apple cupcakes: Creative & sneaky twist on gluten free (or not) boxed cake

When it comes to school, I have realized there is a lot that children with food allergies can get isolated from.  I make Hunter his own cupcake for every party, but he misses out on that special character, design, toy, etc… that everyone else gets.  For the first 2 weeks of October, the theme was apples.  I decided to supply the class with apple cupcakes to celebrate the end of the theme.  Of course, I had to stick with my “sneaky” traditions, but no one seemed to notice the sweet potatoes in their yellow cake cupcakes!



apple cupcakes: Creative & sneaky twist on gluten free (or not) boxed cake
  • Boxed cake mix (I used Hodgson Mills yellow cake mix)
  • ½ c. sweet potato puree (boil sweet potatoes then puree with 1-2 TBSP water)
  • 1 snack size applesauce
  • 1 cup water (for added sweetness substitute some water for apple juice)
  • ½ c. brown rice flour
  • 3 eggs
  • cupcake liners (preferably red)
  • decorating: raisinets or tootsie rolls, gummy worms ( make sure gf), white icing, wilton icing colors (red or any other favorite apple color)
  1. preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine all ingredients.
  3. Fill cupcakes ⅔ full
  4. Bake for 20 minutes or until cupcake passes toothpick test
  5. Allow to cool
  6. While cooling divide tootsie rolls into 4 pieces, then mold to look like apple stem.
  7. Create red icing using 1 tub icing & 1 tsp wilton icing color (or enough to make your desired shade)
  8. Frost cupcakes.
  9. Place Raisinet (or tootsie roll) “stem” on each cupcake
  10. 8. Use straw to make a hole for worm, then insert worm.
As for the decorations, use what is easy & safe for your family. I had to make some modifications based on having to accommodate our gluten free living and another child’s peanut allergy.


  1. says

    I just printed this recipe and I am going to make them tomorrow. I have been yearning for cupcakes and it is so hard to find anything sweet, that is Gluten Free. My tummy thanks you!

  2. says

    We have been moving towards gluten-free and this looks so cute! I think the kids would absolutely love it and I look forward to giving it a try.


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