Chocolate covered strawberry cupcakes: gluten-free, lactose-free

There are a few inalienable rights in my world: the right to chasing your own happy. The right to surround yourself with only those who help you chase that happy. And the right to cupcakes, always. I’m especially delighted my friends Merrill and Mike found each other to chase their happy together. But, the fact that they’re gluten and lactose-free sometimes interferes with the cupcakes part. Well, no more. Special people deserve special treats, and these cupcakes are treat to see and eat.

Chocolate covered strawberry cupcake
Who knew gluten-free and lactose-free could look this good?

This cupcake has three layers – the crust, the cupcake and the top. Don’t let that scare you, it’s not super involved as desserts go. The layering makes it look WAY fancier relative to the amount of time/effort it actually takes to make. The cupcake layer is naturally gluten-free, and the secret ingredient is quinoa. For the dairy, I used a form of lactose-free milk that’s relatively new to the market called Fairlife. It tastes like normal milk, but is filtered to have more protein, more calcium, less sugar…and no lactose. Because … science.

For the crust, you could use half the amount written and still have a good layer – but everyone loved the thick crust. You could also omit altogether and double the cake recipe (you’d get more than 12 cupcakes, I think.) The topping helps, because the cupcakes will cave in – and obviously, you should fill them with something tasty. For true dairy-free cupcakes, you can sub the chocolate chips with a vegan variety.

Chocolate covered strawberry cupcakes
Yes, I ate this one as a taste test, and no, I’m not ashamed about it.

One more note – normally, you only fill cupcakes 2/3 – 3/4 full. And normally, I ignore this. In this case, I should not have – because the tops dome and collapse, they can be a little hard to get out of the pan (even with the liners.)

You’ll need:

Cupcake layer (from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe):

  • 1 c cooked and cooled quinoa (cook in water)
  • 1/4 c milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 6 T butter, melted and cooled
  • 3/4 c sugar
  • 1/2 c cocoa powder
  • 3/4 t baking powder
  • 1/4 t baking soda
  • Dash of salt
Crust layer:
  • 2 c chocolate sandwich cookies (Gluten free, if desired), crushed
  • 5 T butter, melted
Topping:
  • 1 1/2 c chocolate chips
  • 1/3 c milk (Lactose free, if desired)
  • 12 strawberries
  • Powdered sugar for dusting

Get cooking:

Crust layer:

  1. Preheat over to 350 degrees.
  2. Line cupcake pan with cupcake liners, spray with coking spray.
  3. Combine cookies and butter, press firmly into each cupcake liner.

Cupcake layer:

  1. Blend milk, eggs and vailla in food prosessr. Add quinoa and butter, blend until smooth.
  2. Mix dry ingredients in bowl, add wet and mix until combined. Pour on top of crust layer.
  3. Bake 20-25 minutes, until toothpick comes out of cupcakes clean (it will still be wet – this is ok, it just shouldn’t have brown batter on it.)
  4. Let cool completely and dust with powdered sugar.

Topping layer:

  1. Melt choclate chips in microwave, using 30-secnd blasts and stirring after each.
  2. Add milk and whisk vigourously until combined and gliossy.
  3. Pour/scrape mixture into small plastic sandwich bag, cut ff small corner.
  4. Hull strawberries, cut them into slices or leave whole (your call). Place in the middle of cooled cupcakes.
  5. Drizzle chocolate mix over cupcakes. Let it cool and harden compleelty.
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