Two-Bite Gingerbread Cupcakes with Pink Cashew Frosting

December 23rd, 2013 at 5:05 am

Two-Bite Gingerbread Cupcakes with Pink Cashew Frosting (Daily Bites)

It’s Christmas week! We made it!

I don’t know what’s brought you up to this point in the month. Maybe you’ve had a few down days or a few slip-ups with your eating plan. Don’t stress about it. We all have those days and those slip-ups, because we’re humans and it’s what we do!

But as we head into the big holiday week, I’d encourage you to leave the past in the past and focus on delighting in the present. There will be plenty of time to plan for the future and set new goals come January. This week, find your joy in the right now. The moments we wait for all year.

Christmas Day is magical, but for me the most magic swirls around in those days and hours leading up to Christmas. Even as a kid I always loved Christmas Eve more than Christmas Day. Something about going to bed on such a sacred winter night gave me a thrill. I was all about the gifts as a kid, so that’s probably why, but even today as an adult I still get a rush of anticipation in the days before Christmas. And it’s not about the gifts anymore.

Two-Bite Gingerbread Cupcakes with Pink Cashew Frosting (Daily Bites)

I went sledding a few weeks ago and as we were standing on top of the hill preparing for our next run, my friend was telling me how she likes to go to bed each night with a sense of anticipation and excitement in the pit of her stomach, thrilled at what tomorrow might bring.

It’s funny because I hate that feeling! And yet I totally get what she means. As much as I don’t like being uncomfortable and stressed, a little bit of nervousness never hurt anyone. In fact, sometimes it builds and shapes us in ways we’ve never dreamed of.

What would we do, think, be, choose, believe, and try if we knew we could not fail?

I’m going to be mulling that one over during my Christmas holiday this week. Maybe my 2014 needs a little shaking up.

Cue the anticipation/excitement/I-want-to-throw-up feeling in the pit of my stomach.

This comfort zone lover is the total opposite of a risk taker!

Two-Bite Gingerbread Cupcakes with Pink Cashew Frosting (Daily Bites)

I have one last recipe to share with you before the big day. These moist and rich gingerbread cupcakes are a fun little treat that would totally make Santa reach for seconds.

I colored the frosting with beet powder, which I found in the bulk bins at my local co-op. Artificial food coloring (aka legal poison!) hasn’t made an appearance in my kitchen in probably a decade, so I was thrilled to get this frosting pink using a natural method.

If you can’t find beet powder, just leave it out and you’ll have a creamy white frosting instead. Not quite as festive but still snowy and beautiful.

I topped some of my cupcakes with dairy-free chocolate chips after snapping these photos. They’re delicious either way, but if you’re used to sweeter desserts or you’re serving these to guests who are, go for the chocolate.

If you’re still pulling together your Christmas menu, here are a few more holiday desserts to check out:

I can’t believe I’m wishing you another Merry Christmas. As the years come and go, I’m so thankful for this space and that year after year, you keep coming back to spend time here with me. Thank you!

Wherever you are, whoever you’re with, whatever you’re eating, I wish you a most blessed Christmas and a week filled with all the magic and mystery that make this season so special.

Warm winter wishes,


Merry Christmas!

(photo from my most recent cooking class; LOVE the new Vitamix!)


Two-Bite Gingerbread Cupcakes with Pink Cashew Frosting

Yield: Makes 15 cupcakes

These delightful grain-free gingerbread cupcakes are moist, hearty, and topped with a rich and creamy cashew-based frosting colored naturally with beet powder.


For the cupcakes:

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons coconut flour

1/4 cup arrowroot or tapioca starch

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/8 teaspoon ground allspice

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

2 large eggs, room temperature

3 tablespoons maple syrup

2 tablespoons unsweetened almond or coconut milk

2 tablespoon melted coconut oil or extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses

1/3 cup dried cranberries, optional

For the frosting:

1-1/2 cup raw cashews or cashew pieces

2 teaspoon beet powder

2 tablespoons maple syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup water


Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line 15 mini muffin cups with mini paper liners.

Make the cupcakes: Combine the coconut flour, arrowroot or tapioca starch, cinnamon, ginger, alt, allspice, and baking soda in a medium bowl. Separately whisk together the eggs, maple syrup, milk, oil, and molasses. Add to dries and stir to combine thoroughly. Stir in cranberries (if using). Divide the batter among the lined muffin cups. Bake for 13-15 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely.

Make the frosting: Cover the cashews with hot water and soak for 30 minutes. Drain and place into a high speed blender (such as a Vitamix). Place the beet powder in a small bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of water and stir to dissolve. Add to the blender with the maple syrup, vanilla, and 1/2 cup water. Blend until very creamy and smooth, using the tamper as needed. (If you don't have a high speed blender, soak the cashews for 6-8 hours at room temperature. Prepare the frosting as directed in a food processor instead.)

Frost the cupcakes and serve.


  1. Merry Christmas Hallie! These look delicious since I love anything gingerbread I will try these.

    I allowed myself a few pieces of homemade fudge that I received as a gift and WOW-Sugar is a bad 5 letter word. I have been off that drug since August. Huge difference in how I feel. So I’m detoxing now. Lesson learned.

    I also feel a lot of anticipation during the week of Christmas including less sleep. Makes me feel like a kid again:)

  2. I am really on a gingerbread kick right now, loving my gingerbread smoothie and these will fit right in! Thank you again for another delicious allergen-friendly recipe!
    Looking forward to sharing these today!
    Merry Christmas!

  3. Mmmm – these look delicious and oh so pretty. I love that you used powdered beet for colour! I can’t wait to try them :)

    Merry Christmas!

  4. I just got your Healthy Cookie book for Christmas last night and am super excited to bake. Is there a substitute for arrowroot? It is so expensive!

  5. Anything with ginger is always great. Merry Christmas!

  6. These look so pretty, Hallie! Love the frosting. ;)
    And did you cut your hair?!! What a great pic of you!!

    Hope you and your family have a wonderful, happy, fun-filled holiday! xoxo

  7. This is a great recipe Hallie! We love mini cupcakes around here :) And pink icing would obviously be a big hit. Merry Christmas!

  8. These look amazing. I want to make these for Christmas, but one of our guests cannot eat coconut. is there a substitute for the coconut flour?

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I'm Hallie Klecker, a professional recipe developer, author, and passionate gluten-free foodie. As a certified holistic nutrition educator, my goal is to inspire others to live a balanced, nourished life through eating well and living pure—one bite at a time. Learn more.