can definitely be made into a cake. Bake it in a 9-inch round or 8×8 square cake pan at 350 for about 40 minutes until just turning golden brown on the edges. I know grain-free baking can sound intimidating, but you chose the perfect recipe to start with! Put it all in a food processor, blitz and pour in the pan. Doesn’t get much easier than that! :)

  12. Tika

    Hello,

    Is there a good substitue for the honey in this recipe? I am currently on a low carb/sugar diet, so I wanted to know if there’s a way to incorporate Xylitol (for example) into this recipe, without changing the consistency?

  13. Curious

    Hi- can I sub. coconut oil or ghee (or a mixture of the two) for the 4# of butter in the frosting? Is there a brand of butter you can recommend that is sold in regular grocery stores?

    Thanks!!

    • Deliciously Organic

      I’m sorry to hear you’re having trouble with the frosting. Did you make any substitutions? Did the temp get to 160F and then did you whip the eggs for 8 minutes until billowy? Sorry for all the questions. All of these details can help me figure out what happened. Thanks!

  14. Melinda

    Thank you for getting back to me! I think it might be that I didn’t get the temp up to 160. I didn’t have a thermometer but left it on the stone for over 5 minutes. So I left it is the fridge over night to hopefully make it more solid.

    • Deliciously Organic

      Thanks for the info. It sounds like the mixture didn’t heat up to 160. Or if it heated up to high, then the mixture wouldn’t be as cool as it should have been after 8 minutes of whipping. I did that once, and the frosting turned liquid. :) Buttercream can take a few tries to perfect, but it’s so worth it! :)

  15. M ham

    Hi Carrie,
    I was wondering if there was a way I could substitute the honey in the cake with coconut sugar? I’m making this cake for my son’s first birthday and was told not to give him honey until 1yr of age. Would I need to add more of a liquid?
    Thanks!!

    P.S. Love your story and website, very inspiring!

  16. Gen

    I made the cupcakes to specifications, when i was taking them out to cool, i noticed that they were dripping with clear grease (most likely the coconut oil) from the bottom. do you have any advice?

    • Deliciously Organic

      Hmmm..I’m not sure why that would happen. By chance, were the ingredients cold when you mixed in the coconut oil? If so, it might have caused the coconut oil to clump and then when the batter was baked the coconut oil might have melted.

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