This post features my delicious, soft and sweet cassava flour cupcakes, topped with a light buttercream frosting and sprinkles for a festive flair. This post is sponsored by Bob’s Red Mill and contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosures.
Cassava flour is a gluten-free flour worth paying attention to if you haven’t already.
It has already taken the Internet by storm, and has proven to be worthy gluten-free flour for baking anything from cassava flour tortillas to the cassava flour cupcakes you’ll see below.
Let’s discuss the benefits of cassava flour and how you can get your hands on it. I’ll also share a wonderful recipe for cassava flour cupcakes with you. Keep scrolling!
Four Facts About Cassava Flour
Baking with cassava flour has its benefits. Here are four facts you need to know about it before you start baking:
(1) Cassava Flour Mimics Wheat Flour Best
Cassava flour best mimics the taste and texture of wheat flour in gluten-free baked goods, and it doesn’t require a mixture of grains, starches and gums to do it.
In fact, cassava flour is the only ingredient you need to bake a light and airy gluten-free baked good.
Keep in mind, however, that cassava flour works as a 1:1 swap with wheat flour when measured by weight (not volume).
For example, if a recipe calls for 200 grams of wheat flour, you can substitute 200 grams of cassava flour. However, if you need to swap it for 1 cup of wheat flour, you’ll only need about 3/4 cups of cassava flour.
Too much cassava flour will dry out your baked goods and they won’t be moist and fluffy. This is because cassava flour absorbs more liquid than other flours.
(2) Cassava Flour is Gluten-, Grain-, and Nut-Free
Cassava flour is made from the yuca root, a starchy, high-carbohydrate tuber vegetable.
If you can’t eat nuts, or are looking for a paleo, vegan and nut-free flour options, cassava flour is the perfect option for you!
(3) Cassava Flour and Tapioca Flour Are Not the Same
Some people confuse cassava flour with tapioca flour, but these two “flours” work very differently in baked goods.
The two are often confused because they both come from the yuca root.
However, cassava flour is made using the whole yuca root, which is peeled, dried and ground into a flour. Tapioca flour is only the starch extracted from the cassava root and can be used as a thickening agent in baking, similar to cornstarch.
(4) Cassava Flour is Not a “Health” Food
Despite being a gluten- and grain-free flour, and lauded by paleo dieters everywhere, cassava flour is high in carbohydrates, which can spike your blood sugar levels, and is low in nutrients.
Enjoy cassava flour in moderation, just as you would enjoy any baked good in moderation.
Tip! Consider adding in fruits, vegetables, nuts or seeds to improve the nutrient content of your baked goods.
Cassava Flour Brands
There are a few cassava flour brands available today, and likely will be more as this wheat-flour-replacement gains in popularity.
The one brand I’ve been using lately and really like is Bob’s Red Mill Cassava Flour.
The ingredients are pure and Bob’s Red Mill employs strict gluten-free protocols in its dedicated gluten-free facility. This assures me that Bob’s Red Mill Cassava Flour is not only good, but also safe for the celiac disease and gluten sensitive communities.
Plus, Bob’s Red Mill is known for its high-quality, minimally-processed products, and has always been committed to feeding anyone on a restricted or special diet. I’m always happy to support – and collaborate – with this brand.
Recipe: Cassava Flour Cupcakes
The best way to get used to baking with cassava flour is to give it a go.
Today I want to share an easy-breezy recipe with you that I made using Bob’s Red Mill Cassava Flour.
You are going to love how simple these cupcakes are to make, and you’ll love how light and fluffy they turn out too.
First, you’ll want to whisk together the cassava flour, baking powder, and salt in one bowl. Then you’ll want cream your butter and sugar in another bowl, along with your eggs.
Next, you’ll want to add about half of the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and stir until combined. Go slow. Cassava flour becomes dusty when mixed too vigorously.
You’ll then add your milk and vanilla extract, mixing until combined, and then add your remaining dry ingredients. Mix until no streaks of cassava flour remain.
This is what your batter will look like once all the ingredients are combined.
Finally, you’ll fill each cupcake liner about ¾ full with the batter, then bake at 350º F for 16-19 minutes or until the tops of the muffins spring back when you lightly press them and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean. Let cool completely before frosting.
Making Buttercream Frosting
No cupcake is complete without buttercream frosting, or at least I think so!
Every gluten-free baker (or wannabe baker) must master the art of buttercream frosting.
To make your own buttercream, cream softened butter in a large bowl with your electric mixer until smooth, then add salt, vanilla and gradually add powdered sugar, one cup at a time, until you reach the desired consistency.
You want the frosting smooth and light. If it’s too thick it won’t run properly through your pastry bag, and if it’s too wet, it won’t fluff up nicely on your cupcake.
Decorate your cupcakes however you like. Since this weekend is the 4th of July, I added some red, white and blue sprinkles on top.
You’ll notice your cupcakes will be light, airy, and fluffy, which always amazes me that such a thing is possible with a single ingredient flour anymore.
And with the buttercream frosting on top, you, my friend, have a delicious gluten-, grain- and nut-free treat to savor. Enjoy!
Where to Buy Cassava Flour
More Recipes with Bob’s Red Mill
I love baking with various Bob’s Red Mill flours. Please read my article, 15+ classic recipes made with Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 gluten-free flour for more inspiration.
Light and Fluffy Cassava Flour Cupcakes
For the Cupcakes:
- 1 1/3 cups Bob’s Red Mill Cassava Flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened to room temperature
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 3/4 cup milk
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
For the Frosting:
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter softened to room temperature
- pinch salt
- 1/2 tbsp pure vanilla extract
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1-2 tsp milk
- 1 tbsp multi-color sprinkles
For the Cupcakes:
- Preheat the oven to 350º F. Line 12 muffin cavities with paper cupcake liners. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the Bob’s Red Mill Cassava Flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Add the eggs and mix well.
- Combine the milk and vanilla extract in a measuring cup or bowl. Set aside.
- Add half of the dry ingredients to the butter mixture. Stir until combined. Next, add the milk mixture and stir. Add the remaining dry ingredients and stir until no streaks of cassava flour remain. Add batter to each cupcake liner until about ¾ full.
- Bake for 16-19 minutes or until the tops of the muffins spring back when you lightly press them and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean. Let cool completely before frosting.
For the Frosting:
- Add softened butter to a large bowl. With an electric mixer, cream butter until smooth. Add in the salt and vanilla and mix thoroughly, then gradually add in the powdered sugar, about 1 cup at a time, and mix until combined and frosting is creamy and smooth.
- Add 1-2 tablespoons of milk until frosting reaches the desired consistency. You don’t want the frosting to be too thick, otherwise it will be difficult to frost the cupcakes if you’re using a pastry bag.
- Frost the cupcakes however you like. I like to use a pastry bag fit with a star tip. Don't forget to add the sprinkles (optional)!