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GF Coconut Lime Cupcakes with Avocado Lime Frosting – swell

GF Coconut Lime Cupcakes with Avocado Lime Frosting

GF Coco Lime Cupcakes with Avocado Lime Frosting
GF Coco Lime Cupcake Pan
GF Coco Lime Cupcakes
Avocado Lime Frosting
Chocolate Hazelnut Crisps with Avocado Lime Frosting

Life is sweet.

So far gluten-free baking has been a lot of trial and error, a lot of disappointments and some minor successes.  But this recipe has been a definite success!  I gave a mini-bundt cake version made from leftover batter to a friend of mine and she told me “I hope you wrote down whatever you did, because that was amazing.  I couldn’t even tell it was gluten-free!”  I thought I remembered what I did, so I made sure to make them immediately again the following day and write everything down.

I’m gonna let you in on a little secret that I’ve probably admitted before, but, I don’t like measuring things, and therefore I’m much more of a cook than a baker.  Sure, I can bake stuff, but my will to eyeball and guesstimate everything gives me a bit less than consistent results.  That’s why I’m much more of a cook, and furthermore why I don’t have as many recipes as I’d like to on this blog – measuring is stifling to me, and sometimes it feels like I don’t get the best results when I’m busy with teaspoons and measuring cups and pens and notebooks.  Or maybe I’m just expecting an over-the-top spectacular mouthgasm since I’m putting all that “work” into making that food/recipe, when really it is totally yummy and I just need to calm down a little and enjoy tasty food for what it is.  (This, among other reasons, is why I have a gigantic list of recipe ideas for the next zine, but very few actual recipes.  I’m working on it :D ).

But now I’ve got this little gem of a gluten-free dessert recipe because I DID write things down (and I made it three times in the last week).  I started with the Coconut Lime Cupcake Recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, which is very lovely and a favorite of many.  However, it is glutenous and contains refined sugar, which I generally try to avoid these days in favor of agave, maple, dates, or brown rice syrup.  This is less-sweet than the original recipe and perhaps a bit “healthier”-tasting, which is how I roll with baked goods (the last time I made something with the full amount of sugar called for I got a sore throat), and contains a couple other minor changes to make up for the differences in gluten-free flours.  Though far from fat-free, I think using real, natural fats is super-okay, and these are meant to be treats, am I right?

While I imagine this might work with a different flour blend, my little experience with gluten-free baking goes to show that even minor changes can yield drastically different results, and I’d recommend trying out the blend given here.  As a bonus, you need no pricey xantham gum to achieve these sturdy little cupcakes; they are “firm” like a traditional cupcake and won’t fall apart on you once you’ve taken a bite.  But most of all, they are really really tasty, especially when paired with the tangy avocado lime frosting (which is soy-free and refined-sugar-free too!).  So if you’re gluten-free or you’ve got a gluten-free friend in need of a special tropical treat, I really hope you’ll give this a try.

GF Coconut Lime Cupcakes

(makes 12 cupcakes)

1/3 cup coconut oil, melted

1/2 cup agave nectar or brown rice syrup

1 1/4 light coconut milk

1 tsp vanilla extract (make sure it’s gluten-free if you need it to be)

zest from two limes

1/3 cup millet flour

1/3 cup sorghum flour

3 tbsp tapioca flour

2 tbsp coconut flour

3/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut

Preheat the oven to 350F and lightly grease or line a 12-cupcake pan with paper liners.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the melted coconut oil and agave or brown rice syrup.  Add the coconut milk, vanilla and lime zest and stir well.

Sift together the millet, sorghum, tapioca, and coconut flours with the baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Add to the liquid mixture and combine with a whisk or rubber spatula.  Stir in the shredded coconut.

Pour into prepared cupcake pan and bake for 23-25 minutes, or until the tops “spring back” under light pressure and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Cool slightly and remove cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

I’m not a huge fan of frosting, particularly “buttercream” frosting.  It’s always been like eating sickeningly sweet flavorless fat to me.  And I know some agree with that and some don’t, and if you don’t, a limey buttercream frosting will be perfectly divine on this cupcake.  But if you want to try something new, make friends with the magic of avocado!  It’s pretty and green and isn’t salty like that certain popular brand of non-hydrogenated vegan margarine (which admittedly I do love on toast).  This frosting isn’t quite as stiff as a margarine-and-powdered-sugar frosting is, but it will retain its piped shape beautifully once it’s gone through the chilling process…the key here is the addition of some liquid coconut oil which becomes solid when cold.  This also makes a great raw mousse or pudding, too, if that suits your fancy!

Avocado Lime Frosting

makes about 10 oz.

2 ripe avocados, pitted and peeled

juice of one large lime

splash vanilla extract (optional)

1/4 cup agave or brown rice syrup

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

Blend the avocados, lime juice, vanilla extract and sweetener in a food processor or blender until smooth.  With the machine on, slowly add the melted coconut oil and process until combined.  Transfer to a bowl or container and chill in the refrigerator until set.

To decorate the cupcakes, frost or pipe with the avocado lime frosting and decorate with flaked coconut if desired.

This cupcake business has got me into a gluten-free baking frenzy, at least for someone who doesn’t bake very often!  Unfortunately my attempt at a muffin recipe resulted in a very tasty but very crumbly mess, though I’m having higher hopes for some hazelnut chocolate crisps (above), which I nibbled on with leftover frosting.  Should further attempts prove successful, a recipe will be forthcoming later in the week.  Hip hip!

45 Responses to “GF Coconut Lime Cupcakes with Avocado Lime Frosting”

  1. youngwifey says:

    Those cups cakes look amazing! I have a friend who just started a gluten-free blog, I’ll have to share this post with him!

  2. taleoftwovegans says:

    Beautiful cupcakes, especially that frosting! I have to say, that has got to be the cutest muffin tin shape, I just love it! :) -Eve

  3. Keith Kirby says:

    Hey AK, these look amazing. I’ll give ‘em a try!

  4. Mandee says:

    I think sugar might be giving me a sore throat too, agh!

    You cupcakes look gorgeous and I love that they’re gf and sugar free! I can’t find millet or sorghum flour here so will have to try a different mix.

  5. Mary says:

    Those look and sound amazing! Pre-GF, that was my favorite recipe cupcake recipe. Thank you for experimenting and sharing your results! I have everything but coconut milk, and I’ll need a couple more limes. I’ll even try your frosting, though I love the traditional whipped sugar and margarine variety! Such a pretty green.

    • a-k says:

      I hope it works for you… I really love your blog, and it makes me happy to know I can accommodate people who are dealing with allergies and sensitivities. The frosting is totally worth it, too… I could eat the whole batch without a cupcake in sight ;)

  6. Afsoon says:

    i never had avocado as dessert before and i can’t wait to try it!

    • a-k says:

      Avocado in dessert is AMAZING. Seriously. It makes a yummy egg-replacer for a fudgy brownie, too!

    • Kat says:

      I second this, it’s surprisingly good in dessert. I make a chocolate mousse in the blender with bananas, avocado, cocoa, agave (and a bit of water, almond milk or oj for blending) – sooo good!

  7. Ricki says:

    Those cupcakes are totally adorable–I love that cupcake pan! And the frosting looks perfect (glad you got the measurments). :)

    • a-k says:

      Yes, I ended up making a second batch of frosting just so I could post the recipe! Now I sneak bites with a spoon, like pudding ;)

  8. mihl says:

    Those cupcakes look incredible. And I’m glad there’s no xanthat gum in them. I have the same pan and might try these soon.

  9. jessy says:

    i’m not one for measuring things either – which is why it’s rare to find me posting about baked goods. i find it frustrating that i have to measure well with gluten-free goodies – i’m still getting used to it. i too have had many disappointments; i’ve made some seriously dry gluten-free muffins, some biscuits that were so icky the squirrels didn’t want them, and a few other fub ups. but it’s all good and it’s been fun experimenting – i like the challenge! these coconut lime cuppins cakes look damn delicious, and i’m really digging the avocado lime frosting too. i’m not one for a ton of sugar either, and i found it funny that you mentioned a sore throat after a bunch of sugar, the same has happened to me, fo ‘sho. thanks so much for the awesome recipe – i can’t wait to give ‘em a go! squeeeeeeeeeeee!

    • a-k says:

      I like the challenge also, though it’s disheartening when you have to throw a lot of money into the trash, isn’t it? I’ve learned my lesson and generally scale down recipes in case they don’t work out!

  10. You did an amazing job, these look wonderful! I’m so bad at not trying to bake more gluten free for my son. That avocado frosting looks great as well.

    I can’t eat alot of sugar either It just makes me feel blah!

  11. debbie says:

    those look yummy! Where did you get that adorable cupcake pan?

  12. Courtney says:

    Those look fantastic! Where do you get millet and coconut flour? Do you have them in bulk at the co-op? I didn’t think so, but…?


    • a-k says:

      Both millet (Arrowhead Mills) and coconut (Bob’s Red Mill) flour are sold in the baking aisle at the co-op, unfortunately not in bulk :( But millet could be ground in a coffee grinder if you’d rather not buy a whole bag; it probably wouldn’t work as well for coconut flour.

      • Courtney says:

        Thanks, A-K. I knew that the co-op had both of them, but I was hoping for bulk, lol. Do you like the millet flour? Is it worth buying the whole bag from Arrowhead Mills?


  13. respectyomama says:

    These look fabulous! I won the same muffin pan-isn’t beautiful? the only problem is that their different shape makes it impossible to find muffin liners to fit them!

  14. These look fabulous! I own the same muffin pan-got it cause I like it because it’s different :) , but it’s impossible to find liners for it…

  15. Jes says:

    Woohooo those cuppies are amazing! And I have all of those flours on hand–my lucky day :)

  16. I love the idea of avocado frosting! I’m a huge fan of fatty, sweet buttercream, but I like to mix it up. A little healthy here, a little junk food there. This would be a better alternative. By the way, I’m attempting the Chocolate Almond Midnight tonight. The one at the restaurant had a white chocolate mousse that isn’t in the recipe, so I’m gonna try to make that up from scratch with silk tofu and vegan white chocolate chips. We’ll see….thanks again for the recipe.

  17. [...] in addition to buckwheat, and this morning I had it with hemp milk, goji berries, a dollop of avocado lime frosting/pudding, and sliced starfruit.  Pretty and [...]

  18. Michal says:

    These look beautiful! Your coconut lime frosting looks so creamy. I have heard of using avocados in baked goods before but i have never tried it myself. :)

  19. [...] with more texture. Also? Swell vegan has had me distracted by thoughts of frosting this week. Avocado lime in particular. So very intriguing. But for now I’m off to the kitchen to bake some sort of [...]

  20. Naomi Rose says:

    you use so many different kinds of flour! I feel like a flour loser because I stick to the basics. I didn’t even know there was a coconut flour. amazing.

    • a-k says:

      You have to use a lot of flours with gluten-free baking to get good texture which is fun but also time consuming/expensive! Sometimes I just use a storebought mix instead.

  21. Allyson says:


    I have had coconut lime cupcakes on the brain lately– I have GOT to try these!!

  22. The cupcakes look good, but I’m really psyched about the avocado lime frosting! That sounds amazing!

  23. [...] holds together really well without the use of xantham gum, starches or a plethora of flours (as in the cupcakes I made earlier), and the scones stayed lovely and moist.  I’m also betting this would be grand with a whole [...]

  24. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Kissie N Atl, Jackie Connelly and Linda Rivas Leyva, Vegan Mainstream. Vegan Mainstream said: GF Coconut Lime Cupcakes with Avocado Lime Frosting http://cot.ag/cokleb [...]

  25. Julia says:

    Where on earth did you find that incredible cupcake pan??

    • A-K says:

      Believe it or not, the cupcake pan is from IKEA. Only downside is that liners don’t fit it, but so far I haven’t had anything stick :)

  26. Patty says:

    I love your use of rich nutritious tropical GF ingredients. I happen to live in the tropics, love baking, eat GF – as well have a sweet spot for healthy goodies. Thank you for sharing this amazing treat. :)

    BTW fabulous blog!
    (…and your pic looks amazing on my blog – thank you!)

  27. Hello Veggie says:

    I really want to try these babies. I’ve been all about the GF lately…

  28. Sarah Ko says:

    These cupcakes look delicious A-K. I can’t wait to try them. I work with a number of students on gluten free diets, and I’m sure their parents would love this recipe. Thanks!

  29. [...] oil.  I love me some coconut oil, though admittedly I use it mainly for sweet purposes – Coconut Lime Cupcakes or a Green Cocolada Smoothie, for [...]

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