gluten-free cupcakes hostess

The Making of “Gluten Free Cupcakes”

Photo by Annabelle Breakey from Gluten-Free Cupcakes

My second book comes out this Tuesday.  That’s right, Tuesday, April 26th.  The pre-release price is $9.23.  So, enough of the mini-infomercial that I promised my publisher I would write, and on to the making of
Gluten-Free Cupcakes.

My mom says that writing a book is like having a baby.  I couldn’t agree more.  However, I gained 5 pounds incubating this book, rather than the usual 20-30 that I put on during each of the pregnancies in which I bore babies rather than paperbacks. How did I gain 5 pounds gestating a book?  You try baking 17 hours a day (by the way, everything is mouthwatering at 2:00 am), trying out batch after batch of Banana Split Cupcakes until they are perfect.

Then there are the Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes; I was determined to make those.  So determined that I made them close to 50 times until they were the way I wanted them.  I think you’ll like them whether you’re vegan, carnivore or something in between.

Yes, giving birth to a book is a lot like giving birth to babies.  And upon reflection, I realize that my two books are actually somewhat similar to my two children.  My first book, The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook, is a lovable, well rounded collection of recipes.  A lot like my first son who is a bit of a Renaissance “man.”  My second book is full of adorable little treats.  My second son is sweet.  Kinda like a cupcake.  In fact, when we have gone to gluten free bakeries in New York City, where he can get whatever he wants, he always chooses the biggest, pinkest cupcake, with no shame whatsoever.

I love them both equally –my boys that is.  While I’m thrilled to be “expecting” Gluten-Free Cupcakes on Tuesday (it’s a scheduled delivery, unlike the natural childbirths of my boys, delivered midwives), I will always have a huge place in my heart for The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook. An editor is a lot like a midwife.  I was lucky enough to have my editor, Sara, collaborate with me and come up with fabulous sections for my new book. 

Here are the chapters we created:

  • Classic Cupcakes
  • Chocolate Cupcakes
  • Fruity Cupcakes
  • Warm and Spiced Cupcakes
  • Special Occasion Cupcakes
  • Savory Treats
  • Frostings, Fillings and Toppings

One of my favorite recipes in the book is White Chocolate Cupcakes.  How many ingredients does it contain?  Three.  Yes, a cupcake recipe with three ingredients.  Sometimes I write recipes and forget that I wrote them.  This was one of those recipes.  So when I received my galley of the book, I was thrilled to reacquaint myself with this recipe.  My other fave is the Cream Filled Chocolate Cupcakes –otherwise known as Hostess Cupcakes (pictured above in a photograph by the fabulous Annabelle Breakey).

So, enough about me, an annoying Jewish mother –bragging endlessly about her “children!”   If you want to meet my second paperback “child,” get the book, which has 50 original cupcake recipes and a dozen more frosting and filling recipes.


  1. Laura C says

    One of the many things I love about these recipes is the very small amount of coconut flower used. My teenage daughter just headed to South America on a school trip and not only was eating gluten and dairy free an issue but surviving without chocolate treats! So I mixed two batches of the triple chocolate chip dry ingredients and put it back into a can of coconut flower (so it looked like it was in original packaging and could get through customs!). All she has to do is remix it, divide in half and add three eggs! The only big issue I see is keeping the other students away!

  2. says

    I received your book in the mail last week and quickly began picking the recipes I was going to make!!! I started making the cookie surprise cupcakes then realized I didn’t have any agave or honey, uh oh!!! I did however have some coconut palm nectar on hand and used that in replacement, they turned out awesome!!!! I am not sure if you have ever tried it but just wanted to let you know it worked. Thanks for writing the book it looks amazing and I can’t wait to make some more!


  3. says

    I got my book yesterday and have the Chocolate Cup Cakes baking right now. They smell sooo good. My son will take 1 with him to a birthday party tomorrow… so I’d better not eat all of them tonight…

  4. Pattie Gunter says

    Just got my copy of Gluten-Free Cupcakes and I am so excited to try out the recipes! You are a master at making recipes which don’t take a ridiculous number of ingredients. Congratulations to you on another great book!

  5. Myrna says

    I received my copies of your book yesterday. It’s absolutely wonderful!!! Your recipes are the greatest. I can’t wait to sample all of them. I pre-ordered several copies of the book to give to my doctors and friends. I’m so glad I did. Thank you, thank you, thank you for creating such incredible recipes for us grain-free folk. I’d never make it on my food plan without your help.

  6. says

    I just got your book and can’t wait to try out some recipes. Your first one was so helpful to us when my son did an elimination diet (gluten/soy/sugar/corn free etc). My kids had fun going through it as well and have already picked out which ones they want for their birthdays!! But I do usually make treats for Shabbat dinners so will pick one out for this Friday.
    Thanks for your hard work on this one!

  7. says

    Hi Elana,

    I also preordered your book when I first saw it advertised on your site. I got one for me and a couple for my gluten free friends. I’m so excited for the recipes but also for the addition to the cook book world.

    Thank you!

  8. Laura C says

    Me again … I popped over to Amazon and posted the first review. 5 stars of course! Hope it helps others find the book so they love it as much as we all will. :)

  9. Laura C says

    My FOUR copies arrived from Amazon today. As I type my kids are reading them cover to cover with lots of wows!! They are arguing over which to try first.

    I may not get the extra books out of their hands to send off to my sisters. Lots of baking this weekend!


  10. says

    I actually ordered a copy of your new book in December when I saw it on I can hardly wait to receive it! I go to the mailbox everyday in anticipation since I received notification that it has been shipped. Thank You Elana for all you do for all of us!

  11. Sharon says

    My copy is ordered too Elana! I add my congratulations and also want to say thank you for expanding into using coconut flour as well. I’ve been experimenting with coconut flour for its health benefits but have not been very impressed with the results to date. I’m sure your recipes will be fabulous though as always and I can start working my way through my big ol’ bag of coconut flour! Yea!!

  12. Beth says

    I already have my copy. Seems like the release date was a tad earlier in Canada. My SIL ordered it for me as part of my Christmas gift and it arrived late last week.
    Having been through the cook book at least a dozen times already, I am still torn on which recipe to start with. They all look so good!
    Perhaps a random opening of the book is the best way to go :)

  13. says

    OMG- I was resisting ordering this book because I’ve cut “sweets” after having way too many of your yummy desserts in Nov & Dec. But Hostess cupcakes?!?!? I grew up on those things! I’m not even supposed to have chocolate now but I think I will have to order the book & risk eating chocolate! Congrats and thanks for all your hard work so that those of us who are grain- and dairy-free can have so many yummy treats!

  14. Brandi B says

    I am new to your blog–looking forward to hearing more (just wish I could find the almond flour without buying it online–all we have is Bob’s in my area)

  15. Jennifer says

    CONGRATULATIONS, Elana! Thank you SO MUCH for making vegan chocolate cupcakes 50 times so that I can make them once and know they will turn out delicious!! You made food taste great again for me, post gluten and dairy, and I cook from your book or blog about 10 times per week! Thank you so much for your dedication to the enjoyment of food for all! :)

  16. fran says

    This looks delicious. I can’t wait to make it for a little party coming up. It will be my first attempt at baking GF

  17. Laura C says

    I’ve been anxiously waiting for months and am thrilled to have something new to try. I had your original book spiral bound at Staples because we use it daily. Now that I know how much work goes into each recipe we will appreciate them twice as much! Thank you for making our highly regulated dietary lives bearable!

  18. Jeri says

    I’ve had mine pre-ordered and am looking forward to getting it. I’ve made your chocolate chip scones more times than I care to admit. Time for a new favorite. I’m drooling over the Hostess lookalikes.

  19. Cheryl Parker says

    Hi Elana,
    I’m a BIG fan even though I have never written before. I use The almond flour cookbook all the time and get your emails of new recipes and visit your website often. In fact I made the Strawberry cupcakes yesterday, yummmmm. I am excited the new book is coming soon as I want the recipe for the frosting for the strawberry cupcake too. I preordered the book in October and am soooo excited it will be here soon! It is nice to have treats I can make for my graandkids (and myself) that are not only legal but healthy too! And I love how simple your recipes are to make. Thank you, thank you, thank you for doing what you do!
    XO Cheryl

  20. Roberta Thomas says

    I am so excited to recieve this book. It should be here by thursday, I have had it pre-ordered for months. I’m sure it will be a hit.

  21. says


    I just received notice from Amazon that my copy just shipped! Tomorrow I am having friends who are newly gluten free over to bake cupcakes. Wish your book would be here in time but there will be other times.

    The beautiful cupcake in the photo takes me back – way back to elementary school. The store brand was a rare lunch box treat and I can’t wait to try your healthier and no doubt tastier version!

  22. lynne says

    Hi Elana –
    Just got notification from Amazon that my pre-ordered copy will be delivered/in my hands on 04/26/11. Cannot wait! Congratulations on another “home run” and thank you, thank you, thank you always for what you’re doing with and for all of us! Best and warmest wishes, always…lynne :-)

  23. says

    Congratulations Elana! Can’t wait to try some of your new creations… with all the love you put into those cupcakes, I know they’ll all be worth a try!!!

  24. Linda :-) says

    Oh, Can’t wait for my book to get here! Those cupcakes look yummy…and I’m looking forward to see what others are in the book. Congratulations!!

  25. dawn says

    your cupcakes look yummy! i have had celiac disease for 25 years, with blood sugar issues, this is a major breakthrough! :o)

  26. Netty says

    It’s on my Amazon Wishlist! LOVE IT! :) I recommend your cookbook/blog to every gluten free newbie I meet. :) So wonderful….and simple! I love how almond flour, grapeseed oil, celtic sea salt, baking soda, and agave nectar make so many different wonderful flavors…

  27. says

    You’re an inspiration, Elana! I can only imagine how much work has gone into your cookbook, and I know it will be a great resource for many people!

  28. Susan Maki says

    According to Amazon I will have your new “baby” in my hands Tuesday afternoon!! Looking forward to reading it cover to cover and then making some yummy cupcakes :-) Thanks Elana!!

  29. says

    I can’t wait to get this…. I pre-ordered it, and actually bought your Almond Flour Cookbook at the same time! I’ve actually been taking that one to bed with me…. visions of…. YUMMY dancing through my head!

  30. says

    You are hilarious! No doubt these are the ONLY Hostess that I would lay my hands on. Love the tie in to the book & pregnancy. If I write a book someday I can only imagine the full on commitment, drive & determination to cross the finish line! Can’t wait to see it! xo

  31. says

    Ahh what a labor of love! Such a great post Elana. Thanks for sharing those details. Definitely getting my hands on a copy of this baby!

  32. andrea says

    I just finished my marathon of cupcake baking for Easter display tomorrow…I can’t wait to get the new cookbook…I’m sure I can find another reason for a cupcake marathon with your new recipes. Today I made your Carrot Cake Cupcakes…oh so yummy. I had to make a double batch…my tasters ate all of the first one!!!!
    I’m sure the new cookbook will be a great success!

  33. Paula Gerhart says

    I can’t wait for my book to arrive. I’m really looking forward to making some of these. They look fantastic!

  34. Norma Heckendorf says

    Congratulations Elana! Your recipes are fantastic. I don’t have to be gluten-free, but I have learned that it is so much healthier. The low glycemic factor is so noticeable – I am trying hard to go paleo. By the way, I, too have gained a few pounds – I want to try every recipe from your book and your blog, and so I end up with extras, but I can’t bear to throw anything away – it is all so very delicious! My neighbors are frequent recipients, as well. I have pre-ordered your cupcake book, and can’t wait to receive it in the mail! Thank you!

  35. Charlotte Moore says

    How in the world did you only gain 5 pounds?? No such luck for me sadly to say. I have my book ordered and I can’t wait to get it.

    Can someone tell me if coconut oil and grapeseed oil can be substituted for the other??

  36. says

    I just got mine in the mail! I’m so thrilled, it all looks so mouthwatering. I think I’m going to try one out for Easter tomorrow… but which one?! I can’t decide… CONGRATULATIONS on a wonderful accomplishment. xo

  37. says

    Congrats on your new book! I can’t wait to get a copy of it. I have 3 boys and my youngest 18 months is the one with gluten issues, so this will give me time to practice for his next birthday party! Thanks for all of your hard work! :)

  38. says


    I think that this is without a doubt the best gluten-free dessert cookbook that I own (thank you!), the recipes are so simple, not to mention being free of refined sugars and gums…what’s not to love?

    Oh, and the cupcakes taste phenomenal!! Great for dessert and breakfast!


  39. Amy K says

    I pre-ordered your book months ago! Looking very forward! Congrats to you!!! I do expect more books, btw!!! ;)

  40. MD says

    I love your blueberries & cream cupcakes. I haven’t tried a lot of your recipes because I am allergic to almonds. How many of the recipes in your new baby contain coconut flour without almond flour? or is there a great substitute for almond flour for those allergic to almonds. I can eat pecan and walnuts but don’t know of any good walnut flour or pecan flour and I think I read that you said coconut flour will not substitute for almond flour in your almond flour recipes…. Thank you so much!

  41. says

    MMMMmmmmmm …. a feast of cupcakes.

    Elana, I remember this past summer when you were posting, it seemed, at least one cupcake recipe a day! I wondered “what on Earth!” This lady is off her cupcake rocker!!:) Well NOW I know what you were up to and am ordering another 5 lb bag of almond flour so that I can cook my way through this book :)

    Thank you for bringing this baby into the world. It will be adored by millions … no, bajillions!


  42. says

    What a fun post, Elana! After two real ones and two paperback ones, I’d say you know something about “birthin’ babies,” now. ;-) And hehe on everything tasting good at 2:00 am! I’m totally amazed that you were able to make 50 versions and distingush between them all and find the perfect version for all of us. :-) I’ll be making your Marble Cupcakes shortly for Easter tomorrow, but those lovely chocolate cream-filled ones are in my future, too!

    Congrats, my dear! Hope everyone orders theirs now so they aren’t jealous when they hear about other folks already having their copy. ;-)


  43. Carolina says

    I love your posts, Elana!–Always so sweet to hear about your boys, and I am so excited for your new book; I’ve pre-ordered it from Amazon, and it should arrive just in time for my birthday. Can’t wait!

  44. Luana says

    Oh, Elana, that picture is too much! Of course it reminds us all of the cupcakes we ate as kids, and now we can have them, but so much better. How great!

  45. Nana Rogers says

    Congratulations on your new “baby”, Proud Mama- You bet-cha’!!!
    I hope it grows like a weed. Just like the real baby’s do ;P
    It is a joy to me, to be able to share in your joy.
    Thank you for all your hard work and extra pounds. lol
    Have a wonderful weekend!

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