Chive Pepper Muffins & Cookbook Review

Seven-ingredient Chive Pepper Muffins from Elana Amsterdam's new cookbook "Gluten-Free Cupcakes." These muffins were quick and easy to prepare and made a tasty addition to a pot roast dinner. With my kiddos in mind, I used 1 teaspoon black pepper and substituted 1 tablespoon dried onion flakes for the chives. Yum!

Much Anticipated Gluten-Free Cupcake Cookbook Launches!

Today is a day to celebrate! Elana Amsterdam's Gluten-Free Cupcakes: 50 Irresistible Recipes Made with Almond and Coconut Flour has hit the market and is flying off Amazon's shelves like hotcakes—or rather, shall I say, sweet and tempting cupcakes.

I have read my preview copy of Gluten-Free Cupcakes cover-to-cover, have made five recipes and want to share my impressions.

Simple Recipes, Quick Prep

If you’ve met Elana, you quickly pick up that she is a no-nonsense lady and the same goes for her recipes and cookbooks. She’s all about keeping it basic and simple (yes!). Ingredient lists are short and directions are clear and concise. Take, for example, her three-ingredient Flourless White Chocolate Cupcake. It calls for is three, yes only three, ingredients—buy the book to find out what they are :).

And speaking of ingredients, after stocking up on the few basics Elana suggests, you can make virtually all of the cupcakes and frostings in the book. For those unaccustomed to baking with ingredients such as almond flour, coconut oil or chia seed, Elana explains what they are, what they do, where to buy them and how to use them.

A Treat for Everyone

If are nut-free, dairy-free, sweetener-free, kosher, paleo, vegan—there are recipes in this book for you. Some recipes call for almond flour, some for coconut flour. I really enjoyed the date, banana and stevia-sweetened Banana Pecan Cupcakes, and made extra to keep in the freezer for a quick bite.

I will note that if you are egg-free, all but one of the cupcake and muffin recipes call for eggs.

Satisfying and Nutritionally Dense

Like Elana, I gravitate to foods that are nutritionally dense; foods that pack goodness into every bite. Unlike traditional cupcakes, Elana's use of high-protein almond flour and eggs ensures just this. I was pleased to find six savory muffin recipes that require not sweetener. The great thing about nutritionally dense foods is that they fill you up. One cupcake (okay, maybe two) and I am satisfied.

Sweet Toppings

Gluten-Free Cupcakes offers a whopping 14 frostings, fillings and toppings—four of which are vegan! I used the Vegan Buttercream to top the Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes I made. Delightful! Elana uses agave nectar in most of her recipes but encourages experimentation with honey, brown rice syrup, xylitol or fruit purees.

Tasty Photos and Clean Layout

This cookbook is very easy and pleasing to the eye. The layout is clean, the photos are rich. It’s a fun book to flip through.

Keep In Mind

Follow Directions: I like it when an cookbook drives home the importance of following directions. Elana tactfully does this. I need the reminder, for I am the queen of improvisation in the kitchen. Follow the directions for optimal results.

Let the Cakes Cool: With these cupcakes, cooling is a step that cannot be skipped. Keep the temptation at bay to pop a fresh one in your mouth and let the cupcakes cool for the length of time Elana says they should.



Be one of the very FIRST to own a copy of Elana Amsterdam's new cookbook, Gluten-Free Cupcakes.

To Enter: Leave a comment at the end of this post. If you'd like, share with us the one cookbook you could not live without. For and additional chance to win, "LIKE" Lexie's Kitchen on Facebook.

Deadline: To qualify, leave your comment by 5:00 p.m. (CST) Wednesday, May 4th.


Meet Elana

Elana launched the blog Elana's Pantry in 2006. Five years later she continues to serve up at least one new gluten-free recipe a week. In 2009 she published her first cookbook The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook. Elana is near and dear to my heart and I am honored to call her a friend. Though she may not know it, through her blog, she was a help and inspiration to me long before we met. I am certain thousands of others would say the same. Her recipes and anecdotes were rays of sunshine and hope in our home in the days following our food allergy diagnosis. Elana lives with her family in Boulder, Colorado.

Support a Food Blogger

Bloggers do what they do because they love it, because it is their passion—sacrifices are made to bring you the posts that they do. If you'd like to show your appreciation for the efforts of your favorite food blogger turned cookbook author, consider purchasing their book. Here are just a few you might enjoy.

NEW! The Spunky Coconut Grain-Free Baked Goods and Desserts: Gluten Free, Casein Free & Often Egg Free
Kelly V. Brozyna |

NEW! Cooking for Isaiah: Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free
Silvana Nardone |

NEW! Everyday Paleo
Sarah Fragoso |

NEW! More Make it Fast, Cook it Slow
Stephanie O’Dea |

NEW! Simply...Gluten-free Desserts: 150 Delicious Recipes for Cupcakes, Cookies ...
Carol Kicinski |

NEW! Good Morning! Breakfasts Without Gluten, Egg, Sugar or Dairy
Ricki Heller | (pdf e-book)

NEW! Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free: 180 Easy and Delicious Recipes You Can Make ...
Amy Green |

Some of the recipes in these cookbooks call for ingredients I do not regularly stock/use (e.g. cane sugar, eggs, etc.). If you have certain dietary restrictions, read the full description and reviews of a book to ensure it is a right fit for you.