Christmas Cupcakes 1

God Jul to everyone celebrating Christmas today, Christmas Eve!

Being Swedish in America I enjoy celebrating Christmas on two separate days, a Swedish celebration on Christmas Eve and an American celebration on Christmas Day, but I always miss my Swedish friends and family a little more than usual on December 24. Inspired by Swedish gingerbread cookies and lingonberries, I created these sweet and spicy little carrot cakes with all of them in mind.

For anyone new to gluten free baking, this muffin recipe is perfect for a first try. They are easy to make and difficult, maybe even impossible, to tell apart from the wheat flour version. Made without processed white or powdered/confectioners sugar, both muffins and frosting are sweetened with raw maple syrup.

gluten free carrot gingerbread muffins

Christmas Cupcakes 3

gluten free carrot gingerbread muffins

½ cup sweet rice flour
½ cup potato starch
½ cup tapioca starch
½ cup pecan flour (ground pecans)
¼ cup chai christmas spice (half batch)
1 teaspoon guar gum
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup butter (1 stick)
1 cup maple syrup
2 large eggs
1 cup finely grated carrot
1 cup roughly chopped walnuts


Combine dry ingredients – from rice flour to salt – in a large bowl and set aside.

Cream butter in a food processor until white and creamy. Add eggs and maple syrup and continue to process until completely blended.

Stir egg mixture into dry ingredients with a spoon or spatula until blended.

Fold in carrots and walnuts and scoop into 16 large or 24 small muffin cups.

Bake at 350F/175C for 15 min or until a toothpick comes out clean. Do not over-bake.

Enjoy as is, or let cool before topping with frosting.

maple cream cheese frosting

To get that nice piped shape without the help of confectioners sugar, it’s important to keep the ingredients cool. Start with cold butter and cream cheese and refrigerate again between mixing and piping. A food processor works better than an electric mixer to break up the cold butter while smoothly blending it with the maple syrup.


12 oz cream cheese
¾ cup butter (1 ½ stick)
¾ cup maple syrup
1 cup fresh or frozen lingonberries (optional)


Process cold cream cheese, butter and maple syrup in a food processor for several minutes until very white and fluffy.

Add to a large piping bag with a large star tip and return to the refrigerator until cold and hardened.

Pipe frosting in a classic swirl and decorate with lingonberries.

Keeps best refrigerated.

Christmas Cupcakes 2

Small Cupcake Pedestal by Atelier Make from Herriott Grace. Cast Iron Mini Muffin Pans from Lodge. Marble Cake Stand from Sur La Table.

Photography by Philip Blankenship.