Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Spiced Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing

“Have you made anything gluten-free and egg-free before? I’m always prepared for a disaster,” said my friend. My response: “Just this weird chocolate cake once.” That pretty much sums of my experience with gluten-free baking. Weird. Somewhat off. Maybe a little chalky or overly mushy?

I rarely ever play around with this particular method of cooking. At least on purpose. I’ve had a lot of half-decent gluten-free fare, when I really want it to be 100%-decent. So, considering I’m not gluten intolerant, I generally steer clear from labels that tout what seems to be the latest self-proclaimed health fad. If you’re one of those who hopped on this bandwagon and don’t really have an intolerance to gluten (the protein in wheat), well, in my opinion, you’re a tad crazy. But don’t worry. I won’t go all Anthony Bourdain-style on you and will leave it at that. To each his own.

Sure, I’ve made a ton of naturally gluten-free food over the years that is 100% delicious. That’s in no way hard to accomplish. (Beans and Rice, please.) But little of this fare is ever coming from the oven, a feat that seems a tad more daunting.

However, when I recently found out that one of my friends had a gluten (and egg) allergy but was also into baking, I said, “Heck yeah I want to mess around with some gluten-free baking!” It was a good incentive to explore some uncharted kitchen territory and prove yet again, homemade often triumphs over store-bought.

It all started with this recipe my friend chose, which might I add was a kick-butt choice seeing as though sweet potatoes were in the equation. Our expectations, both low at the start, increasingly grew ever more skeptical when we realized we’d have to tackle the icing without an electric beater. Thank god for that versatile thing called a potato masher, which in my apartment, rarely ever gets used on actual potatoes.

After popping these out of the oven and adding a generous smear of icing on top, we held our breathes and went in for a taste. After the first bite, it was declared an immediate victory. In fact, these by far topped a lot of other pumpkin-spiced-esque traditional cupcakes and muffins I’ve eaten in the past. They were perfectly sweetened with a slight contrast from the icing, and were super moist. (I’m sorry. I hate that word too.) So heck yeah gluten-free baking. I might be seeing you more often.

Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Spiced Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing

Yield: Makes 18 cupcakes


  • For the cupcakes
  • -2 cups cooked sweet potatoes
  • -1 1/2 cups Gluten-Free All-Purpose flour blend
  • -1 1/4 cups sugar
  • -2 tsp. baking powder
  • -1 tsp. baking soda
  • -1 tsp. cinnamon
  • -1/2 tsp. salt
  • -1/2 tsp. xanthan gum
  • -1/4 tsp. allspice
  • -3/4 cup canola oil
  • -2 eggs (We used ground flax seed as a replacement = 2 Tbsp. ground flax seed mixed with 6 Tbsp. hot water, so I can't attest for how well the recipe fares using eggs)
  • -1/3 cup chopped pecans, plus more for garnish
  • -1/2 cup raisins
  • Cream Cheese Frosting, see recipe below
  • Cream Cheese Icing:
  • -8 oz. cream cheese
  • -1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
  • -1 1/2 cups sifted powder sugar
  • -1/4 tsp. salt
  • -1/4 tsp. vanilla


  1. For the cupcakes: Preheat oven 325F. Line 18 standard muffin cups with paper baking cups.
  2. Combine flour blend, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, xanthan gum, and allspice in a medium bowl.
  3. In a seperate bowl, beat sweet potatoes, oil and eggs in a large bowl at low speed, until blended. Add flour mixture, and beat at medium speed for 30 seconds, or until just well-blended. Fold in pecans and raisins. Spoon evenly into prepared cups.
  4. Bake about 25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Place pan on wire wrack. While cooling, prepare icing.
  5. For the cream cheese: Beat cream cheese and butter in medium bowl and medium-high speed, until creamy. Gradually beat in powdered sugar, until well blended. Beat in salt and vanilla. Divide among cupcakes.

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  • Reply
    March 11, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    Awesome! Great use of sweet potatoes, rather a lot of us seem to making use of them today. I dub this sweet potato day!

  • Reply
    March 11, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    yum! these might be even better than my favorite pumpkin spice cupcakes!

  • Reply
    March 11, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    These look great!
    I have a friend who is gluten intolerant and I’m going to send this recipe to her to try.

  • Reply
    The Candid RD
    March 11, 2012 at 8:20 pm

    WOWZA! You took a challenge and went with it! These sound great (and I think you know, I LOVE me some sweet potatoes in my baked goods!).
    Pinning this right now.

  • Reply
    Nicole, RD
    March 12, 2012 at 10:26 am

    Gluten-free baking IS scary…but can be done. CLEARLY! Yum! And those photos…omg. SO pretty!

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    Jacqulyn Billeaudeau
    March 5, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    Switching to a gluten-free diet is a big change and, like anything new, it takes some getting used to. You may initially feel deprived by the diet’s restrictions. However, try to stay positive and focus on all the foods you can eat. You may also be pleasantly surprised to realize how many gluten-free products, such as bread and pasta, are now available. Many specialty grocery stores sell gluten-free foods. If you can’t find them in your area, check with a celiac support group or go online. ;

    Check out our personal online site as well

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