Holiday Sparkle Cupcakes {GF, DF}

HowSweetEats made this BEAUTIFUL Christmas Cake and posted it on her blog, and we just had to recreate this for our own holiday festivities this year! We took some liberties with the recipe, made it GF and used pomegranate instead of cranberries. We also made them cupcakes (easier to share at larger parties and truth be told, Amanda couldn't find her cake pan...shhhh)!! 

Gluten Free Almond Cupcakes.PNG


Vanilla Almond Cupcakes

  • 3 cups GF baking flour (we like Bob's Red Mill) 
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups olive oil "butter" (we like to use Balanced Earth) 
  • 2 1/2 cups of organic cane sugar
  • 5 large eggs, at room temperature* 
  • 1 cup almond-coconut milk 
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tsp almond extract

Coconut Whip Frosting

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cans coconut milk- full fat
  • 2 tbsp organic cane sugar or honey or maple syrup

Sugared Pomegranate Seeds

  • 1/4 cup frozen pomegranate seeds
  • 2 cups organic cane sugar
  • 1/3 cup water

**Add sugar "sparkle" sprinkles (Wilson's is easy to find; they sell them at most Target stores)



  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Line muffin tin with paper muffin liners (we like using the parchment baking cups). 
  3. In a bowl, add butter and sugar and beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add each egg one at a time and beat after each addition, beating until combined. Gradually beat in half of the dry ingredients, then add in the milk. Add the remaining dry ingredients. 
  4. Evenly pour the batter into the muffin cups (using a 1/4 measuring cup makes this less messy and easier to proportion evenly). 
  5. Bake 12-14 mins, until lightly golden brown on edges, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. 
  6. Move cupcakes to cooling rack, and repeat steps 1-5 until all batter has been used. Usually yields about 20-24 cupcakes. 

Coco Whip Frosting

  1. Refrigerate the coconut milk overnight
  2.  Open coconut milk and spoon out the hardened milk fat- place in bowl
  3. Add vanilla and sweetener and mix with hand mixer for three minutes.
  4. Store chilled

Sugared Pomegranate Seeds

  1. Add 1 cup of sugar and the water to a small saucepan over medium to medium-high heat.
  2. Continuously stir until the sugar dissolves and bring the mixture to a boil, cooking for 2 to 3 minutes. Set it aside until it is cool enough to touch.
  3. Once the syrup is cool, either drop the pomegranate seeds into the pot.
  4. Place the remaining sugar on a plate. Add the seeds, one by one, to the plate and roll with a spoon. It's easiest to "sift" the seeds out with a fork, or a fine-mesh strainer. Place on a separate plate. 

Once the cupcakes have completely cooled, use a knife to add dollops of whipped cream to the top of the cupcakes. Spread evenly. Top with the sparkle sprinkles, generously. Add 3 sugared seeds for a "holly" look. Share with friends and family and enjoy! (Store any leftover cupcakes in the fridge so the whipped cream doesn't melt)

*You could try to make this vegan with Chia or Flax eggs, however we did not test that with this recipe. 


Cupcakes cooling.JPG