Gluten-Free Valentine's Desserts

Gluten-Free, Refined Sugar-Free Salted Caramel Cupcakes

Courtesy of Carol Kicinski of

Prep time: 1 hour  Serving size: 12 cupcakes

Agave Caramel Recipe


  • 1 c organic raw blue agave nectar
  •  ½ c heavy cream
  • 4 Tbsp cold unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp sea or kosher salt


  1. Combine agave nectar and cream in a large saucepan (use one bigger than you think you will need) and bring to a boil. Let boil for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  2. Remove from heat and whisk in butter, one tablespoon at a time, and salt, stirring until it’s completely dissolved. Transfer to a bowl or jar and let cool completely. If the caramel gets too thick to work with, just heat it slightly.

Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting Recipe

  •  6 Tbsp coconut sugar
  •  3 large egg whites
  • 1 c unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 5 Tbsp agave caramel


  1. Combine coconut sugar with egg whites a heatproof bowl of a stand mixture and set over a pan of simmering water; whisk by hand until the mixture is warm and the sugar has dissolved, 2 -3 minutes.
  2. Attach mixing bowl to a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and beat, starting on low then increasing the speed to medium-high, until the mixture is thick, fluffy and glossy and completely cool, about 6 minutes.
  3. Reduce the speed to medium-low and add the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla and caramel and beat on medium high until the caramel is fully incorporated.
  4. Remove the bowl from the mixture and stir the frosting vigorously with a spatula to knock out some of the air and make sure all the caramel is fully mixed in. Let sit at room temperature if using the same day.

Coconut Sugar Cupcakes Recipe


  • 1 ½ c all-purpose gluten free flour blend
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 c coconut sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • ¾ c milk
  • 1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • ½ c grapeseed or vegetable oil
  • 16 – 18 tsp agave caramel


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard muffin tin with paper liners.
  2. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl and whisk. In another mixing bowl whisk together the coconut sugar with the egg, milk, vanilla, and oil. Add flour mixture to wet ingredients and whisk until smooth and it starts to thicken slightly. 
  3. Divide the batter among the prepared muffin tins and bake 18-22 minutes or until they are golden brown and puffed, the tops spring back slightly and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes then remove to a wire rack to finish cooling.
  4. Once the cupcakes are completely cool, cut a cone shaped piece about an inch in diameter from the top of the cupcakes. Insert your finger into the holes and widen the bottom a bit. Spoon in about 1 teaspoon of the caramel, cut the tip off the cone and place it over the caramel. Spread or pipe frosting on top and drizzle with a little bit of caramel.
  5. The cupcakes can be stored in the refrigerator but are best served at room temperature.


Carol Kicinski

Diagnosed with gluten intolerance more than 20 years ago, Carol Kicinski has motivated millions to live happy allergen-free lives. She founded Simply Gluten Free, a gluten-free recipe and lifestyle blog and website, in 2007. Its purpose is to educate, assist, and inspire those with celiac disease or intolerance to gluten, dairy, peanuts, grains, or other allergenic elements, and to assist those with vegetarian and vegan preferences. Her fans have made it one of the top gluten-free websites.