Sunday, March 6, 2011

Experimenting with Brown Rice Flour (Agave Mango Cupcakes)

Today I had my first experience baking with brown rice flour, and I was pleasantly surprised. The benefit of using rice flour is that it is gluten free. It bakes just like flour so there are no confusing substitutions, and it has a good taste. I will be using it a lot more from now on! I think my mom picked this up for me, so I'm not quite sure where she got it, but I've seen this particular brand at Vons.

To test it, I decided to use a recipe I found for Honey Mango Cupcakes. Not your normal cupcakes, I know, but since we had mangoes in the house I decided to give it a try, and I'm really happy with how they turned out!

However, to keep them sugar free (and because of the fact that we didn't have any honey, but loads of agave), I used agave nectar instead.

 You only need 1 mango- half goes into the cupcake batter, and about a quarter of it is used for the icing. To puree it, I just threw mango slices into the Cuisninart and let it spin. Although tasting the cupcakes afterward, I think I would have left them in there for a shorter amount of time, so that there were mango chunks in the batter. But it doesn't really matter, they were still good :)
The recipe I used called for buttermilk, which I didn't have, so I substituted! (I know, big surprise). I used Kefir instead, which is basically like a liquid yogurt. I did a little research on it, too, and it actually has a lot of health benefits. I will put more information about it on my substitutions page. I think you can find it at almost any market, but the one I used was from Trader Joe's.

So are you finally ready for the recipe?? Here it is:
Agave Mango Cupcakes with "Icing" (adapted from The National Honey Board)

  • 2 cups Brown Rice Flour (white rice flour would work too)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 1/2 cup Ripe Mango, pureed
  • Zest and juice of One Lime
  • 1/4 cup Kefir
  • 1/2 cup Butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup Agave Nectar
  • 2 Large Eggs
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Sift together brown rice flour, baking soda, baking powder, and sea salt; set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the mango puree, lime zest and juice, and kefir; set aside.
  3. In a mixing bowl, cream butter. Add agave nectar. Add eggs, one at a time.
  4. Slowly add half of the dry ingredients to the butter mixture until just combined. With the mixer on low, add the mango mixture. Add the remaining dry ingredients.
  5. Fill muffin tins 2/3 full. Bake 27 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean.
  6. Cool for about ten minutes and spread the icing evenly over the cupcakes. Makes 14 cupcakes.
Agave Mango "Icing"
I learned a very important lesson: NEVER use Splenda to make frosting. It does not substitute for powdered sugar; the frosting comes out more like pudding and has a bad aftertaste. So, I had to improvise and come up with my own topping. My experimenting turned out quite well, and it gives it that extra fruity flavor that the cupcakes are lacking.
  • 1/4 cup Mango, Pureed
  • 1 tbs water
  • 1/2 packet Splenda
  • 1 tsp Agave Nectar
  1. Combine ingredients in mixing bowl.
  2. Use brush to spread the topping evenly over cupcakes.


  1. This is so cool. I did not know that you had a blog. I will definitely come on here to look for recipes. Those Mango Cupcakes look fun and good.

  2. I just made these last night with a few substitutions: instead of two eggs, I used 1 mashed banana and 1 TBS of applesauce (blended well) and instead of butter I used Spectrum Shortening and coconut oil. I also added a dash of vanilla extract (alcohol free) and cinnamon. And I used Almond milk as well and only 1 cup of brown rice flour, no sugar or agave nectar. They came out moist and fluffy. But not really sweet Which is fine for me. Thanks for the recipe! Really good!